Canada | Immigration | IRCC mandates that immigration applications to be sent electronically except few cases

Temporary residents in Canada who wish to extend their stay shall apply electronically, unless they are one of the exceptions. On  4 June 2019, electronic applications became compulsory for most applicants of temporary residence.


Applications must be submitted electronically if foreign nationals wish :

  • Their legal status to be extended or restored;
  • Whether working or studying in Canada; or
  • Come to Canada as part of a mobility system for young people.


The federal immigration department, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), provides for certain exceptions to this law.


Exceptional Circumstances


Exceptional circumstances beyond the control of foreign nationals, individuals or entities from IRCC's point of view, may be grounds for sidestepping the requirement to apply for online.


Applicants may fall under this exemption if, due to inadequate or incompatible electronic infrastructure in their country, they cannot submit applications electronically.


Exceptional situations may also include a natural catastrophe, political instability, or some other condition that limits their access to electronic media.




Those who can't register online because of a disability are also excluded. Instead, they may apply by applying on paper.


Restrictions on system


Canadian immigration applications come with online tools for assessing eligibility and registering the profile using GC key    


IRCC claims these resources are insufficient for few applicants applying from inside Canada, and these people are excluded from the compulsory online application.


The other applicants who are applying from inside Canada that are exempted from submitting the online applications are: Open Work Permit Pilot Program PR applicants, Live-in caregivers for PR applications, Quebec  Physicians, PR applicants in Canada, Start-up visa  work permit applicants, IEC participants, PGWP(visitor-post graduate work permit and PGWP extension), Destitute students , TRV holders with visa validity of at least 6 months  and Non seasonal Agricultural Worker Program Guatemalan workers etc., among other exempted applicants.



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