GCKey and Sign-in Partner for Canada Immigration


The very first step towards applying for Canada PR is to create an IRCC account through  GCKey or Sign-In Partner. Both enable the applicant to securely access online services offered by the Canadian government. GCKey is specifically used by users who do not have online banking credentials. On the other hand, Sign-In Partner helps you create and sign into your account using the same credentials that you use to access your bank or credit union. 

What is GCKey?

GCKey is a credential authentication service offered by the Canadian government that allows secure access to your IRCC account. It was first operational in September 2012 and has been in use ever since. 

It is used to apply to and check the status of the following applications

  • Express Entry 
  • International Experience Canada
  • Work Permit
  • Extending work and study permits
  • Change of School in an existing study permit
  • Modify conditions in an existing work permit
  • Certificates for Canadian citizenship

Additionally, an applicant can check the status of various applications after linking them to the IRCC secure account.

  • Atlantic Immigration Program
  • Agri-Food Pilot
  • Caregivers
  • Family Sponsorship
  • Provincial Nominee Program
  • Quebec Selected Skilled Worker
  • Start-Up Visa
  • PR Card
  • Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

GCKey for Express Entry 

GCKey is popularly used to create an Express Entry profile. The very first step in creating your profile is to register with either a GCKey or Sign-in Partner as shown in the image below.


To register through the GCKey, the applicant will need to set up a username and password. Additionally, they will be asked to provide answers to recovery questions in case of a forgotten password. Lastly, a verification email will be sent to your provided email address. Your GCKey will be successfully created once you verify your email address through a confirmation code sent to your inbox.

GCKey Two-factor authentication


After creating your GCKey, you will be asked to undergo a two-factor authentication. As shown in the image above, a one-time passcode will be sent to your email address. This will be the first of the two-step authentication. 

The second step will be to further verify your account by answering some additional questions. Every time you log into your IRCC account through GCKey, you will be required to provide a passcode sent to your inbox and further answer an additional question as secondary authentication. You can then create your Express Entry profile.


What is a Sign-In Partner?


Just like the GCKey, the Sign-In Partner or the Interac® sign-in service is an alternative way that allows you to securely access online services provided by the Canadian government. If you have an account with one of the selected banks and credit unions, you can use the same login credentials to register and access your IRCC secure account. You can use Sign-In Partners to register and create your Express Entry profile if you have an account with any one of the following Canadian financial institutions.

  • Affinity Credit Union
  • Alberta Treasury Branches
  • BMO Financial Group
  • Coast Capital Savings
  • Caisse Alliance
  • CIBC Candian Imperial Bank of Commerce
  • Desjardins Group
  • Conexus Credit Union
  • Vancity
  • UNI Financial Cooperation
  • TD Bank Group
  • Tangerine
  • Simplii Financial
  • Scotiabank
  • Servus Credit Union
  • RBC Royal Bank
  • Libro Credit Union
  • National Bank of Canada

The main advantage of using the Sign-In Partner is that you don’t need to create and remember the extra username, password, and additional questions used by GCKey as two-step authentication. You can easily register and access your IRCC account through the same frequently used credentials that are required for accessing a selected bank or credit union. 

How to Create an Express Entry profile through GCKey or Sign-In Partners?

  1. Register and create an account through either GCKey or Sign-In Partner.
  2. Determine your eligibility for Express Entry
  3. Once you are eligible, begin creating your profile by providing the required information as illustrated in the image below.

Once the profile is successfully created, you will be assigned one of the three Express Entry pathways through which you will be eligible to apply for Canada PR if invited. Your profile will also get a CRS score according to the information provided during its creation.


The IRCC will issue you an Invitation to Apply in Express Entry draws if your CRS score is equal to or greater than the CRS cut-off. You must apply for Canada PR within 60 days of getting an ITA.

Before registering with GCKey or Sign-In Partner, it is advisable to get your profile assessed by a CICC-licensed representative and be aware of all your immigration options.

An award-winning legal immigration company, Talent Connected Worldwide has more than a decade-long experience in successful Canada Immigration through Express Entry. Contact us for simplified, safe, and accessible legal immigration.