Note: You will be able to have your sex marked as X (unspecified) on your documents. Until then, once you are in Canada, you can apply for a supporting document that says your sex should be X. Find out more.
Learn what you can expect once you send us your application.
Changes to your application: how to contact us after you apply
To avoid processing delays, tell us about changes to your personal information as soon as possible.
You must let us know if:
- you want to withdraw your application
- your family composition changes, such as:
- birth or adoption of a child
- marriage or divorce
- you change your immigration representative
- your mailing address or email address changes
- a province or territory withdraws your nomination
- you do not plan to live in the province or territory nominating you
When you submit your application, we will send you a letter with instructions about how to contact us if there are changes to your situation.
How we assess your application
After you apply, we will check that you have:
- filled out your application correctly
- paid your processing fee
- met all the requirements
- included all documents
If you aren’t truthful in your Express Entry profile or application for permanent residence we may:
- refuse your application
- find you inadmissible
- bar you for up to five years from applying for permanent resident status
If you applied before January 1, 2015
If you applied before January 2015 through the paper-based process and your application is complete we will contact you to:
- confirm your application is complete
- tell you what you need to do and what will happen next
If your application is not complete, we will reject it and refund your processing fees.
If you applied through Express Entry
When you submit your application through Express Entry we will send you an “Acknowledgment of receipt - Application for permanent residence” letter. This letter confirms that we received your application and you can find it in your online account.
We will contact you again through your online account when we have confirmed that your application is complete.
If your application is not complete, we will reject it and will refund your processing fees.
If you are currently working in Canada
If your existing work permit is about to expire, you may be eligible for a bridging open work permit. If you are eligible, this permit can let you keep working while you wait for a final decision on your permanent residence application. You will need the letter called “Acknowledgment of receipt - Application for permanent residence” to apply for one.
How long it takes us to process your application will depend on:
- whether you applied through:
- Express Entry or
- the paper-based application process
- which visa office is processing your application
To avoid delays:
- let us know if there are changes to your personal information
- avoid contacting us more than once about the same issue
There may be delays with your application if:
- there are criminal or security problems
- we need to do more background checks
- your family situation is not clear, such as:
- a divorce or an adoption that is not yet complete
- child custody issues that have not been resolved
- a visa office has to contact other IRCC offices in Canada or abroad to check your information
If you applied through the paper-based process:
If you applied through Express Entry:
We process most complete Express Entry applications in six months or less.
You can check the status of your application online using your account by:
- Logging into your account
- Scrolling to the bottom of the “welcome” page
- Looking for the table under “view my submitted applications or profiles”
- Choosing the “check status and messages” button under “application type” and “Express Entry”
- Viewing the “Application Details” table for the status of each stage
Medical exams and police certificates
If you applied through the paper-based process, we will tell you will be told when to submit these documents.
You must have a medical exam before you come to Canada. 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
- would cause too much demand on health or social services in Canada
If you have a criminal record, you may not be allowed to enter Canada. You cannot enter Canada if you pose a risk to Canada’s security.
You may need a police certificate from any country or territory (except Canada) that you have spent six months or more since the age of 18.
For example: if you visited, worked or lived in a country for two months, left for a few years, then returned for four months, that counts as spending six months there. In this case, you would need a certificate.
In some countries, it can take a long time to get police certificates. Therefore, you may want to get them early.
Decision on your application
We will make a decision on your application based on if you:
- meet the eligibility criteria for the program
- have the funds to support yourself and your family when you arrive in Canada
- are admissible to Canada, based on:
- your medical exam
- your police certificate
- any other background information
If we need more information from you, we will let you know. We may also invite you to an interview.
Confirmation of permanent residence
If we approve your application, we will ask for your passport, or a photocopy of your passport. This will depend on if you are from a country where you need a visa to visit Canada.
You will need to pay your Right of Permanent Residence fee, if you haven’t already.
After you pay, we will issue you a:
- Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and a
- permanent resident visa (if you are from a country where you need a visa)
- letter with important information about your COPR and other requirements
Your COPR will have information about you as well as your photograph. Check to make sure the information on the COPR is correct. It should be the same as the information on your passport.
If there is a mistake on your COPR, contact us by following the instructions we have given you.
You must have your COPR, and your visa (if you need one) with you when you arrive in Canada.
Get ready to settle in Canada
There are things you can do to prepare for life in Canada.
Before you arrive in Canada
- use free pre-arrival services, which help you:
- find out more about living and working in Canada
- take steps to get recognition in Canada for your:
- work experience
- professional licences/certificates
- read about living and finding work in Canada
After you arrive in Canada
- Date Modified: