Canada Immigration Glossary – Common immigration terms explained

Canada Immigration Glossary – Common immigration terms explained

September 19, 2019

Abbreviation and meaning of frequently used terms in Canada immigration application system: IRCC, CIC, EE, PNP, LMIA, NOC, AOR, PPR, CRS… and more.

IRCC – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

IRCC is short for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada or Immigration, or Réfugiés et Citoyenneté Canada in French. Previously known as CIC, IRCC is the department of the Government of Canada with responsibility for matters dealing with immigration to Canada, refugees, and Canadian citizenship.

CIC – Citizenship and Immigration Canada 

CIC is the old name of IRCC.

EE – Express Entry

Some might mistake EE for an immigration program but in fact, it’s an online immigration application system used by the Canadian government to manage Canadian permanent residence applications. There are currently three immigration programs using EE system: Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), Federal Skilled Trades (FST), Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

PNP – Provincial Nominee Program

PNP is a subset of Canada immigration programs where applicants get nominated by a Canadian province or territory to apply for permanent residence.

PR – Permanent Resident

A permanent resident is someone who has been through an immigration program and given permanent resident status by IRCC. Permanent residents have the same basic rights and responsibilities as a Canadian but they still are citizens of other countries, not a Canadian citizen.

SUV – Start-Up Visa

SUV or Start-Up Visa Program is a federal immigration program created by the Canadian government for immigrant entrepreneurs who want to start and grow a business in Canada. The successful SUV applicants will then be granted Canadian permanent residence.

LMO – Labour Market Opinion

LMO is permission from the Canadian government allowing a Canadian company to hire a foreign worker because they can’t find any Canadians that can meet the requirements for the job. It makes sure the new hire creates a positive or neutral impact on the Canadian labor market. It’s the first document an applicant needs to obtain before applying for the work visa.

COPR – Confirmation of Permanent Residence

When an applicant receives a COPR, it means their immigration application is already approved by IRCC and the applicant needs to show it at the port of entry to have the permanent residence granted.

PPR – Passport Request

An immigrant or visa applicant from a country that requires a visa to enter Canada will receive a PPR to have the visa printed to their passport before they can enter Canada.

IQAS – International Qualifications Assessment Service

The International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS) is an Alberta government service that issues certificates comparing and converting credentials from other countries to Canadian education standards. IQAS is designated by the Government of Canada to provide Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for Express Entry.

AIPP – Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

AIPP is an immigration program that allows employers from 4 Atlantic provinces Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island to hire foreign workers for the jobs that they can’t find Canadian candidates.

UCI – Unique Client Identifier

UCI is sometimes called client identification number, or client ID, is the unique number that an applicant gets after submitting their application and receiving an official document from IRCC.

CSQ – Certificat de Selection du Quebec

CSQ, or Québec selection certificate, is a document that an applicant got their immigration application approved by the province of Quebec.

AOR – Acknowledgment of Receipt

Once IRCC office receives the application and determined it’s eligible, they will send an AOR to the applicant along with a file number.

NOC – National Occupational Classification

NOC is a system to classify jobs (occupations) based on the type of job duties and type of work a person does for the immigration purpose. There are five NOC groups:

  • Skill Type 0 (zero): management jobs
  • Skill Level A: professional jobs that usually call for a degree from a university
  • Skill Level B: technical jobs and skilled trades that usually call for a college diploma or training as an apprentice
  • Skill Level C: intermediate jobs that usually call for high school and/or job-specific training
  • Skill Level D: labor jobs that usually give on-the-job training

CRS – Comprehensive Ranking System

CRS is a score based system used to rank the profile in Express Entry pool base on  

  • skills
  • education
  • language ability
  • work experience
  • other factors


A GCKey is a combination of username and password that an applicant creates and uses to access the Government of Canada’s online services. Security questions will also be required when accessing the online account.


When applying for permanent residence or a visa, the applicant will be required to give biometrics including fingerprints and photo. It’s a standard procedure by the Canadian government to ensure security and confirm personal identity.

CEC – Canadian Experience Class

The CEC is a permanent residence category for people with skilled work experience in Canada. It was developed for temporary foreign workers and foreign graduates with qualifying Canadian work experience.

SIN – Social Insurance Number

SIN is a 9 digit number issued by the Canadian government to be used in many programs such as filing tax or accessing to government programs and benefits. A person must have a SIN to work in Canada.

SINP – Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program

SINP is an immigration program offered by the province Saskatchewan to nominates successful applicants to the federal government of Canada so that the applicants can receive Canadian permanent residence and move to Saskatchewan.

PEQ –  Programme de l’expérience québécoise

PEQ, or Québec experience program, is an accelerated program for selecting skilled workers, which allows individuals to obtain a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Québec selection certificate) intending to gain permanent residence. This program is intended for Québec graduates or future graduates and temporary foreign workers who are employed and who meet certain conditions, including demonstrating advanced intermediate knowledge of oral French.


Arrima is an immigration application system used by the government of Quebec to manage immigration applications.

GCMS – Global Case Management System

GCMS is the single, integrated and worldwide system used internally to process applications for citizenship and immigration services.

OINP – Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program

OINP is an immigration program offered by the province Ontario to allow Canadian companies to hire foreign workers and international students and others with the right skills, experience, and education to apply for a nomination for permanent residence in Ontario.

TRV – Temporary Resident Visa

TRV is an official counterfoil document issued by a visa office that is placed in a person’s passport to show that they have met the requirements for admission to Canada as a temporary resident.

PRTD – Permanent Resident Travel Document

PRTD is a document that a permanent resident of Canada must carry and show when boarding a flight to Canada, or traveling to Canada on any other commercial carrier as an alternative to PR card.

ECA – Educational Credential Assessment

ECA is a document included in the Express Entry profile to verify that an applicant’s foreign degree, diploma, or certificate or other proof of credentials is valid and equal to a Canadian one.

IRPR – Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act creates the foundation for the goals and guidelines the Canadian government has set concerning emigration to Canada by foreign residents, including immigration policies, processes, and procedures. IRPR specify how the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act’s provisions are to be applied.

FSW – Federal Skilled Worker

RSW is a federal immigration program under the Express Entry system that invites foreign workers to apply for permanent residence based on the information they enter in an online profile including their education, work experience, knowledge of English and/or French, and other factors.

PGWPP – Post-Graduation Work Permit Program

PGWPP is a program that allows international students who have graduated from eligible Canadian designated learning institutions to obtain an open work permit to gain valuable Canadian work experience, then later can apply for permanent residence in Canada through Express Entry

EOI – Expression of Interest

EOI is the first step to immigrating to Canada. Eligible candidates submit an Expression of Interest by complete a series of questions online and are not required to upload supporting documentation before submitting their profile into the EOI pool.

IEC – International Experience Canada

IEC is a program that allows eligible applicants from foreign countries to travel and work in Canada via several IEC pools such as:

  1. International Co-op (Internship)
  2. Young Professionals
  3. Working Holiday

QSW – Quebec-selected skilled workers

QSW is an immigration program offered by the province of Quebec to attract skilled workers who want to become permanent residents of Canada and live in Quebec.

Canada Visa lottery

Canada doesn’t have a Visa lottery program. Don’t fall for these false advertising.


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