UCI and Application Number Canada Immigration – IRCC File Number
It seems we enjoy using complex words in every profession. Of course, the Canadian immigration system is no exception. For example, visit our Glossary for some acronyms we use. The current article discusses three terms: UCI, Application Number (or File Number) and Document Number.
Table of contents
- Does UCI change?
- How do I find my UCI?
- Dealing with duplicate or overlapping UCIs
- Application Number or File Number
- Does the file number change?
- Locating a file number
- Document Number
- Ask your questions
When you interact with IRCC, they assign a unique number to you. This number consists of either ten digits such as 01-2345-6789 or eight figures such as 1234-5678. Regardless of the number of digits, they call this combination UCI. Of course, UCI stands for Unique Client Identifier. A UCI belongs to the applicant. Therefore, IRCC can link you to all of them with this number’s help if you have multiple applications. Consequently, if a family of four apply for immigration or visa, each member receives a separate UCI.
Sometimes IRCC issues temporary UCIs for the applicants. Here are two examples:
Of course, they will eventually replace these numbers with an actual eight or ten-digit UCI.
UCI is the same for every applicant for the rest of their lives. Therefore, your UCI remains the same for all the applications you submit to IRCC. It is also the same for all the interactions you have with CBSA. Consequently, if you already know your UCI, you may use it for your future applications.
You possess a UCI only if you have interacted with the Canadian immigration authorities in the past. Of course, the interaction could be any of the following:
- Applying for temporary statuses such as an eTA, a TRV, a work permit or a study permit
- Facing a removal order
- Immigrating to Canada
- Sponsoring your spouse or common-law partner (both inland and outside-Canada options)
- Refugee claims inside Canada
- Sponsoring other family members such as parents or grandparents, siblings, nieces or nephews, or aunts or uncles
Nonetheless, this list is not exclusive. When you interact with the immigration authorities, they communicate with you. For example, you may receive any of the following:
All these documents include your UCI. Therefore, look for the 8 or 11 digit UCI on them. Sometimes, they add UCI or Client ID term next to the number. However, the visa counterfoils are a bit tricky. The following picture shows how to locate the UCI on this document.
The following picture shows how to locate the UCI on a PR card. Of course, the picture is not an actual PR card and only a sample image by IRCC.
Sometimes you encounter duplicate or overlapping UCI numbers. I have another article that explains this issue in detail. It also explains how to resolve such anomalies:
Application number or file number refers to a number unique to the application you have submitted. This number usually begins with one or more letters, followed by nine digits. For example,
- 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,
- C123456789 for citizenship applications,
- D123456789 for TRP,
- I123456789 for IFHP (Interim Federal Health Program),
- RHB1234567 for rehabilitation,
- ARC1234567 for ARC,
- F123456789 for family reunification,
- EP12345678 for PNP applications,
- N123456789 for Removal orders,
- G123456789 for refugee resettlement or protected people PR application,
- B123456789 for some older immigration applications, and
- PR12345678 for Citizenship certificates.
Of course, instead of 12345678, you will receive a unique number. Sometimes IRCC issues temporary file numbers. Therefore, you see an X at the beginning of the application number. However, if they proceed with the application, they will remove the X. On rare occasions, they could replace the temporary file number with a completely new one.
The file number or application number remains the same for the same application. Consequently, you won’t face changes to the file number throughout the same application. Of course, if you have received a temporary application number, you could see a new permanent one. However, the permanent file numbers remain the same for the same application. Needless to say, if you open a new application, you’ll receive a new file number.
The best way to locate an immigration file number is by referring to the IRCC correspondences. For example, the emails you receive from them or the letters they mail to you. If you have an immigration representative, then you may ask them to assist you.
A document number is a number attached to a document. For example, when you receive a Work Permit, you may see a document number on the work permit paper. Consequently, a document number is unique to the document and different from UCI or the Application Number.
Every person may have only one UCI with IRCC, but they may have multiple application numbers. As you may receive numerous documents from them, you may also have various document numbers in hand. You may consider reading the following article for more information about your immigration options:
If you have an immigration-related question, fill out the following form. Of course, I’ll do my best to answer general questions under the Q&A category. A widespread issue is like I responded to here (i.e. UCI, Application Number and Document Number). However, if the question is case-specific, I’ll advise you to book a consultation session.
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