What is the new IRCC Portal?
The new Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Portal (IRCC Portal) is a secure web platform in which immigation applicants and their representatives can electronically conduct business with IRCC.
By setting up their accounts in the IRCC Portal, immigration candidates can:
- start an application
- submit and pay for application
- get IRCC messages related to their application
- check the status of their application, and also
- update their information
Note that the IRCC Portal is separate from your IRCC secure account setup using GCKey (difference discussed below). The new portal is intended to make application processing smoother, more efficient and more timely. You can link all your GC Key immigration applications to your IRCC Portal account as described later in this post.
Also, authorized paid representatives (APR) can use the IRCC Portal to complete, pay for, and submit online applications to IRCC on behalf of their clients. The APR side of the IRCC Portal is not connected to the client’s PR Online Application side of the portal.
Canadian provinces and territories also use IRCC Portal to access and nominate candidates in Express Entry system through their Provincial Immigrant Nomination Programs to meet local labour market needs.
IRCC Portal Sign Up and Sign In
To sign up for IRCC Portal account or sign in to your account, go to IRCC Portal home.
IRCC Portal or GC Key – which is faster or better?
A GCKey is required to access and utilize multiple Government of Canada online Enabled Services. These services include IRCC immigration programs. It includes a username and password that you choose. You must also create security questions. These steps keep your data secure and let you recover your account. See how to create your GCKey secure account.
Under GCKey you will need to fill out and upload forms in .pdf format. When IRCC receives a GC Key application, it has to be keyed into the IRCC applications system and database. This introduces an element of inefficiency and risk of entry errors.
In contrast, the new Portal is fully automated with a web form user interface to collect all the information required for your application. The information is automatically and directly stored in the portal backend database.
The new IRCC Portal is also a secure platform. It is far more automated, clearer and more structured to your application type. Fields of information are auto-populated where applicable for faster completion. Financial requirements are broken there for simplicity and better understanding.
If you missed a field or provided the wrong information, the IRCC Portal system will flag you to correct it. You will not be able to proceed until you make the correction. This helps to avoid another cause of delay in processing your application.
Many users have raised the concern that the new IRCC Portal may be relying too much on artificial intelligence, resulting in qualified candidates being denied due to false positives. If you apply via the portal and your application is denied despite being clearly qualified, you may want to re-submit using the GCKey.
Useful Video on GCKey vs IRCC Portal
Linking existing application to your IRCC Portal secure account
You may want to link an existing GCKey application to your Portal secure account. This will enable you to easily:
- get the most up-to-date case status information
- get online updates for an application you submitted
- change your Sign-In Partner or switch to a GCKey
- take over an application from an authorized representative
To link an application:
- Follow the steps to sign into your online account or create a new one.
- In your account, under “View the applications you submitted”, click on “Add (link) your application to your account to check your status”.
- Enter the information exactly as you did on your original application. If you made updates after you applied, enter the most recent information.
You can try to link an application 5 times. If it doesn’t work after 5 tries, you’ll be locked out for 24 hours.
After you link your application, you won’t receive paper letters about your application. IRCC will send messages about your application to your account.
If you’re using a representative, they’ll lose access when you link the application to your account.
It may take up to 5 days for you to see your application(s) in your IRCC Portal account. IRCC is working to make this wait time shorter. If your application does not appear after 5 days, contact IRCC and report a technical problem. This issue will not delay processing of your application.
All linked applications appear under the “View my submitted applications or profiles” section on the main account page. Click “Check status and messages” to see the application status and messages about the application.
If you see “Linking in progress”, check back again later.