Canadian Immigration Document Checklist

August 25, 2023


  • Shireen Fisher

When getting ready to apply to immigrate to Canada, you will have to gather several essential documents to submit to the Immigration Refugee Citizenship Canada (IRCC) with your application. This is a vital step in your journey to the Great White North because not including any relevant document will make your application incomplete. It will also cause unnecessary delays, as your application will be returned to you. Ensuring you have all the needed documents can be pretty daunting, which is why many Canadian immigration applicants choose to enlist the help of an immigration professional. Luckily, we have created a Canadian Immigration Document Checklist that includes the most commonly requested documents from IRCC.

Which Documents are Considered Mandatory

No matter which immigration program you qualify for and end up applying for, there are the documents that you will be required to submit along with your Canadian Permanent Residency application. The Canadian authorities would consider applications submitted without these documents as incomplete and reject them. Let us take a closer look at the document details below:

The Copy of Passport / Travel Document Bio Data Page

You must submit a copy of your passport with your Canadian immigration application so that the IRCC can confirm your identity. It is, therefore, important to include clear and legible copies of the biodata page.

Who Needs to do This?

  • The principal applicant;
  • Your spouse or common-law partner; and
  • Dependent children, including non-accompanying

The Medical Examination Confirmation

The IRCC needs a medical examination confirmation to assess your health and the health of your family members. People suffering from certain diseases, medical conditions, or psychiatric conditions that require hospitalization and continual medical care are usually considered medically inadmissible to Canada.

Who Needs a Medical Examination Confirmation?

  • The principal applicant;
  • A spouse or common-law partner; and
  • Dependent children, including non-accompanying

Where to Find it?

You can get your immigration medical examination in your home country or any country you choose. The most important condition for the exam would be that the doctor conducting your physical examination must be a panel physician.

Police Certificates (PCs)

The IRCC needs a police clearance certificate with your Canadian immigration application for proof that you and your family members do not have criminal records or pose a security risk to Canada. Remember that a police certificate takes 10 to 14 working days before it is issued but expires in six months.

Who Needs it?

You will need a police clearance if you are:

  • The principal applicant;
  • Their spouse or common-law partner; and
  • Their dependent children, including non-accompanying

Where to Get One

You can visit your nearest police station to apply for a police certificate.

The Proof of Work Experience

You need to submit proof of work experience to verify each work experience claim and to validate that you meet the program requirements. Choosing a NOC code that matches your work experience is also important to avoid having your application refused or returned. The lead statement and the duties and responsibilities listed are the most important factors to check. The authorities require a letter of reference or experience from your employer. This should be an official document printed on the company letterhead, and it must contain the following information:

  • Your name
  • The company's contact information, i.e., the address, the telephone number, and the e-mail address
  • The details of the immediate supervisor or the personnel officer at the company, i.e., the name, title, and signature
  • The job title
  • The job duties and responsibilities
  • The job status (if it is the current job)
  • The dates worked for the company
  • The number of work hours per week; and
  • The annual salary plus benefits

Who Needs it?

You will need proof of work experience if you are:

  • The principal applicant; and
  • Their spouse or common-law partner

The Proof of Funds

Proof of funds needs to be submitted to confirm whether you can immigrate to Canada and survive independently. You will be assessed according to your money and the number of people accompanying you. You need to provide official letters from financial institutions that list all current bank and investment accounts and outstanding debts from credit cards and loans.

Below are the funds you will need, according to the IRCC.

How Much Money You Will Need
Number of family members Funds required (in Canadian dollars)
1 13,757 CAD
2 17,127 CAD
3 21,055 CAD
4 25,564 CAD
5 28,994 CAD
6 32,700 CAD
7 36,407 CAD
For each additional family member 3,706 CAD

Who Needs to Submit This?

You must submit this if you are the principal applicant.

Language Proficiency Results

If you wish to immigrate to Canada, you must be proficient in at least one of the country's two official languages - English or French. You must include your English or French language test results with your immigration application.

You can choose from a list of approved English or French language tests and book an appointment to write the test at a center near you. The test assesses your English or French proficiency on a scale from one to nine in four skills: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Based on your language results, you will be assigned a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level. Each immigration program has a minimum CLB level required for applicants to be eligible to apply.

Additional Documents Required For Canadian Permanent Residency

Apart from the documents mentioned above, you will also need:

  • A birth certificate - If you plan to declare dependent children
  • Use of a representative form - If you use an RCIC
  • Common-law union form - If you have a common-law partner
  • A marriage certificate - If you are married
  • A divorce certificate and legal separation agreement - If you are divorced
  • A death certificate - If required if you've declared your marital status as "widowed"
  • An adoption certificate - If you have a dependent child who is "adopted"
  • Proof of studies


How Long Does it Take to Process Canada Immigration Applications?

The time it takes to process a Canadian Permanent Residency visa application depends entirely on the Canadian immigration program you apply through. The fastest immigration option is the Express Entry system, which takes around six months to process applications. Learn more about IRCC processing times.

What is a Biometric Immigration Document?

You may be required to give biometrics (fingerprints and photos) if you apply for permanent residence. If you gave biometrics for a temporary visa in the last ten years, you don't have to provide them again. You can give your biometrics at a biometrics collection point near you.