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How to Check if Your CIC Application Has Been Received

October 10, 2021BY Dale Carroll

When Canadian Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship services (IRCC) receives any visa application from any immigrant for any reason, they send out an Acknowledgement of Receipt, also known as an AOR. This letter comes for any immigration benefit you may be seeking within Canada’s borders. 

When you send your application we recommend sending it registered mail so that you can compare the dates of receipt. These dates can be extremely important if there is a problem with your application, as there are time limits if you’re going to need to attempt a reconsideration or an appeal later. 

How can I check the status of my immigration application?

The easiest way to check your status is to use the government’s online tool. This tool will give you the most up-to-date information.  

You can also check your application by phone by calling the IRCC call center. This will only work if you are already in Canada. You can call 1-888-242-2100. 

Sometimes CIC will prioritize emergency situations. For example, as of this writing, Canadian immigration is deeply concerned with the situation in Afghanistan and is prioritizing refugees from that nation, as well as others who are in a crisis situation or who are in vulnerable circumstances.

Usually phone agents don’t have any more information about your case status than the online tool will. 

What happens after I send my immigration application?

This can depend on the type of application you’ve put in. 

If you’re applying for a visitor visa, study permit, or work permit you’ll get a letter that tells you how to get and submit your biometrics (fingerprints). Immigration officers may then proceed to do a background check to determine if you’re eligible for these visa types. 

Some immigrants will require a medical exam. Some will also need to attend an interview.

If you applied online, which is usually the best option, you’ll receive decisions and next steps through your account. If you used a paper application CIC will send written notices to the address you provided.

If you’re applying for permanent residence, or are attempting to sponsor a family member, the process is much the same, except there will be an additional security screening to ensure that you don’t pose a risk to Canada’s safety and security. 

How long does it take to get an acknowledgment of receipt in Canada?

Don’t be surprised if you don’t see your AOR for a while. It takes longer than you think to receive one. Many of our clients have waited up to 4 months for the government to respond. 

Unfortunately, there’s no way to speed or rush this process. Immigration can take some time, and it’s something you need to account for during your planning.

What happens if you experience a change after you receive your AOR?

You should notify your attorney right away. Your attorney can then notify immigration correctly.

Relevant changes can include:

  • Changes in family composition. Did you get married? Get divorced? Have a baby? Experience a death in your immediate family? Immigration services needs to know.
  • A change of address. 
  • Changes in legal status, visa status, or other status. 

If you’re not sure whether or not IRCC needs to be informed of a change, ask us! We’ll be able to tell you whether the change in your circumstance is relevant to your immigration application or not. 

How long does it take for IRCC to evaluate your eligibility?

It can take 6 to 12 months to finalize your application. 

What are the different application statuses?

When you log into your account you may see several application statuses. 

The first is “review of eligibility.” This means that IRCC is reviewing whether you meet the requirements for the immigration program you’ve chosen.

The second is “review of medical results.” All permanent residents will have to undergo a medical exam. So will anyone who plans to visit for more than 6 months, anyone who plans to work in a healthcare profession, or anyone who plans to work with children. Your family members must undergo a medical exam as well, whether they’re coming with you or not. 

Very few health issues actually make you inadmissible. The exceptions are:

  • Mental health issues involving hostile or disruptive behavior
  • Mental health issues involving impulsive sociopathy
  • Substance abuse 
  • Active TB
  • Untreated syphilis

If you have a medical condition that makes you inadmissible you will get a Procedural Fairness Letter which will tell you what you need to do to resolve the situation, if possible. 

The next status you might see is a “review of additional documents” status. This will tell you whether IRCC needs to see any other documents from you and which documents they need to see. 

“Interview” tells you whether or not you need to come in for an interview, and if so where you need to go.

“Biometrics” tells you if the government wants your fingerprints.

“Background check” tells you that immigration officials are processing your background check.

“Final decision” tells you that immigration officials are very close to making a final decision. Log in daily so you can take your next steps as quickly as possible once that decision is made. 

Need help with your immigration application?

Want your immigration application to go faster? One way to do this is to make sure it is as complete and as accurate as possible. Many immigrants create unnecessary problems for themselves and their applications by attempting to do everything on their own.

Let our experienced immigration attorneys take care of your application for you. We have decades of experience. We can review your application and spot problems before you pay money to apply for any program, and can help you decide which program is right for you.

We have attorneys in our office who speak fluent Mandarin and Punjabi! We can help you in your preferred language.

Get started by calling to make an appointment today. Dial (604) 394-2777. We’re excited to help you begin your immigration journey.

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