Canadian Immigration News

IRCC Invests in Modernizing the MyAccount Portal

1.75 minute read
"Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently announced a management action plan to streamline and modernize the access to information and privacy systems, processes and digital infrastructure. This was in response to the thousands of immigrant applicants who have been asking the Canadian government to improve transparency in their immigration system."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Jul 6, 2021
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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently announced a management action plan to streamline and modernize the access to information and privacy systems, processes and digital infrastructure. This was in response to the thousands of immigrant applicants who have been asking the Canadian government to improve transparency in their immigration system. 

Why Was the Management Action Plan Introduced?

The Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) management action plan will expand the capacity of the MyAccount portal to provide users with access to information related to the status of their individual case file and clear, concise explanations on why a particular application was refused. The IRCC aims to increase transparency and availability of information to the applicants as it takes its responsibility under the ATIP Act seriously. 

The IRCC introduced the MyAccount portal to increase processing efficiency. The number of outstanding access-to-information requests between January 2020 to July 2020 was reduced from 8,881 to 1,330 or by 85% by complying with the processing timelines. On-time responses to such requests also improved 75% from 64%. 

However, the total number of requests increased dramatically from 2019-2020, with 132,891 requests compared to 63,333 requests between 2016-2017. The majority of these requests were made by immigrant applicants about their individual immigration case files. This increase has also made the IRCC, the first immigration department to receive the highest ATIP requests. Other federal institutions receive hardly 40,000 ATIP requests annually. 

What Will Be the Impact of the ATIP Management Action Plan?

The ATIP Management Action Plan is developed by the IRCC in collaboration with the Office of Information Commissioner (OIC) in response to the 5 key issues identified in an OIC report.

Many ATIP requests are often filed to get details on the status of an immigration application or for the reason of refusal for a visa application. Such information is often difficult to get from the IRCC. To solve this problem, the IRCC is planning to expand the MyAccount portal to handle information requests about individual cases, including reasons for the refusal of an immigration application.

The federal government has allocated $12.8 million in Budget 2021 to be invested over 5 years to establish an online Access to Information and Personal Information Request Service to increase response time to ATIP requests. 

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