Application Stages + What They Mean (MEP, IP1, IP2, Ghost Update...) - Version 2019

RCC 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.

General: 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.

Post-submission stages: 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 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.

Other notes:

  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.


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My application Background check has a false IP2 to start then I got a ghost update (1st ghost update) but the background check says “We are processing your background check. We will send you a message if we need more information”. Does this mean I skipped the IP1 stage?

I am PNP outland.

Same here. PNP-O, AoR Feb 22. Got a ghost update the next day after MEP and BIL (funnily on a Saturday), but status is “We are processing your …”

Does this mean a direct skip to IP1 stage?

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Got the same, can you please share your timeline?