Hi @derkdsouIRCC has introduced a number of changes in recent months and it is time to update our understanding of the post-AOR stages. I am simply building on the amazing work of @northern sunshine in developing an explanation of the various stages we can use - informally - to track the progress of our application. Huge thanks in particular to @USProgrammer who has posited the underlying trends and found evidence for them. In short, the traditional transition from IP1 to IP2 to ghost update to PPR still holds but in a modified way due to these changes.
From 31 Dec 2018, everyone except for Inland candidates has to provide their biometrics which means the default starting stage applicants will see for their Background Check is ‘IP2’ (“We are processing your background check…”), however, this is a ‘False IP2’, meaning an IP2 that has appeared before it is actually due as the application has not in fact progressed to the IP2 stage yet.
If you have an AOR of 31 Dec 2018 or later, follow the chart below to track your progress. Candidates will remain in a state of 'False IP2' throughout their application and only see a series of 'ghost updates' following their MEP; the first such ghost update (which should follow shortly after MEP) will signify your Real IP1, the second ghost update will signify your Real IP2, and the third will be your ‘Final’ Ghost Update, following which you are likely to receive your PPR.
If you have an AOR date of up to 30 Dec 2018, the chart also applies to you if you meet one or more of these conditions: you are a CEC or PNP-Inland candidate, you were required to provide your biometrics or you did not pay your RPRF upfront.
Note for FSW-Outland candidates who have an AOR date of up to 30 Dec 2018: If you did not need to provide biometrics and paid your RPRF upfront, the old transition from NA1 all the way to a Final Ghost Update will still apply to you. Your Background Check should have started in NA1 ("Not Applicable" 1), meaning your Background Check status said "Not Applicable" right after you submitted your application.
EE - Express Entry: Canada's score-based program for economic immigrants
CRS - Comprehensive Ranking System: System for ranking candidates for EE
ITA - Invitation to Apply: an invitation to apply for permanent residence
e-APR - electronic Application for Permanent Residence: the online application for PR after receiving an ITA
RPRF - Right of Permanent Residence Fee: a fee collected as part of your PR application
AOR - Acknowledgement of Receipt (of application): email confirming receipt of your application after you submit and pay your fees
ADR - Additional Document Request: IRCC sends a message asking you to provide a specific document to supplement your application.
False IP2 - Usually right from AOR or just after MEP. Background Check shows "We are processing your background check. We will send you a message if we need more information.”
MEP - Medicals passed: review of medical results changes from "You do not need a medical exam." to "You have passed the medical exam." There is no email for MEP.
Ghost Update - When you log in, the application says it's been "updated" but none of the fields have changed. Once you logout and log back in, the application returns to being "submitted". Ghost updates are not announced by email and a candidate must check their profile daily to not miss them.
Ghost Update #1 or Real IP1 - "In progress" 1: Background Check changes to "Your application is in progress. We will send you a message when we start your background check." Usually follows MEP. Some applicants (especially Inland and CEC) skip this stage. You should receive an email for your Real IP1 - the email will not provide any details, just that your application has been updated.
NA2 - "Not Applicable" 2: Background Check changes to "Not Applicable" again after IP1. Some applicants skip this stage and it is easily missed. No email.
Ghost Update #2 or Real IP2 - "In progress" 2: Background Check changes to "We are processing your background check. We will send you a message if we need more information." No email.
NA3 - "Not Applicable" 3: Background Check changes to "Not Applicable" again after IP2 (uncommon).
Ghost Update #3 or Final Ghost Update - Often considered a sign that PPR is coming soon. Not seen by all applicants.
PPR - Passport request: IRCC sends "Ready for visa" e-mail asking you to submit your documents to your visa office so they can issue your CoPR and entry visa if applicable. A PPR is announced only by email, and there may be no changes made directly to the profile. If you are worried you might miss it, you can whitelist the email domain @cic.gc.ca to ensure the email comes straight to your inbox.
CoPR - Confirmation of Permanent Residence: A document that says you've been approved for permanent residence.
1. The ‘eligibility’ and ‘final decision’ fields in your profile will not change to passed until after you receive your CoPR. This is an example of what a profile may look like following a CoPR.
2. Remember that these are not "official" stages, but they are used frequently throughout the forum to track the processing of applications.
This is a combined effort of @northern sunshine, @USProgrammer and myself. Please share your feedback - it is likely we have missed a few things!
Your effort and time is highly appreciated, for taking such dedication in sharing details of application processing. If I may however respectfully share my position on the matter.
As much as I agree with some things, I don't think I agree with the idea of analysing the process too much, as it more often than not cause confusion and frustration, rather than clarity.
-Where is my first ghost update?? Does that mean I'm still in IP1?? Oh wait hold on, just received PPR.
-I have received 3 ghost updates already, but GCMS says eligibility not started! IRCC agent on the phone confirms the same.
And so on...
These are the kind of questions that literally keep people from sleeping at night, thinking that their application isn't where it's supposed to be based on these principles. So much frustration has been caused because of so-called IP1/IP2/etc stages, where applicants made conclusions based on those false premises, only to find themselves even more dazed and confused. I don't think we should come up with a new system... Just let the old one die.
I don't think we should make the assumption that a first ghost update means that we completed so-called IP1, and a second ghost update means we completed IP2. What do IP1 and IP2 mean anyways?... I disagree with the idea that either false status means we completed eligibility or criminality or whatever. We have no evidence of that whatsoever, and I must say, more often than not, it's not true.
Some applicants have received ghost updates, with no actual progress being made on the application, with everything on GCMS notes showing "Not Started". Others on the other hand have never received any update at all, only to see a PPR pop-up out of nowhere!
Also, the problem lies in the fact that when applicants see these kinds of "rules", they think it applies to everyone, and get very frustrated when their application doesn't seem to follow the claimed trend, thinking it's going sideways and lose sleep over it!
If it was just up to me, I'd just tell everyone to just aim for 6 months processing time, and let it progress! What good does it do to know if you passed criminality?... Of course you'll pass it, your police reports say you're all good!
People will read this, and come back in 3-4 months and say, "Hey! I haven't received any updates! Does that mean there is no progress". There is no answer to that really...
But then again, people are naturally drawn to finding answers in things, and that's okay. But coming up with a system? I don't think it's the right thing, because it doesn't apply to everyone...
Like we say at home, maybe I just plunged my sword in water... But I do personally believe this new claimed system will continue to confuse people in thinking there are signs that give away where their application really is.