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Canadian Immigration Applicants: What to Do If Your Application is Returned Incomplete by IRCC.


Publish Date: 07/12/2023

Initial Return Process:

  • Incomplete applications are returned with a letter of explanation and a document checklist.
  • The documents outline why the application was returned and specify the missing information.
  • Applicants receiving incomplete returns are eligible for a refund, which may take up to eight weeks.

Reception of Incomplete Application:

  • Read the accompanying letter and review the document checklist to understand the reasons for the return and what was omitted.
  • Prepare to resend the application by adding any missing documents or information from the initial submission.
  • Resubmitted applications can include the same documents and payment receipts, provided signatures are still valid.
  • If necessary, update forms with new signatures, dates, and any required information changes.
  • Write a letter to IRCC explaining the reasons for updating/changing information.
  • If unable to provide initially omitted documents, explain reasons for this in the letter.

Important Notes for Resubmission:

  • Include the explanation letter and document checklist received from IRCC with the resubmitted application.
  • Re-review the application guide to ensure compliance with any changes since the initial submission.
  • Paper applicants who received the return by email should follow specific steps for resubmitting documents.
  • Resubmitted applications must reach IRCC within 90 days of the date they were signed, and postdating is not allowed.
  • Processing time for resubmitted applications starts the day IRCC receives the completed application.

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