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Applying online

What can I apply for online?

You can apply online to

You can also


What are the differences between applying online and on paper?

For some programs, you can apply either online or on paper.

  Applying on paper Applying online
Getting started All applications have an application package and guide to help you with your application. You need an online account to submit your application. Create an account or sign in.
Documents and forms Read the guide to know which forms and documents you need to submit. We will ask you to upload documents and forms based on your application.
Paying fees You pay your fees before you submit your application and send us the receipt. You pay your fees in your account before you submit your application.
Submitting your application The guide tells you where to submit your application You submit your application online when your application is complete.
Processing timesTable footnote * It starts once we receive your complete application at our mailroom. It doesn’t include the time it takes to mail your application It starts once you submit your application.
Application status How you check your application status depends on your application. You can check your application status in your account.
If we need additional documents We send instructions by mail or e-mail telling you where to send your documents. We contact you through your account. You can upload additional documents in your account.

What are the fees for visa applications?

Please note the new fees for the Temporary Residents Program and adult citizenship applications.

The fees listed are in Canadian dollars (CAN$).

Permit/Visa Fee
Study permit (including extensions) $150
Work permit (including extensions) $155
Work permit – maximum fee for groups of performing artists and their staff $100
Visitor visa – single entry or multiple entry (including extensions) $100
Visitor visa – maximum fee for family $500
Visitor record (including extensions) $75

If your status in Canada has expired within the last 90 days, you will need to apply for restoration and pay a restoration fee of CAN$200.


What is a personal document checklist?

A personal document checklist is a list of forms and documents you need to complete and send in with your application.

If you are applying for a visitor visa, study or work permit, this checklist is based on the answers you gave in the online immigration eligibility questionnaire.

If you are applying for permanent residence online, the checklist is based on the answers you gave while completing your application.

Use this page to upload the supporting documents you need to include when you submit your application.


What is a personal reference code?

Your personal reference code is a unique code given to you through Come to Canada, our online eligibility tool. You’ll need to enter this code to:

You can find your personal reference code at the top of your results page after you answer all the questions in the tool.

You should write it down and print a copy of your results and/or checklist. This code is only valid for 60 days from the date you get it.


Is there a file size limit for documents I upload to my account?

Yes. The file size limit is 4MB per file. If your file is too big there are ways you can reduce the file size.


I need to add multiple files to my online application, but there is only one field to upload documents. What can I do?

To upload multiple documents to one field, you will need to combine multiple documents into one file.

How to combine documents:

You can only upload one 4MB file per field. If you try to upload multiple files in the same field, only one will be saved.


Can I send a new document after I apply for a visa online?

You can only send more documents to support your application if we ask for them.

It’s important to include all the information asked for when you apply. You can give more details in the "Add letter of explanation" row when you’re uploading your documents.

If we need more documents from you, we’ll send you a message asking you to submit them.

You can also let us know about important changes to your case.


What file formats can I upload to my account?

The file formats you can upload are .tiff, .jpg, .png, .doc, .docx and .pdf. You can’t upload any other file format.


How do I view my messages in my account?

To get messages about a specific application:

Image of “View my submitted applications or profiles” table as described above

There you’ll see your application status and any messages about that application.

Click on the arrow next to the message you want to read.

Image of arrow next to the message as described above

The arrow will turn downward and you’ll see a line that says “To view this message, click here”. Click the link and the message will open in PDF format.

 Image of link as described above

To get general messages about your account:

These messages are on the main account page at the bottom, under the heading “Account messages”.


What if I don’t know how to answer a question in my online application?

Some questions have help text that explains the question. To see it, click on the help (?) icon on the right side of the question.

We have also linked some words to our glossary or website. If a word in a question is underlined, you can click on the word to see the definition, or it will lead you to a page on our website with more details.


How can I change or review my answers in my online application?

To change or review your answers, click on "Modify my answers" in the top right corner.

Click on "Modify" beside the answer you would like to update. When you're done, click the "Return to your online application link at the bottom left of the page.

If you do change an answer, you may need to update other answers or answer more questions based on your changes.

Don't use your browser's "Back" and "Forward" buttons (the arrows in the top left corner of the screen). Using these buttons may cause you to lose answers. You may need to start over.


How do I exit and save my online application?

When logged into your account:


How do I save and retrieve my online visa application?

It depends on where you are in the process.

If you are starting your application by using the Come to Canada wizard, your answers will not be saved, unless you have reached your document checklist and have a personal checklist code. You can use your personal checklist code, which is valid for 60 days, to get your document checklist once you are logged into your account.

If you are starting or continuing your application in your account, your answers and uploaded files will be saved.

To return to your application, login to your account and under the heading “what would you like to do today?” you will see your saved application, under the subheading “continue.” Click on the name of the application to continue.


How long do I have to complete and submit my online visa application?

After starting an online application or online request, you have 60 days to complete it. You can see the days remaining to submit your application on your account Welcome Page. If you do not submit your application within 60 days, it will automatically be deleted.


Can I review my answers before submitting my online visa application?

Yes. You can review your answers at any time during your application where you see the “modify my answers” button in the top right corner.

You will have another opportunity to review your answers before you submit your application.


What does it mean when I electronically sign my online application?

By electronically signing your online application or online request, you are declaring that:


How do I print my online visa application?

You will be able to print your completed online application or online request from the confirmation page. This page will appear right after you submit your application. Your application will be in PDF format. You will be able to save it to your computer and print it. To download and print PDF files, you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software.


How do I sign my online application?

You have to type in your name and answer a security question to submit your application. This is your electronic signature. Do not print out your application form to sign it.

To sign your online application:


How do I cancel an application I submitted online?

To cancel or withdraw an online application, use this web form.

Include in the form:

We’ll find out if you can withdraw your application and will contact you if we need more information. If we find that you can withdraw your application, we’ll refund your fees.

If you withdraw your eTA application, we can’t refund your fee.

See: How do I withdraw my Express Entry profile?


What do I do if my country or territory is not listed in the dropdown menu for online payment?

If you are applying online, and your country is not listed in the dropdown menu when you are paying your application fees, select “other”.


I have a question about a document I am asked to submit in my MyCIC. Who can I ask?

To find out why you are being asked to submit a specific document, to get more information about what a document should be, or to let us know why you cannot provide a document:

The processing officer will read your letter and provide more information based on your case.

See also: What do I do if I run into technical problems with my online visa or permit application?


An officer asked me to provide a document in my account, but I’m missing information. What do I do?

Before you upload the document the officer asked you for, you need to enter information about it. In some cases, the document won’t have all the information that you need to enter.

In this case:

If you’re asking for an extension to get a Police Certificate for your eTA application:


What are electronic credentials?

Electronic credentials are what you use to securely sign in to online accounts. They usually include a password and:


What services do I need Sign-In Partner or GCKey for?

You need to use Sign-In Partner or GCKey to access :


What do you mean by authentication?

It is a secure means to recognize a user when accessing government services online. The user remains anonymous, and the authentication process just confirms that the credential is valid and is in the hands of the owner of the credential. Credential authentication does not reveal or confirm identity to the government website. It receives only a message confirming that your credential (username/password) was successfully validated by your bank or by the government.


I had to switch my electronic log-in credentials not that long ago. Why are you changing it again?

The Government of Canada has been using a phased approach to authentication services. Access Key was an interim step while the Government of Canada was putting in place new, cost-effective solutions which would provide improved user choice and convenience, securely.


Can I still use my Access Key?

No. As of November 3, 2012, you will need to use either GCKey or Sign-In Partner (SecureKey Concierge) to access IRCC online services.


Who can I contact if I have questions about GCKey or Sign-In Partner (SecureKey Concierge)?

For questions about GCKey, please call 1-855-438-1102. The GCKey help desk is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. More information is available on the GCKey website.

For questions about Sign-In Partner (SecureKey Concierge), please call:


What do I do if my Sign-in Partner was removed?

The process to change your sign-in information depends on the type of account or portal you have.

For an IRCC secure account

You have to create a new account and link your applications to it. You won’t lose any messages or updates related to applications you already submitted.

To set up your new account:

  1. Create a new account
  2. From your new account’s home page, choose “Add (link) your application to your account.”
  3. Answer the questions about your application.
    1. For the section, “Applicant’s personal information,” enter in the information as it appeared on the passport or travel document you used when you submitted your application. This may be different than your current passport or travel document.

You can try to link an application 5 times. If it doesn’t work after 5 tries, you’ll be locked out for 24 hours.

If you were working on an application that you didn’t submit

You need to restart it in your new account.

For an Authorized Representative Portal account

You need to enroll in the portal again.

  1. Create a new account using a new Sign-In Partner or GCKey.
  2. From the portal welcome page, under the section “What would you like to do today?” select “Authorized Paid Representative Enrolment Application”
  3. When asked if you’ve previously enrolled as an Authorized Paid Representative select “Yes.”
  4. Continue enrolling following the steps in our enrolment guide.

What are electronic credentials?

Electronic credentials are what you use to securely sign in to online accounts. They usually include a password and:


What services do I need Sign-In Partner or GCKey for?

You need to use Sign-In Partner or GCKey to access :


What do you mean by authentication?

It is a secure means to recognize a user when accessing government services online. The user remains anonymous, and the authentication process just confirms that the credential is valid and is in the hands of the owner of the credential. Credential authentication does not reveal or confirm identity to the government website. It receives only a message confirming that your credential (username/password) was successfully validated by your bank or by the government.


I had to switch my electronic log-in credentials not that long ago. Why are you changing it again?

The Government of Canada has been using a phased approach to authentication services. Access Key was an interim step while the Government of Canada was putting in place new, cost-effective solutions which would provide improved user choice and convenience, securely.


Can I still use my Access Key?

No. As of November 3, 2012, you will need to use either GCKey or Sign-In Partner (SecureKey Concierge) to access IRCC online services.


Who can I contact if I have questions about GCKey or Sign-In Partner (SecureKey Concierge)?

For questions about GCKey, please call 1-855-438-1102. The GCKey help desk is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. More information is available on the GCKey website.

For questions about Sign-In Partner (SecureKey Concierge), please call:


What is Sign-In Partner (SecureKey Concierge)?

This is a secure way for you to sign into your online account using information you already have.

Sign-In Partners are groups like banks and credit unions that partner with SecureKey Technologies (a company that provides online identity services). If you’re their customer, you can use the same login that you use to sign in to your bank or credit union, to access Government of Canada services.

You can use Sign-In Partner if you have an account with:


Which banks are participating in Sign-In Partner (SecureKey Concierge)?

 Change your sign-in partner if you're using "Choice Reward MasterCard"

Starting November 8, 2019, you will not be able to log in using "CHOICE Rewards MasterCard." If you started an online application, submit it before November 8, 2019. If you don't, you'll need to start over.

The following financial institutions have partnered with SecureKey Technologies:

It is expected that other Sign-In Partners will be added in the future. Keep checking the list of Sign-In Partners when you log in to access Government of Canada services.


Why is the Government of Canada offering users the option to use banking credentials?

By offering a choice of credentials, the government is making its online services more convenient for clients to access. Many individuals use their online banking credentials regularly, so being able to use the same credential to access government services online means that you will have one less User ID and password to remember.


What are the advantages of using my online banking credentials?

Your existing credentials, such as your online banking credentials, are familiar as you may already use them on a regular basis. Using your credential from one of the Sign-In Partners to access government services is convenient as you don’t have to remember a different user ID and password.

The safeguarding of Canadians’ information online is a priority for the Government of Canada and measures have been put in place to ensure secure online access which respects privacy.

Remember that when you use a Sign-In Partner, none of your banking or personally identifiable information is communicated to the government service you are trying to access and the Government of Canada does not know which Sign-In Partner (or financial institution) you have used. Similarly, no information about the government service being accessed by the user will be shared with the user's Sign-in Partner.


Are the Banking Credentials as secure as the Government Credential?

Yes, the banking credentials are just as secure as the Government credential. The same authentication process and security requirements are used whether you choose to use your banking credential through SecureKey Concierge or the government-issued credential service called GCKey.

The authentication process does not carry any personally identifiable information such as name, birth date etc. It relies on strong technology, built using industry best practices. By offering you the choice of using a banking credential, the Government of Canada is leveraging the investments made by financial institutions in secure online environments.


Is any of my banking information shared if I use Sign-In Partner (SecureKey Concierge)?

No, your banking information is not shared when you use a Sign-In Partner.

The technology is designed in such a way that the Government of Canada will not know which Sign-In Partner (or financial institution) you have used. Similarly, the bank will not know which government department or agency its customer contacted. Also, the credential broker who facilitates this interaction will not know the identity of the individual or business. The participating financial institutions and departments and agencies will not share any information that identifies individuals, as directed under privacy legislation.


I don’t bank with any of the financial institutions listed. What alternative do I have when I want to access government services online?

If you don’t have a credential with one of the Sign-In Partners, you can use the government-issued credential, GCKey.

It is expected that other Sign-In Partners will be added in the future, so keep checking the list of Sign-In Partners when you log in to access Government of Canada services.


I bank with one of the banks on your list, but I’m not registered for online banking. How do I access MyCIC using Sign-In Partner (SecureKey Concierge)?

 Change your sign-in partner if you're using "Choice Reward MasterCard"

Starting November 8, 2019, you will not be able to log in using "CHOICE Rewards MasterCard." If you started an online application, submit it before November 8, 2019. If you don't, you'll need to start over.

To log in using a Sign-In Partner, you must be registered with your financial institution for online banking access. Your bank can assist you in registering online.


I would rather not use Sign-In Partner (SecureKey Concierge) to access MyCIC. What are my options?

You can use GCKey, a government-issued credential, to access Government of Canada online services.


Will the bank charge me for using my banking credential to access government services?

No. This is part of the service your bank offers its customers.


Will I still be able to use GCKey even if I decided to use my online banking credentials once?

Yes, if you wish to do so, you can use a different credential to access different Government of Canada services. However, you will need to remember which credential you used with each of those services. For example, if you use GCKey to register for an account with IRCC, you must always use GCKey to access your account.


What are electronic credentials?

Electronic credentials are what you use to securely sign in to online accounts. They usually include a password and:


What services do I need Sign-In Partner or GCKey for?

You need to use Sign-In Partner or GCKey to access :


What do you mean by authentication?

It is a secure means to recognize a user when accessing government services online. The user remains anonymous, and the authentication process just confirms that the credential is valid and is in the hands of the owner of the credential. Credential authentication does not reveal or confirm identity to the government website. It receives only a message confirming that your credential (username/password) was successfully validated by your bank or by the government.


I had to switch my electronic log-in credentials not that long ago. Why are you changing it again?

The Government of Canada has been using a phased approach to authentication services. Access Key was an interim step while the Government of Canada was putting in place new, cost-effective solutions which would provide improved user choice and convenience, securely.


Can I still use my Access Key?

No. As of November 3, 2012, you will need to use either GCKey or Sign-In Partner (SecureKey Concierge) to access IRCC online services.


Who can I contact if I have questions about GCKey or Sign-In Partner (SecureKey Concierge)?

For questions about GCKey, please call 1-855-438-1102. The GCKey help desk is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. More information is available on the GCKey website.

For questions about Sign-In Partner (SecureKey Concierge), please call:


What is GCKey?

A GCKey lets you securely access the Government of Canada’s online services.

It includes a username and password that you choose. You also must create security questions. This keeps your data secure and lets you recover your account.


Why has the Government of Canada introduced GCKey?

The GCKey service was introduced as one of two options to replace the Access Key service. GCKey is a Government of Canada managed service that uses electronic credentials (usernames and passwords) so you can access federal government services online. The GCKey service can be used for those who do not have, or choose not to use their online banking credentials with a Sign-in Partner (SecureKey Concierge).


How do I get a GCKey?

To register for a GCKey, go to the sign in page and click the “Continue to GCKey” button.

Then, choose a user name and a password. It’ll ask you to create security questions. Keep a copy of this in a safe place in case you forget.


Who has access to the information I submit when I register for a GCKey?

The GCKey service does not share your registration information with any third party. The information you provide is held by the Government of Canada and is protected under the Federal Privacy Act.


What do I do if I lost my GCKey username or password?

If you lost your GCKey password, you can create a new password. Go to the sign-in page for GCKey and you’ll be able to create a new password after you answer the password recovery questions you previously set up while registering for a GCKey.

If you lost your GCKey username, you will have to create a new GCKey. If you create a new GCKey you can access an application by linking the application to your new account.

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


How do I change my GCKey password?

You can change your password after you sign in using GCKey. To change your password, you need to enter your current password and then create and confirm a new password.

Your password must:

You can also change your password if you forgot it.


What are the rules for creating a username or password?

Your username must:

Your password must:


What if I no longer want to use my GCKey?

If you no longer want to use your GCKey, you can revoke it:

  1. Sign into your account
  2. Choose the “Revoke your GCKey” button in the options menu
  3. Enter your current password to confirm that you want to revoke your GCKey

Remember: When you revoke your GCKey, you will not be able to use it for any Government of Canada service.


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

 Change your sign-in partner if you're using "Choice Reward MasterCard"

Starting November 8, 2019, you will not be able to log in using "CHOICE Rewards MasterCard." If you started an online application, submit it before November 8, 2019. If you don't, you'll need to start over.

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?

 Change your sign-in partner if you're using "Choice Reward MasterCard"

Starting November 8, 2019, you will not be able to log in using "CHOICE Rewards MasterCard." If you started an online application, submit it before November 8, 2019. If you don't, you'll need to start over.

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 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.

    Solution:

    • 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?

 Change your sign-in partner if you're using "Choice Reward MasterCard"

Starting November 8, 2019, you will not be able to log in using "CHOICE Rewards MasterCard." If you started an online application, submit it before November 8, 2019. If you don't, you'll need to start over.

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.


Which applications can I link to an online account?

By linking an application to your online account, you can get more detailed status updates. We’ll send all of your messages about your application to your online account. You’ll need to create an account if you don’t already have one.

The following applications can be linked to an online account:

More programs will be added at a later date.

If your application isn’t available to be linked to an online account, use the Check application status tool or check application processing times.


Why was I locked out when I tried to link an application?

There could be a few reasons why you couldn’t link your application.

  1. No applications were found that match the information you provided

    The information you enter to link an application must match the information you put on the application when you submitted it. If you updated your application after you submitted it, enter the most recent information.

  2. You tried to link and application more than 5 times.

    You can try to link an application 5 times. If it doesn’t work after 5 tries, you’ll be locked out for 24 hours.


When trying to link my application to my online account, it says there are no matches. What’s going on?

There could be a few reasons why you can’t link your application.

  1. Your application is not in our system yet.

    If you applied by mail or in person, it may take some time before we enter your information in our system. Once we enter, you’ll be able to link your application.

  2. You selected the wrong application category.

    For some programs, there are different categories you can be invited to apply under. If you were invited to apply under a specific category, make sure you select the right one.

    • For the Canadian experience class, select “Canadian Experience Class” as the sub-category, not “Express Entry”. Similarly, for the Federal Skilled Worker Program and Federal Skilled Trades Program, choose the matching sub-category.
    • For any work permit through International Experience Canada (including open work permits), select the sub-category “International Experience Canada”.
  3. The information provided does not match what is in our system

    The system will only link an application if the information you enter matches the application exactly. Make sure you don’t have any extra spaces before or after what you type into each field.

    If you contacted us after you applied and updated any information, including passport information, provide the most recent information.

    These are the most common issues experienced when trying to link an application.

    • Enter your name as it appears on your passport if you applied on paper. This is what we enter into our system.
    • If you’re applying for family sponsorship, in the last question, “Number of family members, including the primary applicant, that are part of this application”, also include the sponsor and the co-signer (if applicable). The number entered will be at least 2.
    • If you selected the option Place of Birth under Applicant’s personal information, enter the “City/town of birth” as it appears on your passport (if applicable) or the IMM 0008 form, if no passport information was provided.

What happens after I link an application to an account?

After you link the application, it appears under the “View my submitted applications or profiles” section on the main account page. Click “Check status and messages” to see the application status and messages about the application.

If you see “Linking in progress”, check back again later.

Once your application is linked, you’ll receive messages about your application through your account. You will no longer receive letters about your application by mail.

See also: Why are there differences between the status I see in the Check application status tool (CAS) and in my account?


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