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Technical help - immigration applications

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

If you’re having trouble signing in to your IRCC secure account , 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. Our response time can vary depending on overall volume of enquiries.

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

Here are some solutions that could help you with technical issues.

Problems downloading, opening or uploading a PDF form

We have some answers that could help.

Find more answers about technical issues with PDF forms and other aspects of applying online.

IRCC secure account – While you’re applying

Technical problems – Filling out an application or trying to upload documents

If you can’t find a solution in our answers about technical issues

  • Use the Report a technical issue button at the top of your account to share the issue with us.
    • An agent will respond to you as soon as they can. Our response time can vary depending on overall volume of enquiries.

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.

All online applications – While you're applying or after you submit your application

This includes the IRCC secure account, the IRCC Portal, the online citizenship application, the Permanent Residence Portal and all other types of online accounts with us.

If the technical problem is not addressed by our answers about technical issues

  • 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, follow the steps below.

  1. Personal information and description of the issue

    Include the following details on the web form:

    • surname (last name)
    • given name(s)
    • date of birth
    • country of birth
    • the type of device you were using (PC, Mac, iPad, etc.)
    • the browser you were using (including version)
    • your general location (Africa, Asia, Europe, etc.)
    • description of the problem or error message, including the date and time (including time zone) it happened
    • screenshots of the page where you had the problem
    • a copy/paste text of the full URL of the page
    • as much information as possible about the steps you took before you had the problem
  2. Additional details about your application

    If you have any or all of the following, also include them on the web form:

    • Unique Client Identifier (UCI)/Client ID Number
    • application number
    • personal reference code
    • current status in Canada and the date of expiration
    • the date you applied
  3. Screenshots or other documents that show us what the problem is

    Showing us what the technical issue is (for example, the messages you may have seen on screen) and when exactly it happened will help us better understand what you experienced and will allow us to provide the right solution.

    For technical issues uploading a form or document, include

    • a copy of the form or document you’re trying to upload (with all fields completed), and
    • all your answers to the online questionnaire
      • To do this
        • choose “Modify my Answers” at the top of the page
        • save your answers into a document by
          • taking screen shots or
          • copying and pasting the text

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

    • all your answers on the “Link an existing application to this account” page. Save them in a document by
      • taking screenshots or
      • copying and pasting the text

    For all other technical issues, include

    • screenshots showing the full browser window of the
      • page where you’re having problems or trying to sign into your account
      • error message(s) you got

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. Our response time is dependent on the volume of enquiries we receive.

Please do not send your question more than once. It can delay our answer.

  • Make sure that your enquiry is as complete as possible before you submit a web form.

What browser should I use to apply online?

Due to recent upgrades, you may not be able to access your account with certain web browsers. To prevent these difficulties, upgrade your browser to the newest version.

To keep your information secure and confidential when using your online account, use a browser that supports encryption using Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.2. These include

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 2 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 on “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, find out how to let us know about 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 an online application is down?

Scheduled down time

You’ll need to wait a few hours at most. If our online applications and access to online accounts are down for routine system maintenance

Unscheduled down time

If our online applications are down unexpectedly, we’ll post information and updates about it as soon as we can on our Twitter account and our website in the same locations as we post scheduled down time messages. We appreciate your patience as we endeavour to resolve the issue. Once resolved, we’ll announce it on Twitter and remove the messages on our website.

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

If you have just reset your IRCC secure account because you lost your username 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 IRCC secure 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?

First, make sure you know the file size limit for the online application you use. Depending on what you’re applying for, the limit can be as low as 2 MB.

Here are some tips for reducing the overall size of your file.

PDF format

JPG format

TIFF and PNG format

DOC and DOCX format

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

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

Make sure to send your documents the way we ask you to. Otherwise, you could experience delays.

If we sent you the request via your account

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

  1. Sign in to the account you used to apply online. (If you used IRCC secure account, sign in to that 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, find out how to let us know about your technical problems.

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