Operational Bulletin 265-A – January 08, 2016
E-mail Communication with Clients
This Operational Bulletin (OB) provides guidelines for e-mail communication with clients. These guidelines apply to all lines of business that use paper-based applications in the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) network. It provides instructions on the manner in which officers could save sent e-mails in the Global Case Management System (GCMS) as well. Lastly, it provides instructions on the manner in which officers could provide evidence of e-mails sent for various litigation purposes.
This Operational Bulletin (OB) carries instructions concerning the protocol for e-mail communication with clients. These instructions pertain to e-mail communication over all the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) lines of business that use paper-based applications. Jurisprudence outlining outlined the need for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) lines of business to be able to demonstrate that officers sent specific correspondence to their clients. Given this backdrop, this Operational Bulletin (OB) highlights the manner in which officers would be able to:
- Save e-mails they have sent to clients and,
- Provide evidence that they sent e-mails to clients in the event of litigation
The authorities prefer using e-mails for communicating with applicants. This is because e-mail communications are efficient and cost effective. In addition, they are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. As such, it is hardly surprising that e-mail communication is fast becoming the method of communication of choice for many applicants. This is why Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) relies on e-mail communications as its preferred method of communication with clients. Furthermore, e-mail communications are a key component of the Department’s Service Excellence Agenda for client service as well.
The jurisprudence from the Federal Court generally establishes various aspects associated with e-mail communication. For instance, it establishes that once the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) proves that the officers sent the e-mail correspondence to the most up to date e-mail address provided by the applicant, the applicant bears the risk involved in a failure to receive the e-mail correspondence. To provide this evidence, the officers merely need to produce printouts of the e-mails sent to the e-mail address supplied by the client. In addition, they would need to give confirmations that they did not receive any indications of non-delivery of the e-mails i.e. the e-mails did not bounce back. This is sufficient for establishing the evidence that they have sent e-mails to the applicants.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) aims to redesign the current processing model as part of the Integrated Network Project. As such, it plans to move away from a paper based, place based model for achieving seamless, flexible and responsive delivery for all lines of business. However, the implementation of this project will take some time. In the interim, the authorities have come up with the e-mail communication procedures given subsequently in this document. These procedures will apply for all lines of business that receive paper-based applications. These procedures will probably remain in place until more programs start offering e-services and client communication via MyCIC.
- The Consent to Communicate Via E-mail
- The Communication with Clients
- Attaching a Sent E-mail (eDoc) to an Outgoing Correspondence Record
- Requests for Reconsideration or Reactivation
- Recording Content and the Details of the Sent E-mail in Notes
Source: Citizenship and Immigration