Terms and conditions — Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

These terms and conditions are specific to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. The following terms and conditions of the Government of Canada also apply:

  • Using files located on non-Government of Canada servers
  • Providing content in Canada’s official languages
  • Linking to non-Government of Canada websites
  • Our commitment to accessibility

On this page

Privacy notices

We are committed to providing websites that respect the privacy of visitors. This privacy notice summarizes the privacy policy and practices for our online activities.

All personal information collected by this institution is governed by the Privacy Act. This means that you will be informed of the purpose for which your personal information is being collected and how to exercise your right of access to that information.

Any questions, comments, concerns or complaints you may have regarding the administration of the Privacy Act, and privacy policies regarding our web presence may be directed to our Access to Information and Privacy Division.

If you are not satisfied with our response to your privacy concern, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner by telephone at 1-800-282-1376.

Your privacy and the Internet

The nature of the Internet is such that web servers automatically collect certain information about a visit to a website, including the visitor’s Internet Protocol (IP) address. IP addresses are unique numbers assigned by Internet Service Providers (ISP) to all devices used to access the Internet. Web servers automatically log the IP addresses of visitors to their sites. The IP address, on its own, does not identify an individual. However, in certain circumstances, such as with the co-operation of an ISP for example, it could be used to identify an individual using the site. For this reason, we consider the IP address to be personal information, particularly when combined with other data automatically collected when visitor requests a web page such as the page or pages visited, date and time of the visit.

Unless otherwise noted, we do not automatically gather any specific information from you, such as your name, telephone number or email address. We would obtain this type of information only if you supply it to us, for example, by email or by filling in a contact form. In such cases, how your personal information is handled will be provided in a Personal Information Collection Statement.

In cases where services are provided by organizations outside of the Government of Canada, such as social media platforms or mobile applications, IP addresses may be recorded by the web server of the third-party service provider.

Communicating with us

If you choose to send us an email or complete a feedback form online, your personal information is used in order to respond to your inquiry. The information you provide will only be shared with another government institution if your inquiry relates to that institution. We do not use the information to create individual profiles nor does it disclose the information to anyone other than to those in the federal government who need to provide you with a response. Any disclosure of your personal information is in accordance with the Privacy Act.

Personal information from emails or completed feedback forms is collected pursuant to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Citizenship Act. Such information may be used for statistical, evaluation and reporting purposes and is included in Personal Information Bank Public Communications (PSU 914).

Signing up for our email updates

If you complete an online form to subscribe to our email updates, we’ll use the information you provide to send you the updates.

Providing your personal information is voluntary and is only needed if you request to receive this information. We won’t use your personal information for any other purpose unless specified otherwise at the point of email entry.

Personal information is collected pursuant to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Citizenship Act, the Financial Administration Act and in accordance with the Policy on Communications and Federal Identity.

The Privacy Act gives individuals the right of access to, protection and correction of their personal information.

The standard Personal Information Bank PSU 914 (entitled Public Communications) further describes the collection, use, disclosure and retention of your personal information.

If you’re not satisfied with how we handle your personal information, you may file a complaint with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Come to Canada Wizard

The information within the Come to Canada Wizard is presented to guide you in assessing your suitability for various immigration applications. No immigration decision will be made based on the answers that you provide within the Come to Canada Wizard. If you choose to apply, your application will be considered by an officer in accordance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, without regard to any outcome you attain through this questionnaire.

The Wizard together with the application guides were designed to provide general guidance to applicants; however, in some cases, additional information or steps may be required.

You will provide information to the Come to Canada Wizard. The information that you provide will be used to direct you to information concerning the process and documents to be completed and/or submitted in relation to the application that you choose. In the event that you use the Personal Checklist Code provided to you by the Wizard to start an online application within your account, the Wizard information will be retrieved for your review, and will be used to validate responses that you provide on your application form. Should your information change, you may be sent back to the Wizard to validate the information that you provided. The information that you provide may also be used to direct your application(s) to the appropriate office for processing and will be used to gather statistics concerning the use of the Come to Canada Wizard.

If you complete the Come to Canada Wizard, and receive a Personal Checklist Code, the information that you provide within the Come to Canada Wizard will be stored anonymously within a database for 60 days. If you do not receive a Personal Checklist Code, your information will not be retained once you exit your session. In the event that you submit an online application via your account, the information you provide in the Wizard will be held within the Personal Information Bank that corresponds to the application that you submit, and for the period of time specified within that Personal Information Bank. In accordance with the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act individuals have a right to protection of and access to their personal information. More information on Personal Information Banks is available at the Infosource website. Infosource is also available at public libraries across Canada.

Citizenship application tracker

We collect the information you provide to access your application information under the authority of the Citizenship Act to

  • authenticate (confirm) your identity and allow you to register
  • collect analytics data

If you don’t provide your personal information, you may not be able to access the tracker.

We store your information in the Personal Information Bank PPU 050.

  • More information on personal information banks is available at Info Source.
  • Info Source is also available at public libraries across Canada.

In accordance with the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act, you have a right to protection of, access to and correction to your personal information. If you’re not satisfied with how we handle your personal information, you may file a complaint with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Information in the tracker is subject to change at any time before we make a final decision on your application.

  • We do our best to make sure that information in the tracker is accurate, complete and updated in a timely fashion.
  • There could still be delays or differences between the
    • actual steps in the application processing and
    • information in the tracker

Third-party social media

Personal information that you provide to the Government of Canada via social media account(s) is collected under the authority of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Citizenship Act. This information is collected to capture conversations (e.g. questions and answers, comments, “likes”, retweets). It may be used to respond to inquiries, or for statistical, evaluation and reporting purposes. Comments posted that violate Canadian law will be deleted and disclosed to law enforcement authorities. Comments that violate our rules of engagement will also be deleted. The personal information is included in Personal Information Bank Outreach Activities (PSU 938).

Improving your experience on our website

Digital markers (including cookies)

A digital marker is a resource created by the visitors’ browser in order to remember certain pieces of information for the web server to reference during the same or subsequent visit to the website. Examples of digital markers are “cookies” or HTML5 web storage. Some examples of what digital markers do are as follows:

  • they allow a website to recognize a previous visit each time the visitor accesses the site;
  • they track what information is viewed on a site which helps website administrators ensure visitors find what they are looking for.

We use sessional and persistent digital markers on some portions of its website. During your on-line visit, your browser exchanges data with our web server. The digital markers used do not allow IRCC to identify individuals.

Web analytics

Web analytics is the term used for the collection, analysis, measurement and reporting of data about Web traffic and visits, for purposes of understanding and optimizing Web usage.

Information in digital markers may be used for the purpose of Web analytics to remember your online interactions with our website. When you visit our website, we collect the following information:

  • IP address of the device (which is not stored or retained in a format that can be used to identify a visitor)
  • type of browser
  • type of operating system
  • the date and time of the visit
  • pages visited and documents downloaded

This personal information is not used for decision-making processes about an individual or to profile individual visitors to Canada.ca.

We use services from 2 third-party service providers, Adobe Systems Inc. (Adobe Analytics) and Google Inc. (Google Analytics), to improve our website. To protect information about visitors to our website, we use a feature from each service provider that hides part or all of the IP address of the visitor before it is stored.

These service providers are based in the United States of America, which means that the personal information collected is transmitted outside of Canada and may be subject to U.S. laws, including the U.S. Patriot Act.

In addition, Adobe and Google operate servers in other countries on which the Web analytics data may be processed. Consequently, the data may be subject to the governing legislation of the country where it is processed.

For Adobe Analytics, the Government of Canada has specified that personal information can only be stored on servers in Canada, the U.S., the European Union, Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland.

For more information about their privacy policies:

Information used for the purpose of Web analytics is collected pursuant to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Citizenship Act. Such data may be used for communications and information technology statistics, audit, evaluation, research, planning and reporting.

For more information on how your privacy is safeguarded in relation to Web analytics, see the Standard on Privacy and Web Analytics.

Protecting the security of our websites

We employ software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. This software receives and records the IP address of the computer that has contacted our website, the date and time of the visit and the pages visited. We make no attempt to link these addresses with the identity of individuals visiting our site unless an attempt to damage the site has been detected.

This information is collected pursuant to section 161 of the Financial Administration Act. The information may be shared with appropriate law enforcement authorities if suspected criminal activities are detected. Such information may be used for network security related statistical purposes, audit, evaluation, research, planning and reporting and is included in Personal Information Bank Security Incidents (PSU 939).

Canadian passport property ownership

All Canadian-issued passports and travel documents are the property of the Government of Canada pursuant to the Canadian Passport Order. Any reference to “your passport” or “your child's passport” on this website is for ease of communication only and does not refer to property ownership.


We are committed to achieving a high standard of accessibility as defined in the Standard on Web Accessibility and the Standard on Optimizing Websites and Applications for Mobile Devices. In the event of difficulty using our web pages, applications or device-based mobile applications, please contact us for assistance or to obtain alternative formats such as regular print, Braille or another appropriate format.

Ownership and usage of content provided on this site

Materials on this website were produced and/or compiled by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for the purpose of providing Canadians with direct access to information about the programs and services offered by the Government of Canada. You may use and reproduce the materials as follows:

The material on this site is covered by the provisions of the Copyright Act, by Canadian laws, policies, regulations and international agreements. Such provisions serve to identify the information source and, in specific instances, to prohibit reproduction of materials without written permission.

Non-commercial reproduction

Unless otherwise specified you may reproduce the materials in whole or in part for non-commercial purposes, and in any format, without charge or further permission, provided you do the following:

  • Exercise due diligence in ensuring the accuracy of the materials reproduced;
  • Indicate both the complete title of the materials reproduced, as well as the author (where available); and
  • Indicate that the reproduction is a copy of the version available at [URL where original document is available].

Commercial reproduction

Unless otherwise specified, you may not reproduce materials on this site, in whole or in part, for the purposes of commercial redistribution without prior written permission from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Some of the content on this site may be subject to the copyright of another party. Where information has been produced or copyright is not held by Government of Canada, the materials are protected under the Copyright Act, and international agreements. Details concerning copyright ownership are indicated on the relevant page(s).

To obtain permission to reproduce our materials on this site for commercial purposes, please apply for Crown Copyright Clearance.

To obtain additional information concerning copyright ownership and restrictions, please contact:

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Publishing and Creative Services
300 Slater Street, 3rd floor 
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1L1

Trademark notice

The official symbols of the Government of Canada, including the “Canada” wordmark, the Arms of Canada, and the flag symbol may not be reproduced, whether for commercial or non-commercial purposes, without written authorization.

Social media

Third-party service providers

The servers that host our social media platforms are managed by a third party. There may be occasional periods when the servers are not functioning properly. This is outside of our control and we accept no responsibility for platforms becoming unresponsive or unavailable.

Information offered by non-Government-of-Canada sites is not subject to the Privacy Act or the Official Languages Act, and may not be accessible to persons with disabilities.

The Government of Canada has no control over the social media platform providers’ Terms of Service/Use; you are strongly encouraged to read them in addition to those that follow. Visitors should research the privacy policies of these non-government websites before providing personal information.


We use social media as an alternative method to interact with users and stakeholders about our programs and services. We’ll read comments and participate in discussions on our social media channels, when we deem it appropriate. When you “follow,” “like” or “subscribe,” you can expect to see information about the programs and services we provide.

We will not engage in issues of party politics or answer questions of a partisan political nature.

We can’t respond to case-specific questions. Users should not post any personal information. If they do, we’ll remove it.

The information we provide is for general guidance only. No immigration decisions are made based on our social media answers. The final decision is up to the officer processing your application. Entry into Canada is at the discretion of the border services officer.


The statements on Non-Commercial Reproduction and Commercial Reproduction apply to content posted to our social media accounts.

Provided that this content is not altered in any way, users are encouraged to use the tools and features offered by social media platforms to circulate it more broadly (for example: sharing, embedding, and re-tweeting). We do not verify or confirm the accuracy of the content re-posted or shared by users. The views and opinions are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the department or the Government of Canada.


Our social media team actively manages our channels and responds to comments or questions during business hours, 9 a.m. Monday to 5 p.m. Friday ET. We

  • aim to respond to questions within 2 business days
  • don’t respond to comments or questions outside our business hours, on weekends or on statutory holidays.
  • may post new content outside of regular business hours
    • in the event of an emergency
    • if the content could be of significant value
  • may remove content from our social media accounts without notice

Following, favouriting, and subscribing

There is no implied endorsement of an account, channel, page, individual, group or site should we:

  • decide to “follow,” “favourite”, “subscribe” or use similar feature to another social media account
  • share content from another user (e,g., re-tweeting, reposting or linking to)
  • use a “Like”, thumbs up, “Favorite” or other similar feature for content posted by another user or account.

Comments and private messaging

The views and opinions expressed by users interacting with our social media posts (for example: commenting on our Facebook or YouTube channels, or including our “handles” in a tweet) are those of the author(s) and do not reflect those of the department or the Government of Canada.

IRCC may remove content or block users based on the following:

  • expression of racist, hateful, sexist, homophobic, slanderous, insulting, or life-threatening messages
  • unproven, or inaccurate accusations against individuals or organizations
  • aggressive, coarse, violent, obscene, or pornographic content
  • offensive, rude, or abusive behaviour to an individual or an organization
  • self-promoting activities
  • encouraging illegal activity
  • announcements from labour or political organizations
  • content that is repetitive or spam that prevents equal service to all users
  • contains personal information
  • contrary to the principles of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

In short, please be respectful and make sure that your comments are relevant to where they are posted. The views of users commenting on our social media accounts do not necessarily represent the views of the Government of Canada.

Interacting with our chatbot

When you communicate with us on Facebook Messenger or on our website through our Web chat service, you will interact with Quaid, a chatbot that helps respond to your questions. Quaid’s responses are general and based on people’s typical circumstances. If Quaid can’t answer your question on Messenger, it will instead direct you to our online Web form for case-specific enquiries. These responses will be sent directly to your email. If Quaid can’t answer your question on Web chat, it will instead ask you a series of questions to determine which of our service channels is right for you, and then direct you there.

There are several things to keep in mind when chatting with Quaid.

Quaid’s knowledge is limited. The answer it provides may not apply to your situation.

Responses from Quaid won’t impact your application.

Your conversations with Quaid

  • don’t guarantee we’ll accept your application (it’s up to our officers to decide)
  • are not connected to your application or account with us
  • don’t replace advice from authorized representatives

We may end any Messenger or Web chat conversations that violate our terms and conditions.

If we block you on social media for violating our terms and conditions, you won’t be able to use our social media channels to communicate with us in the future.

We may store your question to help train Quaid. The more questions it handles, the smarter Quaid becomes. However, we don’t store or use your profile information, post history or other interactions to train it.

Questions and media requests

Reporters are asked to send questions to our media contacts.

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