Looking at the current processing times and the way IRCC has been responding with standard “patience templates” what they call, there are a couple of ways through which an applicant can try to get an update on an application.
On this Page
- What is the “Status of an Application”?
- Types of Applications
- Here are some Application Number Types
- Status of an Application through GC-Key
- Status of an Application through On-Line Services – ECAS portal
- Status of an Application through IRCC TFN – IVR system
What is “Status of an Application”?
An application at IRCC has to go through different stages for approval. Like Eligibility, Security, Background Check, Inadmissibility etc. An applicant has all the rights to know at which stage the application is at any moment. The status of an application also helps the applicant to prepare for any additional documents, IRCC may request. During this ongoing Pandemic, a lot has changed and there has been a severe impact on the processing of Immigration Applications. IRCC is trying to keep up with however the application count is piling up. Let’s not get into that, and we should learn how to check the status of an application.
Types of Applications
Everyone knows IRCC assigns a Unique Client Identifier (also called UCI) to each application being submitted at IRCC by an applicant. Initially, the UCI number was 8 digits long however nowadays its 10 digits long in the format XX-XXXX-XXXX. This number is assigned once the application is accepted by IRCC. Remember, if the application is incomplete, then the UCI number is never issued. Now, from a UCI number, it can never be identified if the application is for a Visit, Work, Study etc. That’s why each application has an “Application Number”. It’s again unique however it starts with one or two alphabets followed by 9 digits.
Here are some Application Number Types
An application starting with an ‘E’ is generally referred to as Economic Class. All Express Entry, FSWP, FSTP, CEC, and PR applications start with the letter ‘E’.
W stands for Work Permit here. All Open, Closed, PGWP, BOWP etc types of applications start with the letter ‘W’.
C stands for Citizenship application and as the name suggests it’s assigned to Citizenship applications.
V stands for Visitor, so as the name suggests, all Visitor visa applications start with the letter ‘V’. There are some other application types as well starting with this letter however those are more or less similar to visitor status.
S stands for Student Visa applications. Though, visa stamping sometimes starts with an E.
Recently started, While HCCP and HSWP applicants were waiting for a permanent AOR, this code was defined to send temp AORs. This just meant the application package was received by CPC-E however once the application is confirmed to be complete, The X gets removed and the rest of the number becomes Permanent AOR.
Status of a Application through GC-Key
This is the easiest way to check the status of an application. Since 2015, almost all applications went online and ever since tracking an application has become easier. IRCC officers regularly update the status of an application through the GC-Key portal, and whenever there is an update, the applicant receives a notification email.
If an application is submitted by mail, once the AOR is issued, that application can be linked to GC-Key and its status can be tracked from thereon.
In case a representative is hired for an application, then only he/she can check the status. The applicants have no way to trust their representative in that case.
Status of a Application through On-Line Services – ECAS portal
Rarely known to applicants, this is another portal where applicants can check their status. The applicant must have information about the application number, UCI etc in order to check here.
Steps to check the status through the ECAS portal
Step 1: Click HERE to open the IRCC ECAS page. Or enter the following URL in your choice of a web browser. Select the checkbox and Click Continue.
Step 2: Here, Select the Identification type according to the details that you have about your application. Simply fill in the rest of the details and hit Continue. The portal will show you the current status of your application.
Status of a Application through IRCC TFN – IVR system
This option is known to only a few applicants. Using this method, any applicant can get the current status of an application even if a representative/RCIC Consultant was hired to for that application. Let’s understand some basic definitions here:
TFN is also known as a Toll-Free Number. This number generally starts with 18XX or 8XX and can be dialled from any landline or mobile with no charge to the person placing the call. The only condition is, the caller should be in that country while dialling this number
Toll/DID is also known as a Direct telephone number. Like any landline number in the world, this can be dialled by anyone. The only difference is if dialled from outside Canada, the caller will have to pay for Long Distance Call charges also known as ISD in some countries.
IVR is also known as an Interactive Voice Response. It is an automated phone system feature which interacts with the callers through pre-recorded announcements, by interacting with the caller through various menus to answer the caller. The responses are recorded through a telephone keypad.
IRCC Toll-free number is: 1-888-242-2100
This number can be dialled by only Canadian and US phones. So if any applicant is inside Canada and has an application in progress, this number can be dialled to check the status of the application.
Steps to check the status through IVR
Step 1: Dial 1-888-242-2100
You will be greeted by “Welcome to IRCC”
Please Press 1 to provide your Unique Client Identifier or UCI
If you don’t have that, Please Press 2
Step 2: After hearing the prompt, Press 2
Then the IVR will play “Turkey & Ukraine Message”
Please Choose One from the Three following options
If you have questions about an application already submitted to IRCC —– Press 1
If you are experiencing abuse —– Press 2
For answers to FAQ and Information —– Press 3
Step 3: After hearing the prompt, Press 1
Then the IVR will play
Select one from the Three following options
For information on the Status of your application Press —– 1
To update your contact information Press —– 2
To replace a valid Temporary Resident Document Press —– 3
Step 4 : After hearing the prompt, Press 1
Then the IVR will play
Choose one from the Five following options
If you applied to visit, work or Study, Press —– 1
If you applied to sponsor a relative or become a Permanent Resident, Press —– 2 (for HCCP and HSWP applicants)
If you applied to renew or replace your PR card, Press —– 3
If you applied to become a Canadian Citizen, Press —– 4
If you applied for a certificate of identity, Press —– 5
Step 5: After hearing the prompt, Press 2 for the PR application
Then the IVR will play
Choose the option which matches your profile
If your application starts with EP, Press —– 1
If your application starts with E, Press —– 2
If your application starts with F, Press —– 3
If your application starts with G, Press —– 4
If your application starts with H, Press —– 5
Step 6: After hearing the prompt, Press 2 for the PR application
At this step, Enter the application number without the alphabet e.g. if the application number is E123456789 or XE123456789
Then, Press 123456789 and then Press #
Then Press 1 if the number is Correct
Then Enter the Year of Birth of the Primary Applicant
Then Press 1 if the number is Correct
At last, there will be an announcement which will say “Press 1 for the status” and after that, the System will tell you the current status of your application.
Finally, What does that status mean?
Through IVR, if you hear the following message, then it means your application still has Temp AOR
“We are pleased to confirm that we received your application on XX date, We will update you when the processing starts”
If you hear the following message, then it means your application already has a Permanent AOR
“Your application was received on XX date, We will contact you in case of any update”
If you hear the following message, then it means your application is refused
“Your application was received on XX date, please press 0 to talk to a customer representative”