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What happens after I send in my application?

In general, these are the steps your application goes through after you send it. Steps may vary depending on what you applied for.

Applications for Electronic travel authorization (eTA)

Email notification

In most cases, applicants will receive a confirmation from IRCC within minutes of applying for their eTA. However, some requests may need several days to process. If this is the case for your application, you can expect an email from IRCC within 72 hours of applying that tells you what your next steps are.

It is important that you provide a current email address when you apply.

Change of email address

If you change your email address after applying for an eTA, you must update your email address online. You can do this through this Web form.

After you receive your eTA

Once you have an eTA, it will be valid for five years, or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. Your eTA is linked to the passport you used in your eTA application. You will need to present this passport to the airline representative every time you board a flight.

Note: Having a valid eTA and travel document will facilitate your entry to Canada, but it does not mean that you can enter Canada. When you arrive in Canada, you will still need to demonstrate to a border services officer that you satisfy all requirements to enter Canada. If you do not meet all the requirements, you may not be allowed to enter.

Applications for visitor visas, study and work permits

To process temporary resident applications, such as visitor visas, study and work permits, we will:

  • review your application to make sure it’s complete,
  • determine if you are allowed to come to Canada (this could include a background screening),
  • determine if you are eligible to apply to work, study or visit Canada
  • send you instructions on how to complete a medical exam, if you did not get your medical before sending in your application,
  • determine if you need to attend an interview, and
  • inform you of the decision made on your application.

If you applied online, we will contact you through your account.

If you applied on paper, we will contact you through the contact information that you entered on your application form.

Permanent resident applications

To process permanent resident applications, we will:

  • review your application to make sure it’s complete,
  • determine if you are eligible to apply to become a permanent resident of Canada,
  • tell you when your application has been put into processing,
  • send you instructions on how to complete a medical exam, if you did not get your medical before sending in your application,
  • perform a security screening, to make sure all applicants do not pose a risk to the safety and security of Canadians,
  • determine if you need to attend an interview, and
  • inform you of the decision made on your application.

Citizenship applications

To process applications for a grant of Canadian citizenship, we will:

  • review your application to make sure it’s complete,
  • take your fees and send you an acknowledgement of receipt letter,
  • review your application to make sure you meet the requirements for Canadian citizenship,
  • schedule you to take the citizenship test, if you’re between 14 and 64 years old,
  • schedule an interview with you (All applicants will have an interview with an IRCC official. Some applicants may need to have a hearing with a citizenship officer or a citizenship judge),
  • inform you of the decision made on your application,
  • schedule you to take the oath of citizenship in person at a citizenship ceremony, if your application is approved.

There are several ways to track the progress of your application. See: How can I check the status of my application?


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