What is an IRCC number?

I receive a few emails every week asking about the IRCC number. I thought it would be a good idea to answer this question here instead of answering it individually.

What kind of numbers you could receive from IRCC

IRCC usually issues the following numbers when interacting with applicants.

  • The Unique Client Identifier (UCI): This number is unique to every applicant. Therefore, a family of four will receive four UCIs, and each UCI is individual to one of the family members.
  • Application number: Also known as the file number, an application number is unique to each application. Consequently, this number could cover one or more applicants.
  • Document number: If IRCC issues a document (e.g., a work permit) for you, they will attach a unique number to that document.
  • Form number: Every IRCC form has a number that usually appears on the lower left side corner. Most of these numbers begin with IMM. For example, IMM 5669 is the Schedule A, Background/Declaration form.

What is an IRCC number, then?

Well, we don’t have anything called an IRCC number. At best, this phrase is ambiguous. At worst, someone has misinformed you or trying to take advantage of you. Of course, an IRCC number could refer to any of the numbers I mentioned earlier. I guess most people are referring to the IRCC application number, though.

Note: Not everyone who uses the term IRCC number is trying to abuse you. Sometimes, they are not familiar with the immigration terminology in Canada. For example, I found a report by the US Department of Homeland Security that uses this phrase. To their credit, they also explained what they meant. They were actually referring to the UCI.

IRCC number could mean you are dealing with a scammer

A licensed practitioner uses the terminology correctly. Therefore, if you hear vague words such as an IRCC number, there is a slight chance you are dealing with a scammer or an unauthorized practitioner. Don’t get me wrong. The authorized representatives could also use simple words to communicate better with their clients. Regardless, when you hear imprecise terms, you may consult with the licensing organizations to make sure the person who is advising you holds a valid license or not.

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    Al Parsai

    Al Parsai is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (class L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) in Toronto, Canada. He is an adjunct professor at Queen's University Law School and Ashton College. Al, who holds a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University, is a member of CICC and CAPIC organizations. Al, the CEO of Parsai Immigration Services, has represented thousands of applicants from more than 50 countries to the immigration authorities since January 2011.

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