Checking Your IRCC Canadian Immigration Application Status

May 20, 2024


  • Shireen Fisher

The journey to immigrating to Canada is a rollercoaster of emotions. You meticulously compile documents, work through complex forms, and finally, hit submit. Then comes the waiting game – a period filled with anticipation and uncertainty. Fortunately, future Canadian Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has an application status checker that can significantly ease your anxiety. We take a closer look at checking your IRCC Canadian immigration application status.

Learn how to improve your Canadian immigration application.

Checking Your Canadian Immigration Application Status

IRCC now offers a user-friendly online Application Status Tracker (AST), allowing you to monitor the progress of your application 24/7 conveniently. This tool lets you stay informed and manage your expectations throughout the processing timeline.

It is a valuable tool that can empower you in several ways throughout your Canadian immigration journey. Below is a look into its functionalities.

Real-time Updates

Imagine the frustration of submitting your application and then being left in the dark about its progress. The status checker eliminates this uncertainty. Providing real-time updates on the application stage (received, in progress, decision made) alleviates anxiety and allows you to understand where you stand in the processing queue.

This transparency fosters a sense of control. You can plan your life accordingly, knowing the estimated timeframe for a decision. For instance, if your application is nearing the "decision made" stage, you can prepare for potential next steps, such as medical examinations or travel arrangements.

Proactive Management of Expectations

The status checker tells you where your application is and displays the estimated processing times for your specific application category. This information is crucial for managing your expectations.

Knowing the typical processing window allows you to prepare mentally and financially for the wait. It also helps you identify potential delays. If the status remains unchanged for a significantly more extended period than the estimated timeframe, you will be prompted to inquire with IRCC about possible reasons for the delay. This proactive approach ensures you do not miss out on any crucial updates or opportunities to address any issues that might be holding up your application.

Chronological Record of Key Events For Informed Decision-Making

The application history section of the status checker provides a chronological record of key events related to your application. This can be particularly helpful if you need to recall specific details or provide them to third parties, such as employers or educational institutions.

For example, if you are applying for a job in Canada and are asked about the status of your Canadian Permanent Residency application, you can easily refer to the application history for the exact date you submitted your biometrics or any communications received from IRCC. This documented record empowers you to make informed decisions based on the most up-to-date information.

Self-service Portal

The status checker acts as a self-service portal, allowing you to access basic application information readily. This reduces the burden on IRCC's call center, freeing them to address more complex inquiries. For simple questions about the general processing stage or estimated timelines, you can rely on the checker, saving you time and frustration from waiting on hold for an agent.

While the checker may not provide in-depth explanations for delays or address intricate case-specific concerns, it empowers you to handle many routine inquiries independently.

Who Can Use the IRCC Application Status Checker?

The IRCC application status checker is accessible to various categories of applicants, including:

What You Need to Use the IRCC Application Status Tracker?

For first-time users or those previously using the Client Application Status (CAS) tool, a new account is required for the IRCC's AST. Your CAS login credentials will not work here.

What You Need to Register

To register on the AST, you need the following:

  • Unique Client Identifier (UCI) or Client ID: This unique code identifies your application.
  • Application Number: This number can be found on your application receipt.
  • Basic Information: First and last name, date of birth, and place of birth.
  • Representatives/Designated Persons: If someone is representing you, provide their Party ID, first and last name.

Before Your AOR Arrives

It is important to note that status updates appear only after you receive an Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) letter or email.

While you wait for your AOR, you might see:

  • The date your application was received
  • Sponsor's name (if applicable)
  • Your contact information

Paper Applications

If you submitted a paper application, you may set up an online account and link your application to it for easier tracking.

Information Provided by the IRCC Application Status Checker

The IRCC's AST tool provides a one-stop shop for all your application status needs. You can check:

  • Your Application's Current Stage: Get a clear picture of your application's progress, whether it's "received," "in progress," or even "closed."
  • A Detailed Breakdown: See where things stand with specific aspects of your application, such as eligibility checks, medical exams (if required), background checks, and biometrics (if needed).
  • Contact Information: Keep your contact details up-to-date to ensure smooth communication with IRCC.
  • Document Status: Track the status of essential documents like Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR), visitor visas, study permits, and work permits (among others).
  • Next Steps (Optional): If applicable, the tool may even guide you on the upcoming steps in your application journey.

Important Considerations While Using the IRCC Application Status Checker

It is important to note that while the checker provides valuable updates, it may not offer detailed explanations for delays or address specific case details. For intricate questions or concerns, you may need more direct assistance.

Also note that as with all applications, the checker might sometimes encounter technical glitches. If you face persistent issues, try accessing it at a different time or contacting IRCC for assistance.

Other Ways to Check Your Canadian Immigration Status

You have additional options for tracking your application. The Client Application Status Tool provides quick, daily updates, while an online account offers a more comprehensive view with status updates and access to application messages. You must choose the option that best suits your needs and preferences. Below is some more information on each option.

The Client Application Status Tool (CAS)

The Client Application Status Tool (CAS) offers a user-friendly way to track your Canadian immigration application's progress. This online resource provides daily updates on your application's current stage, such as "received" or "decision made."

With these frequent updates, you can stay informed about recent developments, monitor progress against estimated processing times, and identify potential delays. While the CAS tool does not offer detailed explanations or address specific concerns, it is a valuable companion for keeping you informed and reducing anxiety throughout your Canadian immigration journey.

Tracking Your Application Through Your Online Account

For a more comprehensive view of your application, consider creating a secure IRCC online account. This account is separate from any you used during the initial application process. Once created, you can link your existing application to this account, allowing you to:

  • Receive Status Updates: Stay informed about the progress of your application directly within your account.
  • Access Application Messages Online: IRCC might send important messages about your application. With an online account, you will receive them electronically instead of by traditional mail, ensuring you do not miss any crucial information.

Seeking Expert Assistance With Your Canadian Immigration Application Status

For extra support and peace of mind, consider partnering with a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC). Here is why an RCIC can be your invaluable asset.

Expert Guidance

RCICs possess in-depth knowledge of Canadian immigration laws, procedures, and eligibility requirements. They can guide you through the entire application process, ensuring all documents are complete and submitted correctly.

Personalized Strategy

Each immigration case is unique. An RCIC will assess your situation and recommend the most suitable immigration pathway, maximizing your chances of success.

Streamlined Communication

RCICs can communicate directly with IRCC on your behalf, saving you time and ensuring clear and efficient communication throughout the process.

Reduced Stress and Anxiety

Going through the Canadian immigration process alone can be stressful. An RCIC will handle the complexities, allowing you to focus on the excitement of your upcoming life in Canada.


What Are IRCC Processing Times Based on?

IRCC's processing times are not based on a single fixed factor but rather a combination of elements considered case-by-case. Here is a breakdown of the key aspects influencing processing timelines:

  • Application Type: The specific immigration program you are applying under has a predetermined processing time range. For instance, permanent residence applications typically take longer than study permit applications.
  • Application Completeness: A complete application with all necessary documents submitted promptly will move through the process faster than an incomplete one requiring additional information or clarification.
  • Current Application Volume: IRCC's workload can fluctuate. If they're dealing with a high volume of applications within your category, it might extend the processing timeframe for yours.
  • Information Verification: The ease with which IRCC can verify your information, such as education credentials or employment history, can impact processing speed. Delays might occur if they require additional verification steps.
  • Response Time: If IRCC requests further information or clarification from you, how promptly you respond can influence the processing timeline. Timely responses keep your application moving forward.
  • Other Unforeseen Factors: Unforeseen circumstances like system outages or policy changes can also impact processing times.

How Often Should I Check My Application Status?

There is no set frequency. However, checking periodically (once a week or two) is reasonable. Using an RCIC will take away the worry of having to check yourself.