Once you send your application, there are a few things you can expect.
How we assess your application
After you apply, a Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) officer will verify that you have:
- filled out your application forms correctly and signed them,
- paid your processing fee, and
- included all documents.
If your application is not complete, we will send it back to you without processing it.
The Centralized Intake Office (CIO) will contact you when it gets your application. You will be told what you need to do and what will happen next.
How long it takes to process applications will vary based on which visa office ends up processing your application. You can check application processing times.
You may be able to avoid delays by:
- telling the visa office about any changes to your personal information, such as your address, telephone number or email, or the birth of a child, and
- not contacting the visa office more than once about the same issue.
Your application will be delayed if:
- there are criminal or security problems or we need to do more background checks,
- your family situation is not clear–reasons could include a divorce or an adoption that is not yet complete or child custody issues that have not been resolved, or
- the visa office has to contact other CIC offices in Canada or abroad to verify the data you gave.
You can check the status of your application online after the visa office has started to process your application.
You must have a medical exam before you can become a permanent resident. Your family members must also have one, even if they are not coming with you.
We will not accept your application if your health:
- is a danger to Canada’s public health or safety, or
- would cause too much demand on health or social services in Canada.
We will send you a letter to tell you how to get the medical exam after we send your application to the visa office.
If you have a criminal record, you may not be allowed to enter or stay in Canada. People who pose a risk to Canada’s security are also not allowed to come to Canada.
To immigrate to Canada, you and any family members 18 years of age and older must provide police certificates to the visa office if you are asked to.
Decision on your application
The CIC officer will make a decision on your application based on:
- whether you meet the eligibility criteria for the program,
- whether you have the funds to support yourself and your family when you arrive in Canada,
- the results of your medical exam, and
- the information on your police certificate.
The office that processes your application will contact you if you need to send more documents or go to an interview.
If your application is approved, we will ask you to send your passport to the visa office in so we can issue your permanent resident visa.
Confirmation of permanent residence
If we approve your application, we will issue you a permanent resident visa. This visa includes your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and your entry visa.
Your COPR will have information about who you are as well as your photograph. Please check to make sure it is correct. It should be the same as the information on your passport. If there is a mistake on your COPR, contact your visa office.
You must have your COPR and your visa with you when you arrive in Canada.
How to contact the Centralized Intake Office
If you applied to the CIO under the Canadian Experience Class and need information about your case, you may contact the Client Service Unit (CSU). Note that if your application has already been sent to the visa office for processing, the CIO will not be able to help you.
You will not get a reply to your email if:
- you have not already applied under the Canadian Experience Class,
- you are not authorized by the applicant to get their personal information,
- you applied within the last six weeks, or
- your question is about a topic other than your case.
Please do not send the same question more than once. You can reach the CSU at CIO-Sydney-Search-Enquiry@cic.gc.ca.
Centralized Intake Office
49 Dorchester Street
Sydney, Nova Scotia B1P 5Z2
Please clearly mark “Canadian Experience Class” on the outside of the envelope or in email subject line.
If you applied from outside Canada
When you arrive in Canada, you will be greeted by an officer from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
The officer will ask to see your passport and other travel documents. Make sure they are not packed in your luggage, and that you have them with you. This will help speed up your entry to Canada.
Make sure you have:
- your valid passport or travel documents. Your passport must be a regular, private passport. You cannot immigrate to Canada with a diplomatic, government service or public affairs passport.
- both your valid permanent resident visa and your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR). The officer will make sure you complete this final step before or on the expiry date on your permanent resident visa. Please note that your visa cannot be extended. Make sure you use it before it expires.
The officer will ask you a few questions to make sure you are still eligible to immigrate to Canada. The questions will be a lot like the ones you answered when you applied. This should only take a few minutes.
We will deny your application if:
- you give false or incomplete information, or
- if you do not convince the officer that you meet the conditions to become a permanent resident of Canada.
If there are no problems during this final step, the officer will grant you permanent resident status. The officer will also confirm your Canadian mailing address. Your permanent resident card will be mailed to you at this address.
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