Express Entry Privacy Impact Assessment Summary

Launched January 1, 2015, Express Entry marks a key milestone in the Government of Canada’s immigration system modernization agenda. Express Entry will facilitate faster and more flexible management of permanent economic immigration, and position Canada to target candidates with the skills and experience that result in positive labour market outcomes.

A Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) was conducted for Express Entry to fulfill requirements under the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Directive on Privacy Impact Assessments. The objective of the PIA Report was to determine if there are privacy risks associated with the collection of personal Information from candidates and applicants through Express Entry system, and if so, to provide recommendations on the mitigation or elimination of the risks.

The report identified some privacy risks and recommendations related to information sharing, and retention and disposition of personal information, all of which have been addressed by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

In particular, IRCC has negotiated bilateral Express Entry information sharing arrangements with all participating Provinces and Territories. These arrangements are guided by the Treasury Board of Canada Guidance on Preparing Information Sharing Agreements Involving Personal Information and describe federal, and provincial or territorial privacy and consent authorities and requirements for information sharing in this context.

IRCC and the Canada Employment Insurance Commission have finalized a Memorandum of Understanding that governs the sharing of limited personal information required for the voluntary registration of Express Entry candidates with Job Bank for Job seekers.

For more information on the collection of personal info, for the Express Entry program, including information on consistent use, disclosures, retention and disposition, etc. please refer to Personal Information Banks PPU 042 and PPU 068.

As Express Entry is a mandatory electronic pre-application phase, personal information collected from individuals who submit an Express Entry profile is kept, used and disposed of by IRCC whether or not the profile is found eligible to be placed in the Express Entry pool and whether or not a candidate is invited to apply for permanent residence. Information related to Express Entry Profiles may be retained for up to 5 years after the last administrative action. As for information from applications for Permanent Residence, it is the department’s view that these records should follow the existing schedule for Applications for Permanent Residence; two years if refused, five years in the case of misrepresentation or other irregularities, and 65 years in the case of an approved application.

Questions and Answers

Who is my information shared with and why?

Under Express Entry, Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada shares information with provincial and territorial governments to facilitate nominations for the Provincial Nominee Program.

Participating provincial and territorial governments can search the Express Entry pool of candidates and nominate individuals that meet their local immigration and labour market needs. Provinces and territories will not be able to access a candidate’s full name or contact information. Communication with candidates will occur via IRCC through the candidate’s My Account.

Provinces and territories are only permitted to share candidate information with employers to establish valid job offers to support nomination to the Express Entry Stream of their Provincial Nominee Program.

Limited information, such as an acknowledgement that an Express Entry profile number and a Job Seeker Validation Code correspond to an active Express Entry profile, may also be shared with Canada Employment Insurance Commission for the purpose of facilitating a candidate’s voluntary registration with the Job Bank.

If you have received an Invitation to Apply and have submitted an Application for Permanent Residence, your personal information may be shared with other governments or agencies to determine admissibility, eligibility for a visa or other immigration benefit, or eligibility to remain in either of the territory of their respective countries. For more information see IRCC’s agreements.

What information is shared with the provinces and territories?

Provincial and territorial governments receive information on a candidate’s province or territory of interest, whether the candidate has family in Canada and their province of residence, their work experience and education, their job offer if applicable, language test scores, age, number of dependants, and whether the candidate meets the minimum necessary income threshold. In addition, provinces and territories will have access to information that will help them identify a candidate, such as Express Entry profile number, surname and date of birth as well as administrative information regarding their profile status in the Express Entry pool. Administrative information include information generated by the Express Entry system such as the Comprehensive Ranking System score, communications sent to candidates by IRCC on behalf of provinces and territories, and if a profile has been invited to apply or is still available for a provincial or territorial nomination.

Does Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada share my information with employers?

No, IRCC will not share your information will employers. However, if you do not have a valid job offer or provincial or territorial nomination when you fill out your Express Entry profile, you are encouraged to complete a Job Bank profile. Employers can access Job Bank profiles of Express Entry candidates when they cannot find Canadians and permanent residents to fill their jobs. Job Bank profiles are anonymous. If an employer is interested in you based on your Job Bank profile, they will send you a message asking you to apply to their job.

Provincial and territorial governments are permitted to share candidate information with employers to establish valid job offers to support nomination to the Express Entry Stream of their Provincial Nominee Program.

How is my personal information protected by IRCC?

IRCC adheres to a range of legislation and policies to govern the privacy requirements related to Express Entry, including: the Privacy Act; Privacy Regulations; Access to Information Act; Library and Archives Canada Act; Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act; and Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) Policy and directives.

As a government institution, IRCC is obliged to respect the privacy of individuals by controlling the collection, use, disclosure, retention and disposal of recorded personal information. Learn more about access to information and privacy at IRCC.

How long does IRCC keep my personal information?

IRCC ensures that any personal information that has been used for an administrative purpose is retained by the Department in accordance with the Privacy Act and Privacy Regulations. Information related to Express Entry Profiles may be retained for up to 5 years after the last administrative action. As for information from Application for Permanent Residence these records follow the existing schedule for Applications for Permanent Residence: two years if refused; five years in the case of misrepresentation or other irregularities; 65 years in the case of an approved application.

Where is my personal information stored?

Personal information collected through Express Entry for the purpose of administering permanent immigration programs is stored in the Department’s existing Personal Information Banks.

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