July 22, 2021

How to Check If Your Application Has Been Received by Immigration and Citizenship Canada

Posted by Legal Team - Bellissimo Law Group PC

Immigration and citizenship Canada sends out an acknowledgment of receipt letter or email along with an application number once they begin processing your application. However, they do not send an acknowledgment of receipt until they have opened your application and checked that it’s complete.

Your application will be returned to you if

  • it’s incomplete
  • fees are missing or
  • it’s received after a program is paused, closed or a cap is reached

Considering that there may be a delay between the date Immigration receives your application and the date they open it, there are other methods through which you can check whether your application has been received.  These methods depend on whether you initially applied using:

  • mail (paper application)
  • a Visa Application center or
  • an online account


When mailing in your application, it is recommended to use a courier service that requires a signature when delivered.  This gives you a delivery confirmation and allows you to track your package.

For some paper applications, you can get detailed application status and your messages online by linking the paper application to an online account.

To link an application:

  • Sign in to your online account using one of the following methods:
    • GCKey (if you already have a GCKey username and password)
    • Sign in partner (using your bank credentials to sign in)
    • Create an account (if you don’t have banking credentials or GCkey long-in, you can create an account using this option)
  • In your account, under “View the applications you submitted”, click on “Add (link) your application to your account to check your status”.
  • Enter the information exactly as you did you on your original application. If you made updates after you applied, enter the most recent information.

Please Note:

  • You can try to link an application 5 times. If it doesn’t work after 5 tries, you will be locked out for 24 hours.
  • After you link your application, you won’t receive paper letters about your application anymore.  Immigration will use your online account to communicate with you regarding your application.
  • If you are using a representative, they will lose access when you link the application to your account.


VACs offer tracking services that tell you when your application has been received by Immigration Canada.


When you apply online, you will see a confirmation page after you submit your application. You will also receive an email asking you to check your account.  A confirmation message with a confirmation number will be in your account. Keep your confirmation number for your records. Please note that it may take a few hours for you to receive an email from IRCC after you’ve submitted your application.

Thank you for reading. This article has been prepared for general information only, and it is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact one of our team members about your circumstances before acting on this information.