Requests for Extensions of Time

Steven MeurrensUncategorized

Navigating the immigration process with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) can be challenging, especially when it comes to meeting strict deadlines for submitting required documents. If someone finds themselves needing more time, requesting an extension is possible.

Understanding the Need for an Extension

Various reasons might necessitate an extension to submit documents, such as delays in obtaining necessary records, unforeseen personal circumstances, or issues beyond one’s control. Whatever the reason, IRCC allows for the possibility of extensions, provided there is a valid justification.

Step-by-Step Process for Requesting an Extension

  1. Identify the Deadline and Act Promptly – As soon as the need for more time is realized, noting the original submission deadline and starting the extension request process immediately is crucial. Acting early demonstrates responsibility and awareness of IRCC’s timelines.
  2. Gather Supporting Documentation – Prepare any documents that support the need for an extension. This might include correspondence showing delays from third parties, medical records, or other evidence that substantiates the request.
  3. Compose a Detailed Request Letter – Write a clear and concise letter to IRCC explaining why an extension is needed. Include the following elements:
  4. Submit the Request – Submit the extension request through the appropriate channel. This could be via IRCC’s online portal, email, or mail, depending on the communication method previously used.
  5. Follow Up – After submitting the request, follow up to ensure it has been received and is being processed. Keep records of all communications for reference.

Tips for a Successful Request

  • Be Honest and Transparent: Clearly explain the situation without exaggeration.
  • Be Specific: Provide exact dates and details about why the extension is necessary.
  • Be Proactive: Don’t wait until the last minute to request an extension. Acting sooner increases the chances of a favorable response.
  • Keep Copies: Maintain copies of all correspondence with IRCC for records.


In Lee v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2024 FC 913, Madam Justice Turley reieterated that it is a breach of procedural fairness for IRCC to ignore to extension requests.  As well, if an applicant seeks reconsideration of a refused application that was based on failure to provide documents, and the reconsideration request does not address the underlying, initial refusal to extend the deadline, then there will still be a breach of procedural fairness, even if the applicant does not include the requested documents in the reconsideration request.