Operational Bulletin 379A – December 6, 2016

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Introduction of the plain paper Confirmation of Permanent Residence document


The purpose of this Operational Bulletin (OB) is to update the instructions for the issuance of the Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) document [IMM 5688].

Since February 4, 2012, COPR documents resulting from cases processed in the Global Case Management System (GCMS) have been printed on plain paper rather than IMM 5292 stock. This OB outlines the new document features and updated workflow procedures for the issuance and processing of the document.

Background and rationale

Increased reliance on plain paper documents is one element of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)’s modernization agenda. Plain paper documents reduce costs associated with the procurement, storage and tracking of commercially printed documents. They are available on demand, as required, for minimum cost. The elimination of multiple-copy documents and carbon paper is ecologically sound and reduces waste. The elimination of processing and handling costs associated with hard-copy archiving will allow for better use of IRCC resources while supporting the transition to e-storage.

Document features

The IMM 5688 form contains new data fields and formatting that are easier to understand. While the IMM 5292 version of the COPR had many fields with numeric values that corresponded to relevant client data, in the new COPR, all fields are populated with plain language text. The data fields are designed to contain the necessary information to enable IRCC and federal and provincial departments to provide services. It should be noted that not all data from the previous COPR will appear on the new version [IMM 5688]. However, the data remain available in GCMS. To maintain consistency with the current Generic Application Form for Canada [IMM 0008], the Country of Last Permanent Residence field has been renamed Country of Residence.

Issuance procedures

Since February 4, 2012, the COPR document, issued to those with successful permanent residence applications processed in GCMS, is printed on legal size plain paper stock rather than IMM 5292 stock. This applies to cases processed within Canada as well as those processed through visa offices. It should be noted that the scanning process requires standardized 8.5" by 14" paper. In the event that missions are unable to source this paper locally, it may be ordered through the Information Management and Technologies Branch (IMTB).

Use of the IMM 5688 COPR will apply only to cases processed through GCMS.

New COPR form

The new COPR form [IMM 5688] automatically prints from GCMS with two pages, one labelled “IRCC Copy” and one labelled “Client Copy”. The issuing office will continue to mount a photo of the holder at the indicated place on the IRCC copy. It should be noted that the plain paper version of the form does not have an integrated adhesive photo patch. A photo patch (double-sided tape) will need to be applied to the form in order to secure the photo. Forms Management supplies standardized photo patches as a regular stock item. Photo patches can be ordered using the Requisition for Non-Controlled Immigration form [IMM 1389], by selecting the item “IRCC 0108B – Photo Patch/Pièce encollée pour photo” from the drop-down menu and entering the number of packages required.

It should be noted that specifications for the client photo have changed. Photo specifications are attached for reference (Appendix A). For information related to photo retakes, refer to OB 545.

The IMM 5688 COPR document does not include a shaded signature box. This special feature was designed to assist with digital data capture of the client signature for permanent resident card (PR card) production. This is no longer required, as PR cards issued after February 4, 2012, do not display the client signature.

Port of entry (POE) and IRCC office processing

The officer granting permanent resident status will complete the required data fields on both the IRCC copy and client copy of the IMM 5688 form and sign and date both copies. Any amendment to the IRCC copy should also be reflected on the client copy. Clients will also sign and date both copies of the form to verify that the information is true and to acknowledge terms and conditions.

It should be noted that the officer should strictly follow the procedures when finding that a clerical error has been made on the IMM 5688 COPR document. Both the IRCC copy and the client copy of the IMM 5688 form should be corrected to bring them into agreement with the biographical data in the passport or travel document. The correction should be made by placing an asterisk beside the error and noting the correction in the remarks section of both copies of the IMM 5688 form. Any corrections made should also be reflected in the remarks in GCMS.

The client copy does not require a photo of the holder. Once permanent resident status has been granted at the POE or inland IRCC office, the client copy will be issued to the client as a historical record. New permanent residents will continue to receive their official status document (PR card) through the mail within six to eight weeks of being granted permanent resident status. Prior to receipt of the PR card, interim arrangements for status verification within Canada may include presentation of the client copy of the IMM 5688 form, together with the passport.


Following processing at the POE or IRCC office, the IRCC copy of the IMM 5688 form will be forwarded to the permanent resident card processing centre in Sydney (CPC-PRC) for digital data capture of the client’s photo, as required for production of a PR card. To avoid complications in the scanning process, it is important that the document not be folded. There will not be a National Headquarters (NHQ) copy with the IMM 5688 version of the COPR, as the IRCC copy and GCMS record will serve as the archival record.

At the Case Processing Centre in Sydney (CPC-S), a quality review is undertaken to ensure the GCMS record is complete and accurate and that the photo complies with specifications.

Appendix A: Photo requirements

Permanent residents photograph specifications (PDF, 614.24KB)

The two photos must

  • have been taken by a commercial photographer;
  • have a 50 mm x 70 mm (2 inches wide x 2 3/4 inches long) finished size;
  • measure between 31 mm and 36 mm (1 1/4 inches and 1 7/16 inches) from chin to crown (natural top of head);
  • have been taken within the last six months to reflect your current appearance;
  • have the date the photo was taken written directly on the back of one of the photos;
  • be clear, sharp and in focus;
  • have been taken against a plain white or light-coloured background without shadows; and
  • present a front view of the person’s head, showing the full face in the middle of the photo;
Front - mesurements and instructions in text above; Back - Date, name and address of photography studio.

Please note that photos may be either in black and white or in colour. Religious head coverings may be worn, as long as the full facial features are visible. Non-tinted glasses may be worn as long as the eyes are clearly visible and not hidden by glare on the lens. Tinted prescription glasses and sunglasses are not acceptable.

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