Policy on Providing Guidance on Regulatory Requirements

This policy outlines Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada’s approach to helping regulated parties understand their regulatory obligations.

Departmental Context

Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) manages one of the most generous immigration systems in the world. To support this system, the department engages in a number of regulated activities relating to the selection of foreign nationals as temporary and permanent residents; refugee claims; Canada’s admissibility policy and the conditions for entering and remaining in Canada; and screening potential permanent and temporary residents to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians. IRCC is also responsible for passport regulations and regulations made under the Citizenship Act.

IRCC is committed to ensuring that stakeholders, including applicants, representatives, non-governmental organization representatives, and the general public, easily understand what they need to do to comply with federal regulatory requirements.

Building Awareness of regulatory requirements

IRCC is committed to communicating regularly with its stakeholders through a variety of means to develop regulatory instruments, and more broadly to ensure the public’s awareness of existing and proposed regulatory requirements.

IRCC provides regulatory guidance and promotes stakeholder awareness of regulatory requirements through operational manuals, operational bulletins, program delivery instructions, web portals, application forms and guides, and funding guides, which are all available online. As well, consultation opportunities may be found on the Consulting with Canadians website, the Canada Gazette and also on the IRCC's Forward Regulatory Plan. Per the Treasury Board Secretariat Policy on Regulatory Development, where appropriate, the Department also pre-publishes its regulatory proposals in the Canada Gazette to seek stakeholder input.

Responding to enquiries

IRCC is committed to responding to enquiries by stakeholders in a clear, consistent, and professional manner, in the official language of the stakeholder’s choice and generally in the same format that enquiries are made, whether orally or in writing. Service standards with respect to timelines vary across the department depending on the volume of enquiries a program receives and the complexity of the enquiry itself. IRCC’s service standards for responding to verbal and written requests for regulatory guidance is 20 business days. Regulatory requests can be sent via email to regs@cic.gc.ca.

Also, individual members of the public who wish to consult IRCC on a myriad of immigration related matters are directed to the Contact IRCC page. Responses to recurring enquires are often included in the IRCC Help Centre published on the department’s website.

Guidance provided is for informational purposes and is not legally binding. Responses to enquiries are not binding on the department unless the department communicates otherwise to stakeholders. IRCC does not provide legal advice about how specific regulations may apply to particular circumstances.

Commitment to professional service

IRCC is committed to service excellence and professionalism, and maintains service standards for immigration, citizenship, passport, and grant contribution programs.

IRCC draws on existing mechanisms to track stakeholder problems and concerns, as well as the steps taken to resolve them. These mechanisms include direct contact with IRCC through telephone and email, online requests for feedback, as well as various in-person stakeholder forums and consultations. For more information on how to contact IRCC, please visit the Contact IRCC page.

IRCC is committed to providing accurate and consistent regulatory advice, and ensures that our officers are trained to respond to stakeholder inquiries in a timely, clear, consistent, and professional manner.

Stakeholder engagement

IRCC addresses concerns raised by stakeholders about regulatory requirements through existing feedback or complaints processes. The Department has a service feedback form that clients and stakeholders can use to submit their service related feedback.

Under Canada’s immigration law, clients can ask the Federal Court of Canada to review decisions related to immigration. IRCC decisions are subject to judicial review by the Federal Court; for further information, clients are directed to apply to the Federal Court of Canada for judicial review page.

Commitment to stakeholder engagement

  • IRCC will work with stakeholders, as appropriate, when developing, revising or refining regulatory practices and material in order to provide clear and consistent information and guidance on departmental regulations.

Stakeholder engagement mechanisms

  • IRCC engages Canadians on the review and development of regulatory information and guidance through in-person consultations, as well as the publication of notices, discussion papers, and other information which is open to public review and comment, and available online. Consultation opportunities may be found on the Consulting with Canadians website and in IRCC's Forward Regulatory Plan.

Per the Treasury Board Secretariat Policy on Regulatory Development, where appropriate, the Department pre-publishes its regulatory proposals in the Canada Gazette to seek stakeholder input.

Date of last revision of this policy: April 24, 2019

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: