FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Your processing time starts the day we receive your complete application and ends when we make a decision.
If you apply by mail, the processing time starts when your application arrives in our mailroom.
If you apply online or in-person, it starts when you submit your application.
Due to the impacts of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), we
- are experiencing delays in receiving applications
- can’t process applications normally
- can’t provide accurate processing times
For guidance on your situation, find out how you’re affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
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.
We can give you an estimate, based on your application type.
Check the processing times to find out how long it takes us to process most applications.
It depends on the type of application.
If you haven’t heard from us since you applied, see When can I check my application status?
If you applied online (except eTA)
You can check your status in your account by following these steps:
- Sign in to your account.
- Under “View my submitted applications or profiles” click on “Check status and messages”.
If you applied for an eTA
If you applied for an eTA, you can check your status online.
If you can’t use the eTA check status tool
In some cases, like if you lost your approval email, you won’t be able to use the eTA status tool. Instead, use the Web form and follow these steps:
- Under “Type of application”, select “Electronic travel authorization”.
- Then select “Case-specific enquiries”.
- Provide as many details as possible.
It can take us several days to get back to you.
If you applied on paper
There are 2 ways you can check the status of your paper application online.
Your status will only show once we start processing your application. There will be a delay between the date we receive your application and the date we open it. See How can I check if my application has been received?
1. Use our online tool
You can use the online tool, which is updated daily.
2. Create an online account and link your paper application
There are 2 steps to this process:
- Create an online account.
- Link your paper application to your online account.
- Not all applications can be linked. See which applications you can link to your online account.
By doing this, you’ll get
- your detailed application status in real time
- messages about your application online instead of by mail
If you applied to become a Canadian citizen (grant of citizenship)
Find out how to check the status of your citizenship application.
If you still can’t check your status, contact us through our Web form
This tool guides you through some questions about your personal and work history. Based on your responses and your situation, it then gives you
- a list of options, and
- step-by-step instructions on how to apply
The Come to Canada tool is for reference only. No immigration decision will be made based on your answers. If you choose to apply, an immigration officer will consider your complete application based on Canada’s immigration law. Your results from the tool will have no bearing on their decision.
If you may be eligible as a visitor, worker, or student you can apply online. The tool will direct you to your account, where you can create an account and fill out the online application. You may also have the option to complete a paper application.
If you may be eligible to immigrate permanently under Express Entry, you must apply online (unless you cannot because of a disability). The tool will direct you to your account, where you will create an account and can fill out the online application.
If you may be eligible to immigrate permanently under any other program, you must submit a paper application.
If what you’re applying for involves travel to Canada
- check the COVID-19 travel restrictions and exemptions to find out about any additional documents you may need to provide
This tool guides you through some questions and based on your responses and your situation, it then gives you:
- a list of options and
- step-by-step instructions on how to apply.
This tool will help you understand the requirements for immigrating to, visiting, studying in or working in Canada. If you are eligible as a visitor, worker or student you can apply online through this tool. You will also have the option to complete a paper application.