The journey of your PR application: From AoR to PPR

A deep dive into the journey of your PR application from Acknowledgement of Receipt (AoR) to passport request.
Acknowledgement of receipt to Passport Request process

The journey to obtaining permanent residency in Canada can be complex, but with the right knowledge and guidance, you can streamline the process and optimize your application. This guide is a thorough outline of the journey of your PR application, from Acknowledgement of Receipt (AoR) to the long-awaited golden email confirming your Permanent Resident (PR) status.

Before beginning the application process for Canadian Permanent Residence, it is crucial to assess your eligibility, as the criteria may differ depending on the immigration program you select. Here is a brief overview of the three main immigration programs:

  • Express Entry: Express Entry is a points-based immigration system designed for skilled workers who wish to immigrate to Canada. It includes three sub-categories: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
    • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP): This program is for individuals with skilled work experience, education, language proficiency, and other factors that can contribute to the Canadian economy.
    • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP): This program targets skilled workers in specific trades who have work experience in Canada and meet the eligibility requirements.
    • Canadian Experience Class (CEC): This program is for individuals who have gained skilled work experience in Canada and wish to transition to permanent residence.
  • Provincial Nominee Program (PNP): The Provincial Nominee Program allows Canadian provinces and territories to nominate individuals with specific skills, work experience, or connections to the province for permanent residence. Each province or territory has its own streams and eligibility criteria tailored to its economic and labor market needs. Applicants interested in the PNP must meet the requirements of the particular province or territory and receive a nomination from that province or territory before applying for permanent residence.
  • Family Sponsorship: Under this program, Canadian citizens or permanent residents can sponsor their close family members for permanent residence in Canada. Eligible relationships may include spouses or common-law partners, dependent children, parents, and grandparents. Sponsors must meet certain financial requirements to demonstrate their ability to support the sponsored family members financially.

Eligible candidates are placed in the Express Entry pool and assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on factors such as education, language ability, and work experience. Candidates are ranked against each other based on their CRS score.

Acknowledgement of Receipt (AoR)

The Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) serves as a crucial confirmation for applicants, indicating the successful submission of their immigration application. The AOR is automatically generated, typically sent out promptly to most applicants. However, in some cases, its arrival might be delayed, taking up to 24 hours. 

Understanding UCI Numbers

UCI (Unique Client Identifier) numbers play a crucial role in the Express Entry system, providing each applicant with a distinctive identification throughout the immigration process. However, it’s essential to differentiate between the temporary UCI number and the regular UCI number.

Temporary UCI Numbers

The UCI number that commences with “CAN” is a temporary identifier generated by the Express Entry system. This temporary UCI number serves its purpose until the application successfully passes the R10 Completeness Check stage. After this stage, the temporary UCI number will be replaced with a regular UCI number, ensuring a more permanent identification for the applicant.

If the applicant had already applied to come to Canada before as a temporary or permanent resident, their UCI number is updated with the one they were issued with their first application.

Addressing UCI Data Integrity Issues

In rare instances, applicants might encounter the presence of more than one UCI number associated with the same client. Such a situation raises concerns about data integrity and necessitates immediate action to resolve the matter.

To address this issue, applicants can opt for a household linking process, ensuring that multiple UCIs belonging to the same client are appropriately connected. Though the multiple IDs might still exist, the linking process helps maintain data accuracy and consistency.

Completeness Check 

The Completeness Check stands as the initial stage of the application processing. During this crucial phase, the processing office meticulously evaluates whether the application includes all the required documents, adhering to the document checklist requirements in place at the time of submission. Commonly referred to as R10, denoting section 10 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, this stage plays a pivotal role in the evaluation process.

The Significance of R10 Completeness Check

The R10 Completeness Check serves as the foundational step in the application process, ensuring that the submitted application adheres to the specified requirements and includes all the necessary documentation. It focuses solely on verifying the presence of the required documents according to the current document checklist guidelines.

Handling Incomplete Applications

In cases where an application is deemed incomplete, meaning it fails to meet the requirements pursuant to section R10, the Central Intake Office (CIO) takes appropriate action. The CIO returns the incomplete application package to the applicant, along with the associated fees, while also recording the action in the Global Case Management System (GCMS).

Letter of Explanation (LOE) and Document Submission Extension

Applicants may provide a Letter of Explanation (LOE) to clarify the reasons for any missing documents. If the LOE satisfactorily explains the situation, the visa officer may grant an extension of the time limit for document submission, allowing the application to progress while awaiting the submission of the required documents.

Vigilance against Typos

Attention to detail is crucial during the application process. Even minor typos or errors can lead to application refusal. Therefore, applicants are advised to thoroughly review and “double check” their application before submitting it.

Processing Time and Case Specific Enquiry (CSE)

For most application classes (FSW / PNP / CEC), the Completeness Check takes place at the Central Intake Office (CIO). According to IRCC, the majority of applications are processed within six months or less, with the processing time commencing when the application successfully completes the Completeness Check.

If an application surpasses the six-month processing period, applicants have the option to use the Case Specific Enquiry (CSE) or Webform to inquire about the status of their application, seeking updates and clarifications.

GCMS and e-CAS Integration

Previously, the Electronic Client Application Status (e-CAS) provided comprehensive application status details. However, with the introduction of the Global Case Management System (GCMS), applications are no longer linked to e-CAS. GCMS now serves as the primary system for monitoring and managing application statuses.

Review of Eligibility 

The Review of Eligibility, also referred to as A11.2, encompasses a critical stage in the Express Entry application processing. As per Section 11.2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, this phase involves an in-depth assessment of the applicant’s eligibility to ensure compliance with the immigration program’s requirements. The Review of Eligibility is a meticulous and time-intensive process, involving thorough scrutiny of all submitted documentation for validity and relevance. 

The Two-Stage Review Process

To expedite the eligibility review process, it is divided into two stages. Firstly, a case analyst, program assistant, or case processing agent conducts a preliminary review of the application and makes a recommendation. Subsequently, an immigration officer, serving as the decision-making authority, performs a final evaluation before arriving at a conclusive determination.

Addressing Concerns and Further Review

Should any concerns arise during the initial stage or if specific documents warrant a careful review, they are flagged with the message “Review Required.” If the eligibility criteria are met, but certain documents necessitate further officer review, the GCMS notes may contain messages such as “applicant has met the eligibility” or “ready to finalize.” “Ready to finalize” signifies the assistant or analyst’s recommendation for the officer’s final evaluation. Conversely, if concerns persist, messages may state reasons for ineligibility, such as non-matching job duties, unverifiable employment, or unverifiable work experience.

Officer’s Decision and Pass Status

The ultimate decision rests with the immigration officer, who may choose to accept the analyst/assistant’s analysis or override it. Therefore, the eligibility is confirmed only when the officer conclusively marks it as “passed.” The GCMS notes for eligibility review may include up to 3-4 notes due to the two-stage evaluation process, reflecting the inputs of both the analyst and the officer.

Common Reasons for Review Required

Review Required notifications often pertain to the following aspects:

  • Proof of funds (POF): Verification of funds may be rechecked during Security Screening.
  • Reference letter: Ensuring the authenticity and relevance of provided reference letters.
  • Work experience: Verifying the accuracy and validity of claimed work experience.
  • Employment verification: Validating the applicant’s employment details.
  • Statutory (Stat) Questions: Addressing any affirmative responses to statutory questions.

“Passed Candidate” in GCMS Notes

Occasionally, applicants might encounter “passed candidate” in their GCMS notes, indicating that their application’s eligibility is provisionally assessed based on the applicant’s profile and claims. However, the final decision remains pending until the processing of the Eligibility Review begins, and the status changes to “In Progress.”

Progression Towards Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR)

Typically, before concluding the Review of Eligibility stage, medical and criminality assessments are also completed. At this juncture, some applicants might receive a request to pay the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF), indicating that eligibility is recommended as passed or has been passed. The review of eligibility continues as “In Progress” on the MyCIC account until the applicant receives the coveted Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR).

Background Verification

Once your application is in the system, the immigration authorities will conduct a thorough background verification. The background check involves criminality, security, and information-sharing assessments, like education and work experience. IRCC collaborates with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to ensure applicants do not pose a threat to national security. 

Interview (If Required)

Some applicants may be requested to attend an interview, either to verify information or for quality assurance purposes. Spousal sponsorship applications are more likely to require interviews.

Medical Examination

Next, you will be required to undergo a medical examination by an authorized panel physician at the eligibility stage (A11.2). The purpose of this examination is to ensure that you and your accompanying family members meet the health requirements set by the immigration authorities.

Biometric Appointment

As part of the security measures, you will need to attend a biometric appointment. During this appointment, your fingerprints and photograph will be taken for identity verification purposes.

Additional Document Requests (ADRs)

ADR, which stands for Additional Document Request, is a process in which the Government of Canada Key (GC Key) is utilized as the first means of notification. Applicants can log in and update their information accordingly.

  • An email is sent to the applicant or the email of the agent associated with the application requesting clarification, and the reasons for the request are explained in simple terms understandable to the layman.
  • The time required for responding to an ADR typically varies between 30 to 60 days, with 60 days being the more common timeframe. 
  • It is possible to request an extension for providing additional documents like a police clearance certificate or a re-medical request. 
  • In such cases, applicants should write to the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and the decision to grant an extension rests at the discretion of the IRCC.

It is essential to respond promptly to these requests to avoid delays in processing.

Application Processing

At this stage, the immigration authorities will thoroughly review your application and supporting documents. The processing time may vary based on the category of your PR application and the country’s immigration policies.

The Waiting Period

Delays in the PR application process can occur due to various reasons. 

  • Some common ones include misrepresentation, which refers to providing false or misleading information in the application. 
  • Another potential cause is the Additional Document Request (ADR), when the immigration authorities require further documents or clarifications from the applicant.
  • The Canadian permanent immigration system operates on a point-based system, and the complexity of an application can also contribute to delays. 
  • Applications involving the need for police clearance or assessment of foreign work experience may take longer to process.
  • Moreover, delays can arise if the visa office responsible for processing applications is experiencing a backlog. 
  • Finally, delays may also occur if the applicant’s country of origin has a reputation for immigration fraud or is considered to have a questionable immigration history.

Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed method to determine the exact status of the backlog. However, most applications are processed within the standard processing time as mentioned by IRCC.

Understanding Ghost Update (GU)

A Ghost Update (GU) refers to background updates made to the application, which may include transferring files between offices or passing eligibility review. Not all applicants receive GU, and it is not an official IRCC term.

Extended Processing Time and Mandamus Application

If the application takes longer than expected, particularly during security screening, an applicant may consider applying for a writ of mandamus to expedite the decision. 

​​When a person is seeking a writ of mandamus in Canada related to their immigration matter, GCMS notes can play a crucial role in their case. These notes provide a comprehensive record of the immigration officer’s actions, reasons for decisions, and any delays or issues encountered during the application process.

The petitioner’s legal counsel or the applicant themselves can request access to the GCMS notes to better understand the details of their application, identify any potential errors or delays, and gather evidence to support their case for seeking a writ of mandamus. If there is evidence in the GCMS notes that the immigration officer has not fulfilled their legal obligations or has unreasonably delayed the application process, it can strengthen the petitioner’s argument for obtaining the court order mandating the official to take the necessary actions to process the application properly and in a timely manner.

File Stuck in Visa Office

If your PR file is stuck in a visa office and you haven’t received an Additional Document Request (ADR), it is advisable to apply for GCMS notes. These notes provide you with comprehensive information about your application, including all actions taken by the immigration officer so far, relevant only to your case. By obtaining these notes, you can find out what is happening with your application and make informed decisions accordingly.

In some cases, the Permanent Residency (PR) application might have been approved, but IRCC failed to notify the applicant. This situation highlights the importance of staying proactive and obtaining GCMS notes to stay updated about your application status.

On the other hand, if your application is refused, obtaining GCMS notes becomes crucial. These notes can help you identify any mistakes made in your earlier application, enabling you to rectify them before reapplying.

Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA)

If your application is selected, you’ll receive an ITA to apply for Canadian Permanent Residence. Invitations are issued to candidates in the pool with the highest CRS scores until the specified number is met. Candidates who do not receive an ITA or decline it remain in the pool for up to 12 months. Those who receive an ITA must submit an online application for permanent residence within 60 days. After the application is assessed and all requirements are met, the candidates are approved for a permanent resident visa and become permanent residents upon entry to Canada.

The Golden Email: Passport Request (PPR)

On the other hand, “PPR” stands for “Passport Request.” When your application has been thoroughly reviewed and approved, the IRCC will send you a PPR letter. This letter contains instructions on how to submit your passport for visa issuance. Receiving the PPR is a significant step towards obtaining your permanent visa.

Landing in Your New Home

Once your application is approved, you’ll receive your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR). At the port of entry, you will present your passport and other relevant documents to the immigration officer. 

Post-Landing Formalities

After landing, there will be certain post-landing formalities to complete, such as obtaining your PR card or PR visa, registering for essential services, and applying for a Social Security Number (SSN) or Tax File Number (TFN).

Maintaining Your Permanent Residency

It’s essential to understand the responsibilities that come with being a Permanent Resident. This includes complying with the residency obligations, paying taxes, and adhering to the laws of the country.


Embarking on the journey of your PR application is a significant milestone in your life. From the initial submission to the exciting moment of receiving your Passport Request (PPR), each step is crucial. 

To get more information about your application’s status and progress, including details about the Ready for Visa (RFV) letter in the Express Entry application process, apply for GCMS notes today.


1. How long does it take to get an AoR after submitting the application? 

The processing time for AoR can vary, but it typically takes a few weeks to a couple of months.

2. Can I include my family members in the PR application? 

Yes, you can include eligible family members in your PR application.

3. What should I do if I receive a Request for Additional Documents (RAD)? 

Respond to the RAD promptly and provide the requested documents to avoid delays.

4. Is it mandatory to land in the new country immediately after receiving the PPR?

 While there is usually a deadline to land after PPR, you can sometimes request an extension if needed.

5. Can I travel outside the country after obtaining PR status?

 Yes, you can travel outside the country, but there are specific rules and requirements to maintain your PR status.

6. Can I apply for PR if I have a criminal record?

Having a criminal record may affect your eligibility for PR. Some serious criminal convictions may result in the refusal of your application. It’s essential to be transparent about your criminal history during the application process.

7. Is it possible to appeal a refused PR application?

Yes, in some cases, you may have the option to appeal a refused PR application. The appeal process varies depending on the country and immigration program, so it’s crucial to seek legal advice if you are considering an appeal.

8. Can I travel outside the country while my PR application is in progress?

Yes, you can travel outside the country while your PR application is in progress. However, you must ensure you have a valid temporary visa or permit to re-enter the country.