A temporary file number in Canada – immigration, visa, and permits
Upon applying for immigration, visa, or permit, you receive a file number. IRCC usually issues the file number when they email your Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR). However, sometimes you receive a temporary file number in Canada. How does a temporary file number look like, and what does it mean?
- Defining a file number
- Identifying a temporary file number
- Why IRCC issues temporary file numbers?
- Ask your questions.
What is a file number?
A file number or an application number is unique to an application. Therefore, you could quickly locate the file. Let’s say you file a work permit and an immigration application at the same time. IRCC assigns different numbers to each of them. Consequently, when you communicate about one of those applications, you use its file number as an identifier. Check out the following article for more information:
Here are some sample file numbers are taken from that article:
- E123456789 for economic immigration,
- V123456789 for TRV, Visitor Record, or eTA,
- S123456789 for the study permit,
- W123456789 for the work permit,
- H123456789 for Humanitarian and Compassionate considerations,
- L123456789 for refugee claimants,
- D123456789 for TRP,
- RHB123456789 for rehabilitation,
- F123456789 for family reunification,
- EP12345678 for PNP applications,
- N123456789 for Removal orders,
- G123456789 for refugee resettlement,
- SV12345678 for verification of status (VOS), and
- PR12345678 for Citizenship certificates.
The letters remain the same. However, the numbers vary from one application to the other.
How do I know the file number is temporary?
A typical temporary file number begins with the letter X. For example, XE123456789 refers to a temporary economic file number. When IRCC is ready to issue a permanent file number, they remove the X from the beginning. However, they sometimes issue a new number without an X in the front.
Why does IRCC issue a temporary file number?
Two potential scenarios could lead to issuing temporary file numbers:
- Your package is incomplete, and the processing is pending on receiving missing documents or payments.
- IRCC does not have the resources to process your application now. However, they want to issue an AOR, so you know they have received the application.
My clients have experienced the latter since the coronavirus pandemic. However, I have only seen temporary file numbers for in-paper applications. Keep in mind a temporary file number means IRCC has not initiated processing of your application. Consequently, don’t give yourself high hopes at this time. I have another article that explains how you could check out the status of your application.
Ask your questions.
If you have a broad question about immigration to Canada, please fill out the following form. A typical question could be: “What is a temporary file number in Canada?” However, if you have specific questions, book a consultation session with me. You may alternatively fill out our assessment form.
If you wish to visit or move to Canada, please fill out our free assessment form. We will review it for free, but we will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal advice from a licenced practitioner.
Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada
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This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.
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