In the Know: Successful Applications

UVic Global Community Newsletter: January 23, 2023

In the Know: Advice for international students is a section of the UVic Global Community Newsletter that includes valuable information for undergraduate and graduate international students in the following categories: degree-seekingincoming exchange, and incoming study abroad/visiting.

Top 5 tips for submitting successful applications to IRCC

As a temporary resident of Canada, there are documents you must apply for and maintain. In most cases, your required Canadian immigration documents (such as your study permit, temporary resident visa, and/or work permit) are issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). However, if you are allowed to make an immigration application at a Canadian Port of Entry, a Canada Border Services Agency officer may issue your immigration documents.

The established processes to obtain, extend, amend, or replace a Canadian immigration document almost always involve submitting an application to IRCC.

When it's time to submit an application to IRCC, the following tips will help you avoid common mistakes that can lead to a frustrating delay or even a refusal.

1. Apply early

Allow yourself plenty of time to review instructions and gather the required forms and supporting documents for your application. If you rush, you could miss an important detail and submit an incomplete application, which may result in a refusal.

If you are applying for a new document, check the current processing time for your application. Keep in mind that processing times fluctuate, so you should apply as early as possible to allow for potential delays.

If you are applying to extend a document, we typically recommend submitting your application at least 120 days before the document expiry date.

2. Follow the instructions

Most IRCC applications can be submitted online, except for amendment and replacement applications which must be submitted by mail. According to IRCC, applicants should always try making an online application and only use a paper application when online submission is not available to them.

Follow the appropriate instruction guide to fill out required forms and to prepare supporting documents to complete your application.

Below are some of the IRCC instruction guides that may help you complete your applications:

In-Canada application guides

  • Study permit extension: [IMM 5552]
    • Note: Extension of a study permit is an in-Canada process only, which means that you must be in Canada at the time you submit your extension application. If you are outside Canada and your study permit will expire before you return, you must apply for a new study permit and wait for approval before you travel. See “Outside Canada applications” below for the relevant instruction guide.
  • Temporary resident visa: [IMM 5256]
  • Student work permit (including co-op and post-graduation work permit): [IMM 5580]
  • Application to amend an error on a study permit or work permit: [IMM 5218]
  • Application to replace a lost or stolen study permit or work permit: [IMM 5545]

Outside-Canada application guides

  • Study permit: [IMM 5269]
  • Post-graduation work permit: [IMM 5487]
  • Temporary resident visa: [IMM 5256
    • Note: You can use this guide if you are outside Canada with a valid study or work permit and need a new visa to return to Canada. If you are applying for a new study permit or work permit outside Canada and you need a visa to enter Canada, the visa will be automatically issued to you upon approval of your study or work permit.
3. Submit a complete application

This video offers strategies for ensuring your application is complete:

Please note: Although the video refers to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), this department is now called Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

4. Keep a copy of the forms and supporting documents after submission

Being able to quickly and easily access all forms and supporting documents will save you time and effort next time you need to submit an application to IRCC.

It will also be helpful if IRCC requests that you re-submit, or confirm information on any of the forms and supporting documents you submitted.

We also recommend that you take screenshots as you are going through the application, in case there are any technical errors.

5. Track your application

After submitting your application to IRCC, pay attention to the email account you provided on the application form. Regularly check the inbox and junk mail folder. If IRCC requests additional information from you, they will send a document request letter to your online IRCC account and will give you a deadline to respond. Do not miss this deadline: failure to respond to a request from IRCC often results in refusal.

Monitor the processing time for your application, but remember it is only an estimate based on how long IRCC took to process most applications in the past (see How are processing times calculated? for details). You can also check your application status online.

If necessary, use the IRCC Web Form to:

  • update your contact information if needed
  • provide additional information about your application, if your situation has changed since you submitted it
  • follow up on your application status if it has exceeded the estimated processing time
    • Keep in mind that IRCC will not respond to requests for a status update if your application is still within the processing time listed on the website, so you should only request an update if the time has been exceeded.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your IRCC application, email to connect with an International Student Adviser, or attend our immigration drop-in hours.