Tia's Advice: Contacting IRCC

UVic Global Community Newsletter: November 19, 2018

Tia's Advice is a section of the UVic Global Community Newsletter that includes valuable information and important dates for undergraduate and graduate international students in the following categories: degree-seeking, incoming exchange, and incoming study abroad/visiting.

How can I contact IRCC?

It is very likely that, at some point during your international student experience, you will have questions about your temporary resident status in Canada.

The first thing to do whenever you have these questions is to consult the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website, where you will find information, instructions, application forms, and answers to many frequently asked questions.

If you do not find the answers to your questions on the IRCC website, please visit or contact the International Student Centre (ISC).

Sometimes, even after consulting the IRCC website, and visiting or contacting the ISC, it is necessary to contact IRCC directly.

As you may already know, this can be challenging. Case processing centres and other IRCC offices inside Canada are not open to the public. The same is true for most visa offices outside Canada.

Even so, it IS possible to contact IRCC. Consider the options below and choose the most effective strategy for your situation.

When communicating with IRCC, it is important to clearly explain your situation and provide all relevant details. Otherwise, you may receive information that is not accurate.

Client Support Centre

The Client Support Centre is an option when you are inside Canada.

Client Support Centre agents are available Monday to Friday, between 8:00am and 4:00pm local time. They are not available on weekends or statutory holidays.

The best times to try contacting an agent are promptly at 8:00am or between 3:00pm and 4:00pm.

Dial 1-888-242-2100. After the recorded introduction, you will be asked to choose a menu option. Choose 3 and then 4 and then 0.

When the Client Support Centre is experiencing a high volume of calls, and no agents are available, your call will be disconnected. You will not be put on hold to wait for the next available agent. The best strategy is to keep dialing over and over again until you get through to an agent.

When you do get through to an agent, always make note of the date and time, the agent's name and identification number, and the exact information they provide.

Web Form

Visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website to:

  • ask about a submitted application that has passed the normal processing times
  • request expedited processing for a submitted application
  • update or provide more information about a submited application
  • report a technical problem
  • give feedback on IRCC services

If you experience a technical problem while you are inside your IRCC account, it is better to use the "Report a Technical Issue" button at the top of your screen rather than the IRCC Web Form.

Emails

Many visa offices located outside Canada have a general email address, but we would recommend using the IRCC Web Form as a more reliable option for contacting IRCC.

Questions about temporary resident visa (TRV) applications submitted within Canada can be sent by email to CPC-CTD-Ottawa@cic.gc.ca.

When sending an emal to IRCC, include the following information:

  • surname and given names exactly as they appears on your passport
  • date of birth
  • country of birth
  • UCI or Client ID which appears on your study permit, work permit, or visitor record
  • date your application was submitted
  • application number, if applicable
  • others details that are relevant to your situation

How can I get more help?

What if you still have questions after consulting the IRCC website, visiting or contacting the ISC, and contacting IRCC directly?

Visa Application Centres

Visa application centres (VACs) are an excellent resource when you are outside Canada.

Managed by private companies, VACs have been authorized by IRCC to provide the following services for a fee:

  • answer questions in local languages
  • provide application photographs and photocopies
  • collect biometrics, if necessary
  • make sure applications are complete
  • transmit application documents and passports to the appropriate visa office
  • track the status of applications
  • return passports and decision documents

Search for the closest VAC and visit their website for contact information.

Authorized Immigration Representatives

Lawyers, paralegals, and immigration consultants are allowed to provide immigration advice for a fee, as long as they are members in good standing of the designated body responsible for regulating their profession.

Learn more about using a paid authorized immigration representative.

Please visit or contact the International Student Centre (ISC) whenever you have questions about your temporary resident status in Canada.

Important Dates

November 20: Post-Graduation Work Permit Information Session.

December 5: Classes and exams cancelled from 11:30am to 12:30pm to acknowledge the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

December 5: Last day of first term classes for all students except those in the Faculty of Law.

December 6: Last day of first term classes for students in the Faculty of Law.

December 8: First term exams begin for all students except those in the Faculty of Law.

December 10: First term exams begin for students in the Faculty of Law.

December 15: Deadline for undergraduate students to apply for spring graduation.

December 15: U-Pass privileges begin for second term.*

December 22: Last day of first term exams for all students.

December 24: Christmas Eve.

December 25: Christmas Day.

December 25: Winter Break begins. UVic services are closed during Winter Break.

December 26: Boxing Day.

December 31: New Year's Eve.

* Incoming exchange students do not automatically receive U-Pass privileges but can opt in by purchasing a UVSS or GSS membership package.

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