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How to Link an Application in GC-Key

This has been around for a long time where many paper based applications are never linking to GC-KEY account. Most of the times, the applications are not found by the system. Lets try to figure out the steps which we need to follow for this process, and make it working for everyone.

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What is a “GC-Key”?

A GC-Key is a unique electronic credential issued by the Government of Canada to use with online Government services such as CRA, IRCC, CER etc. This is usually a single account through which you can login to multiple Government websites. So you do not have to remember your username and password for every website. Isn’t that amazing?

Why do we need a GC-Key Account?

As an applicant when someone has to interact with IRCC, a GC-KEY account is required. This is the only account being accepted by IRCC to submit applications like Study, Visitor, Work Permit, Permanent Resident, Sponsorship and the list goes on. These applications can be submitted by applicants themselves or their representatives also called RCIC agents.

What are the benefits of a GCKEY account?

Well, there are multiple benefits of a GC-KEY account. As I have mentioned above, GC-KEY account is used for various Government services and there is a long list of that. If we talk about just immigration purposes, the first and most important benefit is “updates on an application“. IRCC updates the status of an application in GC-KEY account. Initially there was basic information however with time, more detailed updated information is available.

Look at following screenshot for example

Apart from this, IRCC has been communicating with applicants for further documentation or explanation if required. A specific time period is defined to receive documents through the same GC-KEY account and those documents are directly transferred to the asking officer. Which makes the communication much faster and applications are processed quickly and more efficiently.

Who can create a GC-KEY Account?

Anybody who wants to submit an application or apply as a DIY applicant can create an account in GC-KEY. All it takes is an email address and a couple of security questions (which the applicant has to define) and that’s it. While creating an application, some details about your profile are required. You can still create an account and check what all information will be pre-requisites in submitting an application. Although, that document checklist or information is also available on IRCC website.

The important part to know here is if your application has a representative or IRCC agent, then only the designated representative can create a GC-KEY for you. And, they usually do not share the login credentials with the applicants. Just to avoid the confusion with various options in the GC-KEY which the applicant may not know about. Even though, as an applicant if you create a GC-KEY account, you will not be able to link an application. The tool will not allow unless the representative is removed from your application.

Linking an application in GC-Key

Checkout this video to link your paper based application to GC-KEY

How to know if there is an update in GC-KEY?

Whenever an application status is updated or there is an additonal document request, IRCC sends an email to the registered email address. Upon receiving that, the applicant should login to GC-KEY and look for changes/updates. Sometimes an applicant will receive an email however there will be no update in the account. It is completely normal and there is name given to such updates. Its called a “Ghost Update”. All it means is your application has been either refreshed or has moved to next step in queue for processing.

Sukhpreet Singh
Sukhpreet Singh

Day time I am an Enterprise Telecom Specialist / Voice Engineer (I prefer this title) & Evening time explorer.

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Comsolata Uwitonze

Help me to move to canada please!

Christine ciza

Help me to move to canada with families please?

Dorcas Ephraim

I can open my GC key but when I reach the questions aspect to have access to my application account ,it been locked but I need to have access with that account. I need help on how to unlock it or have access to that account . Thank you