Operational Bulletin 552 – October 15, 2013

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Procedure to rectify the loss of an application for permanent residence under humanitarian and compassionate grounds


This Operational Bulletin (OB) provides the procedure to follow to rectify the loss of an application for permanent residence under humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) grounds. The following procedure consists primarily of contacting the client in order to replace the initial application and the supporting documents.


Further to a recent verification of the pre-2008 inventory of permanent residence requests under humanitarian and compassionate grounds and of pre-removal risk assessment requests (PRRA), the Refugee Operations Division (ROD) concluded that 9 files out of 765 files inventoried had been lost. To confirm the loss of these files, ROD contacted the various local offices concerned, the Backlog Reduction Offices, and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

When ROD found out about the loss of these files, ROD immediately contacted the Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Division, in accordance with procedures governing privacy breaches. A complete and detailed report outlining the facts and describing the checks conducted to trace the files lost was submitted to the ATIP Division for investigation. If the ATIP Division deems necessary, this report will be submitted to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. The main reason that has been put forward to explain these losses of files is the creation of the CBSA in December 2003. The creation of this agency resulted in a separation of documents in physical files and a significant movement of files between Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the CBSA.

In order to avoid this type of situation in the future, ROD would like to remind the entire network that it is essential to ensure an adequate management of the inventories in your possession, through a functional, simple, and effective retention strategy.


To remedy this situation, the Backlog Reduction Office in Vancouver (BRO-V) will immediately contact the affected clients in order to move forward and process the files in question on a priority basis.

Each file lost will be processed in the same way, namely, a first letter will be sent, via registered mail, to the last known address of the client. The letter will contain directives to follow and will inform the client that they must submit all new documents within 30 days.

Once the 30 days have elapsed, the BRO-V will verify the file of the client. If no correspondence is received, the office will ensure the accuracy of the coordinates of the client based on the usual checks outlined in the IP 5 manual, section 9.4 (loss of contact with the applicant). After verification and the addition of notes to the file, a second letter will be sent, via registered mail, with a new deadline of 30 days. Once the second deadline has elapsed and if no document is submitted, a final notice will be sent, via registered mail.

In accordance with ATIP directives, the Backlog Reduction Office in Vancouver will scan the letters as they are sent out to the clients. The letters in question will be transferred to ROD so that the latter may forward them to the ATIP Division.

If no documents are received after the deadline given in the final notice has elapsed, the file will be closed in the Field Operations Support System (FOSS) and in the National Case Management System (NCMS). Comments regarding the steps taken will be added to the two systems.

If after the file is closed, the client contacts us and states that they did not receive any correspondence relating to their file, the file will be re-opened immediately.

However, if the client provides the documents needed to process the application, the file will be evaluated on a priority basis once the new forms and supporting documents are received.

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