A Step by Step Guide to Contacting the IRCC
Immigrating to Canada can be confusing and applications usually take a very long time to process. It can also be very difficult to get in contact with the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenships Canada (IRCC). We will share with you 4 ways to get in contact with immigration Canada.
If you are simply trying to check the status of your application, use this check your application status tool from IRCC and this tool to check average processing times.
Use the IRCC Web form to contact client support online. It will usually take between 2 – 5 business days for them to respond. You can:
Make sure you know if your application was made in Canada or to a visa office outside of Canada. Your contact enquiry will be sent to the corresponding office. Please note that unless there is a specific problem, you may not get a reply if you are still within the average processing time.
You should fill in all the applicable boxes and include a clear enquiry to ensure your enquiry will be answered efficiently. You will also be given an opportunity to upload documents before submitting the Web form.
If you are in Canada, call the IRCC Client Support Centre at 1-888-242-2100 for general and case-specific enquiries. Here is how you navigate the automated messages to get to an agent: 3-4-1-0.
Please be prepared to wait on the line for some time before reaching an agent. At ImmiSearch, we recommend calling early in the morning and using a headset or speakerphone function while you wait.
We also recommend you note down the name of the agent and also asking for an email detailing the information discussed.
If you decide to use the automated message service, you will be able to access information 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
If you need Teletypewriter (TTY) Service: Call the IRCC via the Bell Relay service (BRS): (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time)
If you know your application was made to a visa office outside of Canada, you can also try contacting them directly. Generally, when you submit a Web form that we discussed above, it will be redirected to the visa office that the application was made to. Note that contacting the visa office (embassy/consulate) outside of Canada directly may not be the best/preferred option to get an answer. Many visa offices ask that you “do not phone or e-mail the Canadian Embassy regarding visa matters unless strictly necessary. (Their) Visa Section staff will be devoted to processing applications and may be unable to answer your enquiries. Staff in other sections of the Embassy is not able to assist in visa matters”. You will be able to email and/or phone the visa office by searching through this list.
If you are outside of Canada and cannot access the IRCC Client Support Centre, you can contact the closest VAC for general information and administrative services related to temporary resident applications (study and work permits) as well as travel documents for permanent residents of Canada. VACs are not authorized to give information or respond to enquiries regarding permanent resident applications and Canadian citizenship. They are also unable to give any specific information about visa application forms, supporting documents, or any advice regarding Canadian immigration.
Before you call IRCC or any of the contacts provided above, check to see if the answer is available online. Everyone working in immigration for the Government of Canada is busy processing your applications. Every call that they get is time being spent away from processing applications. Here are some commonly requested information below.
Another great resource is the IRCC Help Centre. It has answers to almost every question regarding Canadian Immigration. Just type in a keyword or topic about what you need help on and it will recommend numerous questions and answers. Let’s take a look at the keyword “Permanent Resident” for instance:
If immigration is very important to you but you are not confident about your knowledge of the application process, it might be a great option to retain the services of an authorized representative.
In Canada, only Registered Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC) and Lawyers (with a couple of exceptions) are authorized paid representatives. It can be confusing to understand what they can offer. If you want to see what the difference is between an RCIC and a Lawyer take a look at this article.
Before hiring an authorized representative, make sure you do your due diligence. There are many fraudsters who lie about their credentials to scam people who wish to move to Canada. You can use services like ImmiSearch to search for RCICs and Lawyers that have already been verified to ensure protection.
If you don’t want to hire an authorized representative but have a question about the process, consider joining Immigration community groups like Ask an RCIC/Lawyer to get simple questions answered quickly.