Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC“) has very quietly announced that if you are making an Access to Information Act or a Privacy Act (both commonly referred to interchangeably as an “ATIP“) request on behalf of someone else, then the IMM 5476 – Use of Representative form and the IMM5475 – Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual form will no longer be accepted effective January 1, 2013 .
Instead, the new IMM5744 – Consent for an Access to Information and Personal Information Request, must be used.
The change is buried in Point 3 of Page 1 in the Access to Information a Personal Information Request – Instructions.
It is not clear why CIC determined that it was necessary to change forms.
It is clear, however, that unless CIC does a better job publicizing this change then they are going to be inundated with ATIP requests which use the old forms. All of these applications will be returned several weeks later. It’ll be a huge waste of both time and money for everyone involved.
We were lucky in that I stumbled upon this change while doing some research for a client. I have since notified all Canadian immigration lawyers on the Canadian Bar Association immigration list serve, and have received many e-mails from lawyers thanking me for alerting them to a change that they may otherwise have missed.
However, considering there are literally thousands of individuals who routinely complete ATIP requests on behalf of others, I strongly recommend that CIC publicize this change unless they want to spend the first half of 2013 returning incomplete applications.