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After I click the Validate button on my application form, nothing happens and I don’t see the barcodes. Why?

We’re experiencing issues with some of our forms with 2D barcodes:

If you’re submitting one of these forms, you need to use version 11.0.09 of Acrobat Reader to fill it out.

If you’re applying at a visa application centre (VAC), they may ask you to re-fill out the form at their internet kiosks.

There are a few reasons this could happen.

  1. Your version of Adobe Reader is out of date.

    The forms you need to validate use special encoding. You need Adobe Reader 10 or higher to use them.

  2. You’re using an iPad, cellphone, tablet or other mobile device.

    The barcode forms don’t work on these kinds of devices.

  3. You’re missing information in mandatory fields.

    When you click on the validation button, the PDF checks that you entered all the mandatory fields. If any are not complete, you won’t be able to validate the form.


To fix these issues:

  • Fill out all the mandatory fields (those marked with an asterisk (*)). Some PDF programs tell you when you’re missing information, but some don’t.
  • Check all the dates are correct and make sure you used the right the format (YYYY-MM-DD). You won’t be able to validate the form if you enter conflicting dates, such as:
    • using a date in the past for the date you plan to travel to Canada
    • entering a future date for your birth date
  • Make sure the form doesn’t include any special characters (including spaces) by mistake in fields that should be empty. Use the backspace or delete button to remove any data entered in blank fields by mistake.
  • Use a new version of Adobe Reader. Older versions and other software can’t validate the forms. Get a free copy of Adobe Reader for Windows, Mac and Android devices.

Known issues

There are also two known technical issues:

  • Mac users: the new version of Adobe Reader (DC) may cause some issues.
  • JavaScript: The validation feature needs to use JavaScript within Adobe Reader.
    • To turn JavaScript on, open Adobe Reader, click “Edit”, then “Preferences”, then “JavaScript”.
    • Check the box beside “Enable JavaScript” and click OK.

After making any changes or downloading new software, download a new version of the form and re-enter your information.

If you’re still having issues, let us know about any technical problems.

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