What is an AOR in Canadian Immigration?

Published on: April 22nd, 2022

An Acknowledgment of Receipt (AOR) is an official document that confirms that Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has received your application. IRCC issues an AOR document after an individual submits an application for immigration, citizenship, or temporary residence. The document’s significance varies depending on the application submitted, and how it has been submitted.

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When does IRCC issue an AOR?

IRCC may issue an AOR at different times depending on the application type. For example, an AOR for Express Entry is generated automatically, usually just minutes after the permanent residence application is submitted. The AOR for a sponsorship or citizenship application, on the other hand, can take months.

What does the AOR mean?

The AOR document confirms that IRCC received your application.

The date of the AOR is important when considering factors such as:

  1. The lock-in age for any dependent children
    • Individuals may only include children on their application who meet the definition of a dependent child. A dependent child must be single and under the age of 22, with some exceptions. It is important that your child meets this definition on the date that IRCC receives your application, as indicated on your AOR.
  2. Your document validity
    • Documents such as police reports, IELTS results, and ECA reports, are only valid for a certain period. These documents must be valid at the time your application is received and your AOR is dated. For this reason, you should ensure that you submit your application with sufficient time before your documents expire.

Does receiving an AOR mean my application is complete?

Receiving an AOR does not necessarily mean your application is complete or incomplete; this will depend on the type of application you have submitted. For instance, IRCC issues an AOR automatically for Express Entry applicants, but they may still refuse the application for missing documents.
However, receiving an AOR after submitting a citizenship application means that IRCC has confirmed that the application is complete.

Paper-based applications vs electronic applications

An AOR confirms when IRCC receives your application. Therefore, if you are submitting a paper-based application, the AOR date will correspond with the date that the IRCC mailroom received your application package. They will send the AOR once they start processing your application. For this reason, it is important to use a courier service that requires a signature when delivering your application in order to track it to receive a confirmation when it arrives.

When submitting an electronic application, the AOR date typically corresponds with the date that you click the submit button. However, the date on your AOR can sometimes indicate one or two days later due to technical glitches or time differences. For this reason, it is a good idea to submit in advance.

How long does it take to get PR after receiving AOR?

Receiving the AOR does not necessarily mean IRCC has started processing your application. After receiving your AOR, the time it takes to obtain PR will depend on the program you submitted under, in addition to other various factors.

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