Once a visa office has received your application, they will send you a letter of confirmation. You’ll find your file number listed at the top of the letter, to which you’ll need to refer if you need to contact Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
A visa officer will determine if you’ve properly completed the forms and submitted all the necessary documents.
Often, you will need to attend a personal interview. You will be contacted with information about the time and place of the interview if one is required. It is possible that your dependents will be asked to join you.
You should be ready to explain why you consider yourself a refugee. Bring any documents that are related to your case, establish your identity, and support your claim.
Depending on to which visa office you submitted your application, the processing time will be different.
You can avoid delays if you:
- ensure that all the necessary information is included
- notify the visa office if any information you submitted has changed, including your address, phone number, or any other contact information
- refrain from unnecessary calls to the visa office
- ensure that you have submitted clear photocopies and legible photocopies and documents
- submit certified English or French translations of documents, where applicable
The process will take longer when certain aspects occur, such as:
- criminal or security issues noted on your application
- forms that have not been signed or completed
- missing documents, or an unsatisfactory explanation why documents are not included
- an English or French translation that is not certified
- difficulty verifying information or documents
- a medical condition requiring more tests or consultations
- an unclear family situation due to an unresolved divorce, adoption, or child custody case
- a consultation between the local visa office and other CIC offices in Canada or abroad
- a lack of necessary postage on the application
Prior to entering Canada, you are required to pass a medical examination. Your dependants are also required to pass a medical examination, even if they are not travelling with you.
If your health is considered a danger to public health or safety, you application will be denied.
Criminal and security checks
If you pose a risk to Canada’s security, you will be denied entry to the country. It is possible that you will not be allowed to enter, and your application will be denied, if you have a criminal record.
You, along with any family members travelling with you who are at least 18 years of age, will be required to have background, criminal and security checks.
The decision on your application
In the event that your application is accepted, CIC will issue a permanent resident visa and a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) to you. Your identification information and a photograph with your signature will be included on your COPR. When you arrive in Canada, your visa and COPR must be on your person.
In the event that your application is denied, the decision will not change, but you would be able to submit a new application.
Travelling to Canada
CIC is prepared to help you if you are selected to resettle in Canada. CIC may provide a loan for airfare, or in rare cases, grant you the money. CIC will also book your passage.
If you do not have a passport, CIC will assist you in acquiring the proper travel documents. You will need either an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) travel document or a single-journey travel document issued by CIC.
Once you arrive in Canada, visit here for the next steps.