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Known Glitches with the IRCC Permanent Residence Portal

Updated: Mar 6

IRCC requires that most applicants for permanent residence now submit their application online. Most applications must be submitted using the IRCC Permanent Residence Portal (or Representative Permanent Residence (PR) Portal if you are represented).

Unfortunately, these two portals were released while still in their beta testing phase and are full of inconsistencies and technical glitches. IRCC knows about these glitches and has known about some of these issues since the Portal was first released.

There are work arounds to some of the glitches, however these are constantly evolving based on changes to the portal and unpublished guidance from IRCC. Because work arounds posted today may not work or be relevant tomorrow, I won’t post many of the work arounds here. I will share some of the known glitches and some of the known fixes.

If you are using any work arounds you should always indicate that you have done so in the supporting documents and letter of explanation provided to IRCC.

We would note that the glitches and fixes discussed below may no longer apply. Before you submit an application through the PR Portal, you should review the most recent IRCC instructions for that particular type of application as well as for the portal generally.

Character Limitations (17 – 24 characters)

There is a limit on the number of characters that can be used in each text box. The number of permitted characters varies. Sometimes if a field has too many characters (and character limitations vary by field), the portal may not (depending on the field) immediately issue a technical error, but when you try and save and move to the next page, there will be a technical error.

The limitation is caused by the integration with IRCC’s Global Case Management System. Upload a separate document with the complete information as a supporting document.


IRCC’s instructions appear to use electronic and digital signatures interchangeably. Whether a wet-ink, electronic or digital signature is required varies depending on the type of form and the type of applications.

Follow the posted IRCC instructions on the application Instruction page as well as the Document Checklist. If you find there are conflicting instructions, consider erring on the side of caution and provide a separate copy of the document following each distinct and conflicting instruction. Consider attaching highlighted copies/screenshots of each different set of instruction to the Document Checklist.

Native Script

​You can write your name and your parents’ names in your native script using “Unicode.” Just google Unicode + your native language and then copy and paste the names in unicode into the portal.

PR Card / PR TD Applications

No Acknowledgement of Receipt Letter is provided with a file number after the application is submitted.

PR Card / PR TD Applications

Different date of birth and/or date of landing and/or date of marriage appears in the representative and client portals. For example, in the Representative PR Portal, the date of birth may show as January 1, 2023, but in the client’s PR Portal, the date of birth may show as January 2, 2023.

Consider taking screenshots (print to pdf showing the date stamp and URL) of the inconsistent information, and including the screenshots as well as an explanation regarding the correct information in the letter of explanation.

PR Card / PR TD Applications

For the address section in the form, the system only allows numbers in the Unit section (i.e. 11 vs. 11A), but no error message appears, the form just won’t allow you to save.

PR Card / PR TD Applications

For the address history section, you need to account for all days, cannot show yourself departing a place on one day and moving into the next home on the following day i.e. move out March 1, then move in March 1, if you leave a gap the system will not allow you to submit.

PR Card / PR TD Applications

Application is signed but the submit button is “greyed out” and the application cannot be submitted.

The supporting documents and forms may be uploaded in the wrong place. Make sure that the forms and supporting documents are uploaded in the correct slot. For example, that passports are uploaded under Passports and not under Identity documents.

Returned Applications

​Applications that are returned are returned via the portal. The letter outlining the reason for the rejection may be sent to the representative or the client, and it may be sent by email or regular mail. The client may be sent a different letter than the representative.

Once the reasons for the rejected application are corrected, the application can be resubmitted via the portal.

Make sure that all the forms and supporting documents are uploaded in the correct slots or you may not be able to submit the application.

Applications submitted via the PR Portal can only be linked to your IRCC Secure Portal (or IRCC Authorized Representative Portal) once you receive the acknowledgement of receipt letter/email with the file number. Before a file number is generated, the application is not linked to IRCC’s internal case management system and cannot be updated.

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