How do I check the status of my IRCC application?

Asheesh Moosapeta
Published: May 10, 2024

Being up to date on the status of an application is often a primary consideration for newcomers who have applied to Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Although most immigration candidates and applicants will be able to get an abridged application update from their secure IRCC account (or relevant application portal), there are other options available to newcomers.

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How can I check the status of my application?

Outside of status updates given through IRCC application portals, and contacting IRCC directly via phone, webform or email (which are more appropriate for general queries), applicants can now use the Application Status Tracker (AST) tool*.

This tool has been designed by IRCC to give applicants (clients) in-depth and up to date information on their specific applications. The service is available to newcomers who have applied to IRCC for:

  • Express Entry;
  • Study permits;
  • Work permits;
  • Sponsorship of a spouse, partner, or dependent child; and/or
  • Visitor visas.

In addition to the Application Status Tracker tool, applicants can also order Global Case Management System (GCMS) notes, which allow applicants to access a “behind-the-scenes" look at their application, including any additional information gathered by the government, when the application was last opened, and how the supervising officer for the application is.

While much of this information is relevant to applicants waiting on their applications, it does not provide the most in-depth information on application processing specifically. For this reason, the article will continue to focus on the AST tool. For more information on ordering GCMS notes, find our dedicated webpage here.

*Note that IRCC also runs the Client Application Status site, which is different from the AST tool. While both are operational, the Client Application Status site provides information for many applications that are not included in the AST tool (citizenship, permanent residence (PR), PR Card, etc.).

What information is included in the AST tool?

In the AST tool, applicants can find:

  • Their overall application status (Received, In Progress, or Closed);
  • Application details (including eligibility check, medical exam (if needed), background verification, and biometrics (if needed));
  • Contact details;
  • Status of documents (including confirmation of permanent residence (COPR), visitor visas, study permits, and work permits (among others)); and
  • Next steps (when and if relevant) for applicants.

When can I start to check my application status?

Before newcomers can begin to check their application status using the tool, five things need to happen:

  • The application must be submitted;
  • IRCC receives the application and places it within the processing queue;
  • The application passes a completeness check;
  • Application begins processing; and
  • The applicant receives an acknowledgment of receipt (AOR) letter/email with your application number included.

The actual time needed to complete these steps can vary greatly depending on what type of application was submitted. However, once an AOR has been received newcomers can begin to check their application status.

What do the messages within the AST tool mean?

Within the overall application status section, applicants will see one of the three following statuses:

  • Received—This means that the application has been received and is currently undergoing completeness checks;
  • In progress—The application is still being reviewed; or
  • Closed—The application has either: been approved; been refused; or withdrawn/cancelled by the applicant.

Within the application details section of the tool, newcomers can receive more in-depth information on each of the four sections (eligibility check, medical exam, background verification, and biometrics). Within these individual sections, applicants will find one of the following statuses:

  • Not started;
  • Waiting on you—indicating that IRCC has made a request for more information/documents and is waiting for the applicant to comply;
  • In progress;
  • Completed; or
  • Exempted—meaning that the applicant does not need to complete this section of the application.

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