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Access to Information Requests

Access to Information & Privacy Requests

Access to Information and Privacy Act Requests (ATIP) is the procedure to obtain information from the Canadian government regarding the application in process or previous applications submitted by the applicant. The following people may place an ATIP request:


  • Canadian citizens
  • Permanent residents of Canada
  • People who are currently in Canada
  • Corporations that are present in Canada

If you do not fall into any of the preceding groups, you may hire a professional to apply on your behalf by signing an authorization form allowing someone else to obtain records on your behalf.

Our counsels use this important tool when researching a client’s immigration history with IRCC or CBSA for the following purposes:


  • to ensure consistency of information in the previous and future applications to avoid any misrepresentation allegations;
  • to determine what the processing officer relied upon while assessing the application and the exact reason for the refusal;
  • to assess prospects for an appeal or application for judicial review.

Requests for the notes in the Global Case Management System (GCMS), an IT system that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) uses to manage immigration applications, or requests for the entire records (including physical files) can be made, depending on the reason and need for the request.


The government agency (IRCC or CBSA) to which the ATIP request is submitted would usually respond to the request in 4 weeks after. However, an extension of time to release the records can often be sought, especially if the immigration/visa application was processed by a visa office  (Embassy, High Commission) outside of Canada.


Upon receipt of the records from the Immigration Department, our professionals perform a review of the entire ATIP file (GCMS notes have a certain format that the applicants who have not dealt with such records before may not find to be the most “user-friendly”) and advise a client on the findings (whether there are concerns of the applicant being under investigation, suspected inadmissibility concerns, misrepresentation issues etc.)


You are welcome to contact us if you have received a refusal letter stating the generic refusal grounds (e.g., not satisfied that you are a genuine temporary resident, not satisfied regarding the purpose of your visit, not ties to the home country, do not meet requirements of the Act/Regulations etc.) and we will help you to find out the actual refusal reasons by doing the ATIP request so that you could make an informed decision on whether you should reapply or challenge the decision in court or immigration tribunal. Also, clients who experience processing delay of their application for the unknown reason, may, in some cases, find that their application processing resumes after submitting the ATIP request, as it prompts the Department to look into their application while processing the request for information.

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