Popular Questions

I can’t open my application form in PDF format. What can I do?

IRCC forms that need to be validated using the “validate” button at the bottom of the form use special encoding. You need a computer with Adobe Reader 10 or higher to use them.

If you have problems opening a PDF on our website, try the following:

For PC users

  • Find the link of the file you want to save (you may need to go back to the previous page to find it).
  • Right-click the link.
  • Select “Save target as” or “Save link as”.
  • Choose the location on your computer where you would like to save the file.
  • Select “Save”.
  • Use Windows Explorer to get to the location where you saved the file.
  • Right click on the PDF file.
  • Select “Open with”.
  • Select “Choose program”.
  • Select “Adobe Acrobat Reader”.
  • Make sure to check the box that says, “Always use this program to open these files”.
  • Select “OK”.

For Mac users

  • Find the link of the file you want to save (you may need to go back to the previous page to find it).
  • Press the Control (Ctrl) key and click on the link
  • When the option menu appears, choose “Download link to disk” or “Download linked file”.
  • Choose the location on your computer where you would like to store the file. Your computer will start the download once you have selected a location.
  • Use Spotlight or Finder to look for the downloaded file.

You can get a free copy of Adobe Reader from the Adobe website. It is available for Windows, Mac and Android devices.

How can I check the status of my application?

It depends on what kind of application you submitted and how you applied. You may have more than 1 option.

Find out how to check your application status.

If you haven’t heard from us since you applied, find out

How can I change my address or contact information for my immigration or citizenship application?

To change your address:

You can change your address online or through our Web form.

To change your contact information (email or phone number):

Use this Web form to update your email or phone number.

Don’t miss important information!

We may have tried to contact you using your old phone number, email or mailing address. Keep checking your old contact information until we update your application.

What are the requirements for becoming a Canadian citizen?

To become a Canadian citizen, you must

  • be a permanent resident
  • have lived in Canada for 3 out of the last 5 years
  • have filed your taxes, if you need to
  • pass a test on your rights, responsibilities and knowledge of Canada
  • prove your language skills

Depending on your situation, there may be additional requirements.

Find out if you’re eligible

What is a complete application package?

Your application package is complete once you:

  • answer all the questions on the application form
  • submit proof you paid the fees that apply to your application and
  • submit all needed forms and documents

If you forget to send a document and/or pay the fees that apply

  • we may return your application to you
  • your processing time may be delayed, or
  • we may refuse your application

To find out what you need to include so your application is complete:

  1. First
    • read the instruction guide and the application package that includes the application forms you need to fill out and shows the fees you need to pay, or
    • use the Come to Canada tool to
      • find out if you’re eligible to apply
      • get a personalized document checklist with a list of documents you need to submit, based on your specific situation
  2. If what you’re applying for involves travel to Canada

How do I help a family member or friend apply to visit Canada?

Anyone who plans to visit Canada must apply from outside of Canada before they travel.

What your friend or family member needs depends on:

  • the type of travel document they will travel with;
  • the country that issued their travel document;
  • their nationality; and
  • how they will travel to Canada.

Before applying, find out what document(s) they need.

If they need a visitor visa, you may provide your family member or friend with a letter of invitation in support of their visa application. A letter of invitation can help, but it does not guarantee the person will get a visa.

For my spousal sponsorship application, what is a common-law partner?

Your common-law partner:

  • isn’t legally married to you
  • can be either sex
  • is 18 or older
  • has been living with you for at least 12 consecutive months, meaning:
    • you’ve been living together continuously for one year, without any long periods apart
    • if either of you left your home it was for:
      • family obligations
      • work or business travel
    • any time spent away from each other must have been:
      • short
      • temporary

When at least one partner chooses to end the relationship, we consider the partnership to be over.

You will need to give proof of your common-law relationship.

How long will it take to process my application?

We can’t tell you exactly how long it will take us to process your application. Each application is different and takes a different amount of time to process.

You can check the processing times to find out how long it takes us to process most applications.

Learn how to check your application status.

I need to leave Canada and I do not have a permanent resident card. Can I later return to Canada without a PR card?

It depends on how you travel.

Returning by private vehicle

There are other documents you can use to enter the country.

When you return to Canada, apply for a PR card if you plan to travel outside Canada again.

Some examples of private vehicles include, but are not limited to: a car, truck, motorcycle, or recreational vehicle that you own, borrow, or rent. It is a vehicle not available for public use.

Returning by commercial vehicle: airplane, bus, train, or boat

You must apply for a permanent resident travel document. Otherwise you may not be able to travel to Canada.

You can apply for a PR card when you return to Canada.

You can apply for a PR card when you return to Canada.

If you’re traveling soon or already applied

If you know you’re travelling by commercial vehicle soon, you can ask for an urgent renewal of your PR card. If you already applied for your PR card and are still waiting for it, you can check our processing times, check the status of your application or link your application to your account to keep track of it.

Contact us if you’ve been waiting for your card for six weeks longer than the normal processing time and still haven’t received it.

Do I become a Canadian citizen when I marry a Canadian?

No. Marrying a Canadian citizen doesn’t give you citizenship.

If you want to become a Canadian citizen, you must follow the same steps as everyone else. There isn’t a special process for spouses of Canadian citizens.

You must meet several requirements to apply for citizenship. You must be physically present in Canada for at least 1,095 days during the 5 years right before the date you applied. This includes time as a

  • permanent resident
  • temporary resident (lawfully authorized to remain in Canada)
  • protected person

Your Canadian spouse can sponsor you to become a permanent resident if you

  • don’t live in Canada, or
  • aren’t a permanent resident

You may apply for citizenship if you

There are different rules to determine if children of Canadians born outside Canada have Canadian citizenship.

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