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Technical help - immigration applications

I can’t sign in to my account. What should I do?

If you’re having trouble signing in, try these common fixes

If you still can’t sign in to your account, let us know through our Web form

If you need to upload many images, find out how to combine them into 1 document.

We’ll try to respond to you within 2 to 5 business days. Please don’t send your question more than once. It could delay our answer.

What do I do if I have technical problems when applying online?

We want to know about any technical issues you’re having so we can help solve the issue.

If you’re having problems with our forms, read about downloading and uploading forms and documents first.

If you have problems before you apply (while you’re filling out your online application or uploading your documents): Use the Report a technical issue button at the top of your account.

If you’re in Canada and applying to work or study, in some cases, you need to follow special instructions to complete your application, or you may need to apply on paper. Find out if this applies to you.

If you have problems after you submit your application: Use our web form and choose Technical difficulties as the type of enquiry.

To help us find and solve the issue as fast as possible, include :

If you have it, also include your:

For technical issues uploading a form or document, include:

For technical issues linking your application to a new account, include:

For all other technical issues, include:

If you need to send many documents and images, find out how to combine documents.

We’ll try to answer within 10 business days after you contact us . Don’t send your question more than once. It can delay our answer.

What browser should I use to apply for a visa online?

Due to recent upgrades, you may not be able to access your account with older web browsers (such as Internet Explorer 6). To prevent these difficulties, upgrade your browser to the newest version.

To keep your information secure and confidential when using your account, use a browser that supports encryption using Transport Layer Security (TLS). These include:

Note: you may have some issues opening PDF documents if you are using internet explorer 7.

How do I upgrade my browser?

You can download a new browser or upgrade your browser by visiting the company’s website.

If you use another type of browser software, you should check with your software supplier to make sure that your browser has 128-bit secure sockets layer encryption capability.

Note: We are not responsible for any difficulties or problems in downloading and installing software. Software suppliers are responsible for providing technical support.

Why do I need to clear my browser cache?

It is a good idea to clear your browser cache because it:

When you visit a website, your browser stores:

When we update our application, your browser may still use old files. If you don’t clear your cache, you may see old forms. Old files can cause display or access problems when you apply online.

Find out how to clear your browser cache in:

It’s important to sign out and close your browser before leaving your computer unattended. This prevents unauthorized access to your personal information.

I can’t open my application form in PDF format. What can I do?

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.

IRCC forms that need to be validated using the “validate” button at the bottom of the form use special encoding. You need a computer with Adobe Reader 10 or higher to use them.

If you have problems opening a PDF on our website, try the following:

For PC users

For Mac users

You can get a free copy of Adobe Reader from the Adobe website. It is available for Windows, Mac and Android devices.

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

There are a few reasons this could happen.

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

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

  2. You’re using a 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.

    Mandatory fields are those marked with an asterisk (*).

    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

  4. The dates you entered are conflicting or not in the right format.

    Dates must be entered in the format of (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
  5. You entered special characters into the form.

    You cannot use special characters on our forms including spaces. Make sure to remove any spaces in fields that should be empty by pressing the backspace or delete button you may have entered by mistake.

There are also two known technical issues:

  1. Mac users: the new version of Adobe Acrobat Reader (DC) may cause some issues.
  2. JavaScript: The validation feature needs to use JavaScript within Adobe Acrobat Reader.


    • To turn JavaScript on, open Adobe Acrobat 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.

I get a Bad Encrypt Dictionary error opening a PDF. What does this mean?

This means you are using an older version of the reader software (version 7.0 or lower). Our forms are only supported by Adobe Reader 10 or higher.

You can get a free copy of Adobe Reader from the Adobe website. It is available for Windows, Mac and Android devices.

What do I do if the online application system is down?

There are times where the system will be down for routine maintenance. Follow Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada on Twitter for notifications on when the system will be unavailable.

Notices will also be posted on our website.

If the system is down and it is not a scheduled outage for system maintenance, please let us know, and try again later.

I recently reset my account, but I don’t see my application. How can I get it back?

If you have just reset your account because you lost your username and/or password, as a security measure we need to ask you questions about the application you submitted before we give you access to it.

To link an application you have in progress to your account, sign in to your account and click on “Link application to this account” under the heading “What would you like to do today?”

You will have to tell us specific information about the application you would like to access. Have a copy of your application form on hand as you will have to enter the information exactly as you did on your application form.

My documents are too large to upload. How do I reduce the file size?

Here are some tips for reducing the size of your file:

PDF format

You may find file size and image options under the advanced settings section of the software you are using.

JPG format

TIFF and PNG format

DOC and DOCX format

IRCC has asked me for a new document. How do I submit it?

When we asked you for documents, we also included information on how to send them to us.

If we sent you the request via your account

Follow these instructions to upload your documents through your online account:

  1. Sign in to your account.
  2. Look for your application under View the applications you submitted.
  3. Under the Action column, click Check full application status.
  4. At the top of the page, click View submitted application or upload documents.
  5. Scroll down the page and click Continue.  
  6. Under “Documents submitted by the client” you can find:
    • Document Name: the document we need
    • Instructions: more information on the type of document and how to get it
    • Required by: the latest date by when we need to receive the document
  7. Click Upload file and follow the steps to find and choose your documents from your computer and upload your document to your account.
  8. Make sure the Details column shows the message Uploaded - not submitted to IRCC.
  9. Click Next.
  10. Provide your Signature by entering your Given name(s) and Last name(s).
  11. Answer the Security Question.
  12. Click Sign.
  13. Click Transmit.
  14. The following message should appear on your screen: “Congratulations! You have successfully submitted your application or profile. You have successfully transmitted your additional or replacement document(s).”
  15. After you see the message, you will receive an email confirming that you have added a new document.

If we requested the documents through regular mail or email

Check the request message and follow the instructions on how to send us your documents.

If you have problems sending us your documents

If you can’t find our request letter/email, or if you have technical problems, contact us via our Web form, tell us about your issue and send us your documents.

I don’t see the option to upload documents in my account, even though IRCC has asked for it. What do I do?

If you don’t see the option to upload documents in your account, tell us through the IRCC Webform.

Don’t forget to:

Don’t send in multiple forms to report your issue, as it can slow down our review of the requests.

I validated my form, but when I try to upload it to my account I get a validation error. What can I do?

When you upload your application form, our system checks the PDF to make sure it includes all the mandatory information. It also compares what you entered to the answers you entered in the online questionnaire.

If there is any missing information or differences, you might see the following message:

Validation error: You have not completed the mandatory fields or you have not completed them correctly. Please make corrections where indicated.

  • Error description: We are unable to validate your document at this time. Please try again later.

To avoid getting an error:

If you are still having issues, let us know about your technical problems.

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