After you apply: get next steps

How we assess your application

After you apply, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will verify that you have:

  • filled out your application for permanent residence correctly,
  • paid your processing fee,
  • met the language and education requirements (where applicable), and
  • included all documents.

If you are not truthful in your Express Entry profile or application for permanent residence:

  • your application could be refused,
  • you could be found inadmissible, and
  • you could be barred for up to five years from applying for permanent resident status.

If you applied through the paper-based process

The Centralized Intake Office (CIO) will contact you when it confirms your application is complete. You will be told what you need to do and what will happen next.

If your application is not complete, we will reject it and will refund your processing fees.

If you applied through Express Entry

When you submit your application, you will get a letter called Acknowledgment of receipt - Application for permanent residence in your account confirming that your application was sent to CIC.

We will contact you again through your MyCIC 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 described above to apply for one.

Processing times

How long it takes to process your application will depend on

  • whether you applied through the paper-based application process or through Express Entry, or
  • which visa office processes your application.

To avoid delays:

  • let CIC know if there are changes to your personal information (see below), and
  • avoid contacting us 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
  • a visa office has to contact other CIC offices in Canada or abroad to verify the information you gave.

If you applied through the paper-based process

Check the application processing times if you applied on paper.

You can check the status of your application online after the visa office has received it from CIO and started processing.

If you applied through Express Entry

We expect to process most complete applications for permanent residence received through Express Entry in six months or less.

You can check the status of your application online using your account.

  1. Login to your account.
  2. Once on the “Welcome to MyCIC” page, scroll to the bottom.
  3. Under “View my submitted applications or profiles,” there is a table.
  4. Under “Application type” it will say “Express Entry.” Choose the “Check status and messages” button.
  5. The “Application Details” table shows the status of each stage.

Medical exams and police certificates

If you applied through Express Entry, you had to complete your medical exam and submit copies of your police certificates to CIC when you applied.

If you applied through the paper-based process, you will be told when to submit these to CIC.

Medical exams

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, 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.

Police certificates

If you have a criminal record, you may not be allowed to enter Canada. People who pose a risk to Canada’s security are also not allowed to come to Canada.

You will need to get police certificates for you and each of your family members who are over 18. You must get one from each country or territory (except Canada) where you have lived for six or more months in a row since the age of 18.

In some countries, it can take a long time to get police certificates, so find out what you need to do to get them early.  

Decision on your application

CIC 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;
  • the information on your police certificate; and
  • any other information we have received.

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, CIC will ask for your passport, or a photocopy of your passport, depending on if you are from a country where you need a visa to visit Canada.

You will be asked to pay your Right of Permanent Residence fee, if you have not already done this.

Then, 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.

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 CIC by following the instructions we have provided you.

Along with the COPR, we will also send you a letter with important information about your COPR and other requirements. Please review that letter thoroughly.

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 help you prepare for life in Canada.

Before you arrive in Canada

  • Use free pre-arrival services. These services can help you find out more about living and working in Canada. They can also help you take steps to get your education, work experience and professional licences/certificates recognized in Canada.
  • Read about living and finding work in Canada.

After you arrive in Canada

Changes to your application: how to contact CIC after you apply

To avoid processing delays, tell CIC about changes to your personal information as soon as possible.

You must let us know if:

  • a province or territory withdraws your nomination,
  • you do not plan to live in the province or territory that is nominating you,
  • your family composition changes (for example, birth or adoption of a child, marriage, divorce, etc.),
  • your mailing address or email address changes,
  • you change your immigration representative, or
  • you want to withdraw your application.

When you submit your application to CIC, we will send you a letter with instructions about how to contact us if there are changes to your situation.

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