How to Contact IRCC
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada otherwise known as IRCC are a department of the Government of Canada that are responsible for all matters to do with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
According to figures from 2019-2020 they have approximately 324 Client Support Centre Agents employed. They estimated that in that period 2.71m calls were received from clients/representatives requesting to speak to an agent. It’s very easy to see why those wait times of 30-60 minutes to speak to an agent are not a myth. Those wait times are real and they can be extremely frustrating when coupled with line disconnections and constant messages informing you that ‘we are receiving a high number of calls and are unable to answer you at this time. Please try again later’
IRCC are also very keen to remind you that you can submit a CSE/Webform for an update on your file. Of course, we all know this can mean 30-60 days before you get any response and that can be too long when you have an urgent situation.
So, whats the solution I hear you say?
Well, the good news is there’s a little known fact about calling IRCC that a lot of people don’t know. Most people do not stay on the line long enough to realise they have an option of requesting a call back. Yes, you heard it right. IRCC will call you back if you leave your telephone number.
Once you get through the initial minute long introduction message and navigate through your various options for PR card, Citizenship Certificate etc. you will eventually get to the phase where you are finally in a queue. It is at this stage where you will be given the option (as long as you are in Canada) to leave your 10 digit long number and they will call you back when your place in the queue has arrived.
Unfortunately there will be occasions where you may not get this far and that dreaded message saying ‘we are receiving a high number of calls and are unable to answer you at this time. Please try again later’ can be heard. This happens. Do not be disheartened. Try again. Keep trying until you do get through and can request that call back.
There may, of course, be that rare moment when your wait time in the queue is less than 20 minutes. If this is the case, and you want to wait in the line, then it is imperative you are prepared. Nobody wishes to speak ill of the IRCC call agents but it’s fare to say they have very little patience for the caller who has no information prepared and wastes valuable time frantically trying to gather themselves with the questions they have. After all, you have had 20 minutes to prepare!
The most important things to have at hand are the following;
- Pen and paper.
- Application number.
- UCI number if you have it.
- Address and postal code used in the application.
- Make sure you have authority to make the call on behalf of someone. If you do, then you will need your information if it differs from the applicant.
- Your questions, listed on the paper that you have in front of you.
Preparation is key. Make sure you have everything you need to get the information you want otherwise all that time you spend will be wasted. Ideally, if you made a copy of your application form, then it is best to have that in front of you as it will have all the information you need.
There will be a chance that, after speaking with the agent, they will advise you to submit a webform/CSE. This can be frustrating but if that is what they are advising you to do then it is the best way to proceed. This is extremely straightforward. You will need an application number and a UCI number for the best chance of success, and it is a far less stressful way of requesting an update. It can take 30 to 60 days for a response however, if you make sure to include URGENT in your text box you have a good chance of receiving a response much sooner than that.