Operational Bulletin 163 – October 30, 2009
This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.
Privacy of Host’s Information
Some officers require a temporary resident visa applicant to provide personal information belonging to their Canadian host, either as part of the office's standard list of supporting documents accompanying a temporary resident visa application, or on a case by case basis. Examples of personal information requested include income tax notices of assessment, pay and bank account statements, and statements of shelter costs such as mortgage or rent information.
The practice of the applicant furnishing personal information belonging to their host has been the subject of complaints to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. Section 5 of the Privacy Act requires that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) collect personal information directly from the individuals to whom it relates (i.e. the host) unless otherwise authorized; therefore, we cannot require that applicants provide the host’s personal information.
In keeping with the provisions for the collection of personal information established under Section 5 of the Privacy Act, the guidelines below have been established.
Any written or oral information for the public must now reflect that persons in Canada hosting foreign nationals may provide personal information on a purely voluntary basis. The provision of the host’s personal information through the applicant must not be mandatory.
A temporary resident visa application will not be refused just because the host’s personal information is not provided with the application. The visa officer will assess the application on the basis of the adequacy of the applicant’s financial resources and make a determination accordingly.
Missions are requested to amend their local websites and any request forms for documents accordingly by no later than November 6, 2009.
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