UCI and Application Number Canada Immigration – IRCC File Number

Application Number and UCIJuula is a Citizen of Estonia. She intends to immigrate to Canada. However, Juula is not familiar with the Canadian immigration system and its terminology. For example, they use the terms UCI and application numbers or file numbers very often. Juula wonders what these terms mean.

It seems we enjoy using difficult 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

What is UCI?

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, if you have multiple applications, IRCC can link you to all of them with this number’s help. 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.

What is the Application Number (file number)?

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,

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.

What is Document Number?

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 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:

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    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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    Al Parsai

    Al Parsai is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in Toronto, Canada. He also teaches the official immigration consulting courses at Ashton College in Vancouver, Canada. Al who holds a Masters degree from Yorkville University is a member of ICCRC and CAPIC organizations. Al, the CEO of Parsai Immigration Services, has represented hundreds of applicants from more than 30 countries to the immigration authorities since January 2011.