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What happens after I send in my application?

In most cases, your application will go through these general steps.

If you’re applying for an Electronic travel authorization (eTA)

Email notification

In most cases, you’ll receive a confirmation from us within minutes of applying for your eTA. However, some requests may need several days to process. If this is the case, you can expect an email from us within 72 hours of applying. It will tell you what to do next.

Be sure to give us a current email address when you apply.

Changing your email address

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

After you receive your eTA

Your eTA 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 show this passport to the airline agent every time you board a flight.

Note: Having a valid eTA and travel document will make it easier for you to enter Canada, but it does not guarantee your entry. When you arrive in Canada, you will still need to show a border services officer that you meet all requirements to enter. If you do not, you may not be allowed to enter.

If you’re applying for a visitor visa, study or work permit

We will:

  • review your application to make sure it’s complete
  • decide if you are allowed to come to or stay in Canada (we could do a background screening)
  • decide if you are eligible to apply to work, study or visit Canada
  • tell you how to get a medical exam if you need one
  • decide if you need to go to an interview
  • tell you of the decision we make on your application

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

If you applied on paper, we will contact you using the information you gave us.

If you’re applying for permanent residence or to sponsor a family member

We will:

  • review your application to make sure it’s complete
  • decide if you are eligible to sponsor
  • decide if you are eligible to apply to become a permanent resident of Canada
  • tell you when we start processing your application,
  • tell you how to get a medical exam, if you did not get one before sending in your application
  • do a security screening, to make sure all applicants do not pose a risk to the safety and security of Canadians
  • decide if you need to go to an interview
  • tell you of the decision we make on your application

If you’re applying for citizenship

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)
  • tell you of the decision made on your application
  • schedule you to take the oath of citizenship in person at a citizenship ceremony, if we approve your application

There are several ways to check the status of your application.


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