Multi-Factor Authentication for Canada Immigration GCKey Login: All You Need To Know

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Multi-Factor Authentication for Canada Immigration GCKey Login: All You Need To Know
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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have recently made an important update regarding the security of the GCKey login.

Going forward, clients are required to enable multi-factor authorization and verify their identity every time they log into new or existing IRCC secure accounts using GCKey.

This enhanced security measure ensures a higher level of protection for users and their sensitive personal information.

The GCKey user ID lets clients securely access the online services offered by the Government of Canada. It includes a GCKey username and GCKey password of their choosing, and they must also create security questions to keep their data secure.

Clients can use their GCKey login for supported applications and other essential purposes:

  • To start an application
  • To submit and pay for an application
  • To get messages related to one’s application
  • To check the status of one’s application
  • To update one’s information

The multi-factor authorization adds an additional layer of security to clients’ profiles, as it prevents unauthorized access to their personal information even if the account’s password has been compromised.


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It should be noted, however, that applicants are required to enable this service only if they are signing into their account using GCKey; those using the Sign-In Partner option are exempt from their requisition.

The following IRCC accounts require the multi-factor authentication for GCKey:

  • IRCC Secure Account
  • Authorized Paid Representatives Portal
  • Employer Portal
  • Provincial and Territorial Partner Portal
  • Designated Learning Institutions Portal
  • Provincial and Territorial Public Health Authority Portal
  • Partner Portal (to access the Visa Application Centre Portal and the Validation Portal)

How to Set Up the IRCC GCKey Multi-Factor Authentication

1. Sign In Or Create An IRCC Account Using GCKey

When a client signs into an existing account or creates a new one, they are prompted to register a device or email address for setting up multi-factor authentication.

2. Choose A Multi-Factor Authentication Method 

Clients have the option of choosing among three methods:

  • Smartphone or tablet (recommended)

An authenticator application is required for this method and can be downloaded for free onto your phone or tables.

After choosing to register one’s smartphone or tablet:

  • Use the authenticator app on your smartphone or tablet, scan the QR code or enter the secret key to generate a 6-digit passcode
  • On the registration page, enter the 6-digit passcode generated on your authenticator app
  • Select “Continue” to confirm the selection of your multi-factor authentication method.

Please note that no personal information is shared between the Government of Canada and the third-party authenticator application.

  • Desktop or laptop

An authenticator application is also required for this method, which can be downloaded for free on your preferred device.

After choosing whether you would be using your desktop or laptop:

  • Enter the secret key in the authenticator application on your desktop or laptop
  • On the registration page, enter the 6-digit passcode generated on your authenticator application
  • Select “Continue” to confirm the selection of your multi-factor authentication method.

Once again, please note that no personal information is shared between the Government of Canada and the third-party authenticator application.

  • Email address
  • Enter the email address where you are asked for it, and then press “Continue.” A one-time 6-digit passcode would be sent to your preferred email.
  • Enter the one-time passcode as prompted on the registration page
  • Press “Continue” to confirm the selection of your multi-factor authentication method.

3. Save The Account Recovery Codes

You would be shown 5 recovery codes after your multi-factor authentication method is confirmed. These could be used if you lose or damage your device, or if you delete or reinstall or authenticator app.

Save them in a safe and accessible place.


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What Comes After Registration?

Every time you sign into your account, you will be prompted to enter an authenticator code from the authenticator application or your email.

To Reset or Recover Your Multi-Factor Authentication

If any of the following situations apply to you, you can reset/recover your multi-factor authentication method: 

  • You lose or replace your device, or your device is stolen
  • You change your phone number
  • You delete or re-install the authenticator app
  • You want to use a different multi-factor authenticator option

To reset/recover the multi-factor authentication method: 

1. Sign into your account

2. When you are prompted for your multi-factor authentication code, select “Recover account.”

3. Enter one of the recovery codes which you saved in a secure location.

4. If you wish to change the device or authentication method that you are using, select “change your two-factor authentication.”

  • You will be prompted to set up multi-factor authentication once more
  • You will be given new recovery codes, which you need to save in a safe space. The old ones have now become redundant.

5. If running out of recovery codes, select “Get new recovery codes.”

  • You will be shown new recovery codes. The old ones have now become redundant.

If the recovery codes are lost, you are required to create a new account.

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