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Client Service Policy

Service principles

Our vision and mission

The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration is committed to providing high-quality, cost-effective services to our clients to fulfil our vision of building a diverse society where all people, together with newcomers, women and volunteers, contribute to a strong economy, caring society and enhanced quality of life.

The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration will continue to effectively serve the government and the people of Ontario by:

  • Maximizing the benefits of immigration for newcomers and Ontario by providing services for successful economic and social integration
  • Promoting greater social inclusion, civic and community engagement, and recognition
  • Breaking the cycle of violence against women and increasing women’s economic security

Our principles

The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration strives to consistently meet its clients’ expectations and strengthen trust and confidence in its services by using all reasonable efforts to ensure that its policies, programs and services are consistent with the following principles of service excellence:


  • Inform all potential clients and promote easy access to ministry services
  • Ensure that clients with disabilities have an equal opportunity to obtain, use and benefit from services with dignity, independence and in an integrated manner


  • Review, evaluate and communicate performance to clients
  • Protect information provided by clients in accordance with the law
  • Manage resources efficiently and effectively


  • Treat all clients equitably and fairly with dignity and courtesy and in accordance with OPS organizational values


  • Set, monitor, communicate and consistently meet service standards using dependable service delivery processes
  • Provide clear, accurate and relevant information about ministry services


  • Listen to clients, and adapt and improve services, where possible, to make it easier for clients to get what they need, taking into account the needs of a diverse, multicultural population
  • Deliver services efficiently and in a timely manner, avoiding duplication and minimizing administrative burden


Ministry service standards

Service standards describe the kind of service our clients can expect to receive from us, and how we will provide it.  In the delivery of our services and programs, we will provide services that meet our obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), French Language Services Act (FLS), Freedom of Information and Protection of Personal Privacy Act (FIPPA), and other legislative requirements.

At the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (MCIIT), we commit to uphold the following standards for our clients.   

Enquiries and requests from the public

Our goal is to provide you with quality customer service about our programs and services. 

To help us help you, please familiarize yourself with our program or service so that you can make the most of your contact with us.

In order to give you quality customer service, we will:

  • Work with you in a relationship of mutual respect and courtesy
  • Clearly explain the information we can provide and, if we can’t answer your question, do our best to give you another source for information
  • Get back to you if we cannot answer your question right away.

Ministry websites
We regularly update our websites to give you information about our programs and services.

We post information that is:

  • In French and English
  • Informative and clear
  • Accessible to clients with disabilities
  • Accurate and reliable; incorrect information will typically be corrected within one business day

Email enquiries and requests
When you send us an email message asking us a question or seeking information, we will:

  • Make sure that we understand your request
  • Respond to French enquiries in French
  • Acknowledge receipt and give you a response within 15 days
  • If we cannot reply within 15 days we will give you an anticipated date of reply
  • Do our best to refer you to another source of information if we cannot answer your question
  • Give you with information in an accessible format if you request

Customer service counter – Global Experience Ontario (GEO)
When you visit one of our customer service counters, we will:

  • Be available to serve you from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday
  • Promptly acknowledge your presence and let you know of any expected wait time
  • Serve you in English or French and provide bilingual signs
  • Be courteous, respectful and professional
  • Give you a timely response
  • Do our best to refer you to another source of information if we cannot answer your question
  • Give notice of any temporary disruptions in service
  • Give you information in an accessible format on request
  • Welcome you to use a personal assistive device, be accompanied by your guide dog or service animal, and/or bring a support person

Telephone enquiries and requests
When you contact us by telephone, we will:

  • Answer the phone within three rings
  • Identify ourselves by name
  • Give you the option of speaking with a bilingual staff representative
  • Provide a teletypewriter (TTY) accessible line

Postal enquiries and correspondence
When you write to us, we will:

  • Give you a response within 15 business days
  • Give you an interim response within five business days if we cannot reply within 15 business days
  • Respond to French enquiries in French

Feedback on our service
We encourage you to give formal and informal feedback so that we can continue to improve our services and meet your needs and expectations.

If you have any general enquiries or questions, you can contact us by:

General enquiry
In Toronto:             416-327-2422
Toll-free:                1-800-267-7329

Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD/TTY)
In Toronto:             416-325-0866
Toll-free TTY:        1-866-853-2137


Write to us at:
Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
6th floor, 400 University Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 2R9

If you have specific comments on ways we can improve or concerns with our services, please tell the staff member you are working with or his or her manager/supervisor.  We will try to resolve the problem immediately.

If you are dissatisfied with our service, we will:

  • Make sure the matter is dealt with by a senior staff member
  • Advise you who is addressing your concern
  • Investigate the matter thoroughly
  • Give you  a response within 15 business days or less on the outcome or progress of your complaint

Grants funding

We serve clients throughout the Province of Ontario.

Our clients include organizations that apply for funding under a Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration or Ontario Women’s Directorate grant program.

The applications may relate to:

  • Bridging programs for internationally trained individuals
  • Adult language training for immigrants
  • Newcomer settlement services
  • Appreciation of cultural diversity
  • Volunteer engagement and non-profit capacity building
  • Promotion of economic security for women
  • Ending violence against women

Our commitment to clients
In managing our grant (transfer payment) programs, we will:

  • Clearly tell you about the grant application process
  • Clearly define ministry expectations, roles and responsibilities to make sure that funded projects/programs/services achieve government and program objectives
  • Make sure that we fully understand the grant recipient’s organization and its capacity to deliver the required project/program/service
  • Use professional judgement and discretion in confirming expectations and managing risks with grant recipients
  • Fund projects/programs/services which:
    • Best support program goals and objectives
    • Best meet eligibility criteria
    • Aim to deliver best value-for-money results
  • Monitor a grant recipient’s performance and review reports against agreed-upon expectations (e.g., efficient, effective and responsible use of public funds)

OPS Common Service Standards
We will follow all of the OPS Common Service Standards.

Accessibility Standards for Customer Service
We will follow all of the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service.

Funding application submission
When you submit a funding application for a project or operating grant or respond to a request for proposal, we will:

  • Give written acknowledgement of receipt within 15 business days or close of program/funding application deadline
  • Respond to French funding requests in French

Funding application assessment
When we receive a complete funding application, we will:

  • Assess your funding request fairly and consistently against program goals, objectives, eligibility criteria, program priorities and potential results
  • Notify you as to whether your application is complete within 70 business days (14 weeks) of receipt or application deadline
  • Give you an update on the status of your application in writing if you have not received notice of a funding decision within 70 business days (14 weeks) of receipt of the application or application deadline
  • Respond to French funding requests in French

Applicant funding notification decision
Once a funding decision has been made, we will:

  • Notify you, in writing, in a timely manner
  • Notify French funding applicants in writing in French

Initial grant payment
Once you receive your grant approval letter, and a written agreement/contract has been signed by all parties, and all other applicable funding conditions have been met, we will:

  • Process the initial grant payment within 15 business days or less

Client feedback and satisfaction
The service we provide to funding applicants and recipients is important to us.  We will give you the opportunity to provide feedback on our programs so that we can continuously improve our service and processes.

Working with our clients
So that we can provide you with quality customer service, we will:

  • Work co-operatively with you and provide advice regarding your funding application with respect and courtesy
  • Work with you to understand your organization’s contractual roles and responsibilities should you be successful in your funding application
  • Ask you to give us feedback on our performance so that we can continuously improve our program, services and processes

To help us help you, please:

  • Familiarize yourself with program requirements so that you can determine whether your project/proposal is eligible for funding
  • Give us accurate, complete and concise information about your project/proposal


Funding application
You provide information about your organization and your proposal for funding in this document. This applies to applications for project-based grants, operating grants and responses to request for proposals.

Complete funding assessment
Each grant program individually lays out what it considers a “complete funding application” to be.  Funding applicants should refer to program specific material for details.

Written agreement/contract
The document which formalizes and defines funding expectations by the ministry and grant recipient.  Depending on the program a written agreement may be a specific contract or itemized terms and conditions.

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program is an immigration program through which Ontario nominates individuals and their families to the federal government for permanent resident status The Government of Ontario established the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program to help employers succeed in the global competition for talent.

Our services standards:

  • We will acknowledge the receipt of employer and nominee applications immediately.
  • We will correspond with applicants following the pre-screening of applications within 15-20 days from receipt (depending on ability to reach applicants and the complexity of the applications).
  • After receiving a complete application, we will process it and communicate the decision within 90 days.
  • We encourage feedback so we can continue to improve our services. Applicants may provide feedback through written correspondence, by telephone, by fax and online:


Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program
400 University Avenue, Ground Floor
Toronto, Ontario   M7A 2R9


Telephone: 416-327-0374
Toll-free: 1-866-214-6820 (North America only)


Fax: 416-327-0860
Toll-free Fax: 1-866-791-2171 (North America only)



Please visit us online or on Facebook.

Appendix 1 – Ontario Government Common Service Standards

In-person Service Standards
If you visit one of our service locations, you can expect that:

  • Core business hours for staff-assisted services will be from at least 8:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, unless otherwise posted
  • You will be served in order, and where appropriate, you will be informed of the expected waiting time and best times to receive speedier service

Telephone standards
When you contact the Ontario Government by telephone, you can expect that:

  • Your call will be answered by the third ring (end note 1) during core business hours
  • You will always have the option of reaching a person and your call will not be redirected more than once
  • All calls will be returned by the next business day

Correspondence standards
When you contact the Ontario Government by fax, mail or email, you can expect that:

  • Correspondence will be answered within 15 working days of receipt

Customer feedback / complaint resolution
If you have comments or concerns about our services, we encourage you to let us know and provide us with details at your earliest convenience.  You can expect that:

  • Your in-person and telephone complaints will be acknowledged within two working days, and we will respond to complaints received by email, mail or fax according to the Correspondence Standard
  • We will follow up with any required actions within a specific timeframe
  • With each contact, you will have the opportunity to provide feedback on our service
  • End note 1: We strive to answer your calls in person and as quickly as possible but, on occasion, your call may be redirected to our voicemail system resulting in a 4th ring.

Appendix 2 – Accessibility Standards for Customer Service

The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (MCIIT) strives at all times to provide goods and services to its clients in a way that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.

If you are a client with a disability, we will:

  • Comply with the OPS Accessible Customer Service Policy
  • Reflect and respect the accessibility content of the AODA Accessibility Standards for Customer Service regulation in all our policies, practices and procedures
  • Communicate with you in a manner that takes into account your disability by:
    • Providing information in an accessible manner, including providing alternate formats on request
    • Proactively asking if you have any accommodation requirements and inviting you to make such requests at any time
    • Ensuring that all ministry-sponsored meetings and events for staff, stakeholders or public are in accordance with Planning for Accessible Events 101
  • Welcome you to be accompanied by a support person at all times to access our services
  • Welcome you to be accompanied by a guide dog or other service animal at all times to access our services, including washrooms but excluding food preparation areas
  • Invite you to use any personal assistive devices to access our services at all times
  • Inform you in the event of a temporary service disruption about:
    • The reason for the disruption
    • How long the disruption is expected to last
    • Any available alternative facilities or services
  • Train all MCI staff to know:
    • How to appropriately interact and communicate with persons with various types of disabilities
    • How to respond to a person with a disability who is having difficulty accessing MCI goods and services
    • Proper use of any assistive devices provided by the Ministry
    • Proper interaction with any service animal or support person accompanying a person with a disability
    • Requirements and responsibilities under the AODA and the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service regulation
  • Ensure all staff receive training as part of their standard orientation to the Ministry