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Canadian Immigration Department Re-opens Phone Support

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has reopened phone support. Canada’s immigration Ministry is once again open for questions by phone.

IRCC phone operations have been suspended since middle March following the implementation of special COVID-19 prevention measures throughout Canada.

Now the ministry is once again accepting phone calls, but at a reduced capacity. Phone lines could be open from Mondays to Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

The new phone system was launched to support agents working remotely. IRCC cautioned that technical glitches may arise as a result of this new arrangements, according to a media release.

Online enquiries can be submitted twenty-four (24) hours per day, seven days per week via IRCC’s webform.

How do I contact Immigration Canada by phone?

You may call the IRCC Call Centres (1-888-242-2100), from within Canada only, Mondays to Fridays, 8am to 4pm EST, except for statutory holidays). To speak to a centre agent, follow through the automated messages by dialing 3-4-1-0.

Prepare to wait on hold for a while. You may try calling early in the morning or use a speakerphone. For your record, put down the date and time you called, the centre agent’s name, and the information they provide. You may request or ask the agent to mail the information they provided.

How do I contact IRCC from outside Canada?

Calling IRCC, from outside of Canada can be quite frustrating and difficult. That’s because IRCC does not want anyone contacting their call centre if they reside outside of Canada. Call centre agents could refuse to provide information if they discover you’re calling from abroad.

IRCC only answers inquiries by mail or email on an application’s status if you are living outside of Canada, and only then if the set time for processing has been exceeded, or if there is a specific issue.

It is obvious that with the number of applications IRCC receives from around the world, they have decided to limit phone calls from abroad in order to avoid being overwhelmed with requests on how caller’s application is doing. As IRCC’s website points out:

  • Call centre agents cannot answer questions relating to an application once it has been forwarded to a visa office outside Canada.
  • They can’t make decision on applications.
  • They can’t help application be processed more quickly.

In other words, they do not want anyone calling unless there is a problem involved with your application or a substantial delay with the application, and even then they want you to contact them through email. And they especially do not want you calling from abroad.