11 months after submitting, still no application number


New Member
Hello, I'm really struggling with what to do in regards to my situation as I come up on my second 6 month period in Canada as a visitor.

-We submitted Spousal Inland sponsorship in mid-December 2020. I'm American, my wife is Canadian. We were previously living in US.

-The lawyer we hired was nice enough until application was submitted, then became quite curt and uninterested in our case. Constantly insisting he would let us know the moment there was any communication, and criticizing us for taking as long as we did to finally decide to move to Canada.

-Finally heard back from him in July 2021 that my application was returned because the photocopy his office made of my birth certificate didn't print correctly and they submitted without catching it. Since most of my original documents were too old by that point, I had to regather most of my materials for my application to be resubmitted. Background checks, fingerprints, photos, bank statements, etc. He told us he would do all the extra work for free and not put it on my final bill...and that this hiccup would in no way effect the timing of my application, so long as we jumped on it right away and resubmitted. We gathered everything in a week and sent it to him for resubmittal.

-Now nearly 4 months later, and I still have not received anything. I have no AOR, no prospective application number, no communication from IRCC whatsoever.

-My attorney last assured me on Sept. 20th, that this is the "normal processing time they are seeing right now", but following the spreadsheets from another forum shows a very different picture. Almost everyone else that submitted in December 2020 had received an AOR by June/July of 2021. The vast majority of people who hadn't even applied until August 2021, have received their AOR.

-On Sept. 20th attorney told me he would file an official inquiry. I still have not heard anything from him, or IRCC. But when you look at the IRCC webpage about the official inquiry, it clearly states they will not respond to any inquiries before applications have been submitted for the estimated processing time, which seems to me that they won't even accept my inquiry until December of 2021 (they show 12 months for Inland spousal right now). It seems very peculiar that my attorney did not know that. And that he hasn't even followed up with me to let me know that this is the case, is also of concern.

The main reason we went this route was so that I could get the Open Work Permit within a handful of months of receiving the AOR. I have not been able to work for a year now, and I have absolutely no way to comprehend how I don't even have an AOR at this point. Am I still another year out? I know that there are many people in more difficult circumstances, as at least I am with my partner, and I know that there are other outliers that are in some sort of limbo. But I have yet to see anyone that doesn't even have a prospective application number, after 11 months in processing. At this point I have completely lost faith in my attorney's abilities, and am worried that he might be misleading me to cover up his negligence, or minimize the perception of his fault.

All communications from my application go through his office, and I'm worried that if I approach him about misleading me about the impact his mistake had on my application, maybe he'll accidentally miss something else, or somehow put even less effort into helping me navigate this process.

I left Canada for doctor's appointments and vaccines in April/May, which also kept me in Canada for less than 6 months, however I am coming up again on another 6 months in the country on a visitor visa. My attorney told me it's ok to be here since I've submitted my application, but I've read other people have heard the opposite from border guards.

Do I need to visit the states to avoid jeopardizing my status? I have no proof from IRCC that I've even applied, and my attorney has lost all of my trust when it comes to advisement.

Any advice from the community would be really appreciated.

Many Thanks,


These applications take 1 to 1.5 years to process. See timelines here. Here are your options:

1. Stick with this firm but do your own IRCC inquiries about your application
2. Remove the legal representative from your file and all IRCC correspondence will come to you
3. Find a new firm to take over your file.


New Member
Thanks for the reply canadageorge. I was thinking the same thing for options. Still trying to get a straight answer about if I have valid status because I've got an application in though. Every crossing of the border is a risk that you get a border guard having a bad day, but overstaying has it's own trouble as well.
Some of this is on covid but most of it is on your attorney or his office. You should do what George suggested. And you should really try hard to confirm that they at least have your application.