CSIS is responsible for conducting investigations and providing security assessments on behalf of federal departments and agencies (except the RCMP) for the processing of security clearances. Security clearances are provided to both employees and contractors and permit access to classified information on a need to know basis. There are three types of security clearances: Confidential, Secret and Top Secret. The security assessments are sent to the relevant department/agency when they are completed, not to the job applicant. On the basis of the information in the assessment, the department or agency makes a decision whether to grant a security clearance.

Departments are required to:

  1. Obtain individuals’ written consent before starting a  check;
  2. Treat individuals in a fair and unbiased manner;
  3. Give individuals a chance to explain adverse information before making a decision;
  4. Advise individuals of their rights of review or redress in case of denial, suspension or revocation;
  5. Update reliability status and security clearances regularly and if there is cause to do so, review, revoke, suspend or downgrade a reliability; status or a security clearance.

To get a security clearance, contact the following departments:

If you are applying for a job with the Government of Canada and a government security clearance is a condition of employment, contact the Human Resources representative of the hiring government department.If you are a general contractor and require a security clearance, call Public Works and Government Services Canada at 613-948-4176, or call toll-free (weekdays from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.) at 1-866-368-4646.For all immigration/refugee/visa-related issues, contact Citizenship and Immigration Canada at 1-888-242-2100.


(3) See R. v. Oickle [200] 2 S.C.R. 3