ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletins 032 – July 6, 2007

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Remission of Citizenship Fees

This Operational Bulletin has expired.

Background

This operational bulletin (OB) should be read in conjunction with OB 030 “Interim Instructions on Handling Cases on Hold Pending the Taylor Appeal” and OB 031 “Handling Special Cases of Certain People Living in Canada Without Status.”

On January 24, 2007, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration announced that immediate action would be taken to address the situation of individuals who have discovered, after living most of their lives in Canada, that they do not have Canadian citizenship. The recent need to have a passport to fly to the United States and the interaction with entitlement-issuing government departments have caused a number of people to inquire about proving their citizenship. In some cases, it was determined that they never were citizens, and in other cases, that they had ceased to be citizens. In both situations, these individuals may have had a reasonable but mistaken belief that they were Canadian citizens.

The Citizenship Regulations provide authority to charge individuals applying for citizenship. The total fee for an adult to be granted citizenship is $200, which consists of $100 for the processing fee and $100 for the right of citizenship fee. The total fee to resume citizenship is a $100 processing fee. There are no provisions in the Citizenship Act or Regulations allowing for a discretionary remission (refund) or exemption of fees.

The 2007 Citizenship Fees Remission Order provides the authority for Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to remit or exempt citizenship grant and resumption fees, in respect of applications from individuals who meet the specified conditions. A copy of the Citizenship Fees Remission Order can be viewed on the Treasury Board’s website at: www.gazette.gc.ca/archives/p2/2007/2007-04-04/html/si-tr37-eng.html

Who qualifies under the remission order

To qualify, applicants must meet ALL of the following conditions:

  • they have been granted, or are under consideration to be granted, citizenship under subsection 5(4) of the Citizenship Act;
  • they had an application for a grant or resumption of citizenship in process on January 24, 2007, or have submitted an application on or after that date;
  • they have had a reasonable but mistaken belief that they were Canadian citizens;
  • they have lived in Canada most of their lives; and
  • they are currently living in Canada.

Applicants do not qualify if they meet ANY of the following conditions:

  • they are permanent residents within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection
    Act
    ;
  • they are prohibited from being granted citizenship under section 20 or 22 of the Citizenship Act; or
  • they have renounced their citizenship under the Canadian Citizenship Act (as it was in force from 1947 until 1977) or the Citizenship Act.

Difference between exemption of fees and refund of fees

Applicants who meet the conditions of the 2007 Citizenship Fees Remission Order will either be exempted from paying the fees (no fees will be collected) or will receive a refund (all fees paid towards the application will be returned). Applicants who have paid partial fees will receive a refund for the portion paid, and the balance payable will be exempted.

The steps outlined below ensure that applications from eligible individuals are identified and processed early so that fees can be exempted or a refund issued as soon as possible in the process.

However, applicants who meet the conditions of the remission order but whose files had already been forwarded to the Case Management Branch or the local office when the remission order was issued (March 22, 2007), are refunded the fees at the end of the process.

Exemption of fees – Procedures for new applications with no payment or partial payment

Mailroom agent procedures for exemption of fees

These procedures are to be followed by mailroom agents when they receive an application with no proof of payment or partial payment included.

If the applicant then the applicant and the mailroom agent
  • provides an immigration record of landing or permanent resident card and
  • does not request consideration for a discretionary grant under subsection 5(4) and
  • does not request an exemption of fees;
does not qualify under the remission order;

returns the application as per current procedures regarding applications received with no fees

OR

follows the current procedures regarding applications received with partial fees.

  • does not provide an immigration record of landing or permanent resident card and
  • does not request consideration for a discretionary grant under subsection 5(4) and
  • does not request an exemption of fees;
may qualify under the remission order;

reviews the application and documentation against a checklist to determine if the applicant qualifies for a remission order.

If the applicant does not qualify, the mailroom agent returns the application as per current procedures regarding applications received with no fees, or follows the current procedures regarding applications received with partial fees.

If the applicant appears to qualify, the mailroom agent completes the mailroom process and forwards the application to the service delivery agent for urgent processing.

  • either requests consideration for a discretionary grant under subsection 5(4) or
  • requests an exemption of fees;

(Applicant may or may not have provided an immigration record of landing or permanent resident card.)

may qualify under the remission order; completes the mailroom process and forwards the application to the service delivery agent for urgent processing.
Program support officer procedures for exemption of fees

Once the service delivery agent has completed processing the file with partial payment or no payment, it is forwarded to Program Support for review. A program support officer reviews the application and documentation found in the file to confirm whether the application meets the conditions for exemption of fees.

If the program support officer determines that:

the applicant then the program support officer will
does not meet the conditions for the remission order; contact the applicant to explain that the remission order does not apply in this situation, and request the required or missing fees.
does meet the conditions for the remission order;
  • change the status of the subactivity “Allocate Fees” in GCMS to “Not Required”;
  • add a case note stating fees are not required as per Remission Order 2007;
  • complete the remission template and forward it to CPC-Sydney Finance (e-mail address: CPCS-Finance-HD);
  • change the case stage in GCMS from “Capture” to “Certprep/Clearances”;
  • forward the file to the Case Management Branch for 5(4) consideration.

Case Management Branch procedures for exemption of fees

The Case Management Branch may receive an application directly from the applicant that qualifies under the remission order and that includes partial payment or no payment. In this case, the Case Management Branch will:

Step Action
1 change the status of the subactivity “Allocate Fees” in GCMS to “Not Required”;
2 add a case note stating fees are not required as per Remission Order 2007;
3 complete a remission template;
4 forward the template to CPC-Sydney Finance (e-mail address: CPCS-Finance-HD);
5 process the application as per normal procedures.
CPC-Sydney Finance procedures for exemption of fees

When CPC-Sydney Finance receives a completed template from either Program Support or the Case Management Branch, it will:

Step Action
1 issue the refund if partial payment is received;
2 record all necessary information for reporting purposes.

Exemption of fees – Procedures for new applications where full payment is received but not processed

Program support officer procedures for exemption of fees where full payment is received but not processed

Applications with full payment are processed by the mailroom agent and the service delivery agent following regular procedures.

Applications for a regular grant under 5(1) or for a resumption under 11(1) are referred to Program Support when the applicant is not a permanent resident. Applications in which a client requests consideration for a discretionary grant under 5(4) must also be referred to Program Support.

When such an application is referred to Program Support, a program support officer reviews the application and documentation found in the file to confirm that the application meets the conditions for exemption of fees.

If the program support officer determines that:

the applicant then the program support officer will
does not meet the conditions
for the remission order;
forward the file, as appropriate, to the local office or Case Management Branch.
does meet the conditions for the remission order;
  • change the status of the subactivity “Allocate Fees” in GCMS to “Not Required”;
  • add a case note stating fees are not required as per Remission Order 2007;
  • complete the remission template and forward it to CPC-Sydney Finance
    (e-mail address: CPCS-Finance-HD);
  • change the case stage in GCMS from “Capture” to “Certprep/Clearances”;
  • forward the file to the Case Management Branch for 5(4) consideration.
Case Management Branch procedures for exemption of fees where full payment received but not processed

The Case Management Branch may receive applications directly from the applicant that qualify under the remission order and include full payment. In this case, the Case Management Branch will:

Step Action
1 change the status of the subactivity “Allocate Fees” in GCMS to “Not Required”;
2 add a case note stating fees are not required as per Remission Order 2007;
3 complete a remission template;
4 forward the template to CPC-Sydney Finance (e-mail address: CPCS-Finance-HD);
5 process the application as per normal procedures.
CPC-Sydney Finance procedures for exemption of fees where full payment received but not processed

When CPC-Sydney Finance receives a completed template from either Program Support or the Case Management Branch, it will:

Step Action
1 issue the refund if full payment is received;
2 record all necessary information for reporting purposes.

Refund of fees procedures for applications with payment already processed

There may be cases where an application with payment is already in process and is subsequently identified as meeting the conditions for the remission order. The applicant file may be in CPC-Sydney, at the Case Management Branch, or at the local office.

Local office procedures for refund of fees

If the local office has a case that is eligible under the remission order for a refund of fees paid, and these fees have not yet been refunded, the local office should take the following steps after presentation of the certificate and oath taking:

Step Action
1 place file in container clearly identified as remission order cases;
2 forward container to CPC-Sydney Program Support for processing;
3 add a case note explaining that the file has been forwarded to CPC-Sydney Program Support for refund of fees under the 2007 Citizenship Fees Remission Order.
Case Management Branch procedures for refund of fees

If the Case Management Branch has a case that is eligible under the remission order for a refund of fees paid, and these fees have not yet been refunded, the Case Management Branch should inform the local office of this situation when sending the file to the office for presentation of the certificate and oath taking. The local office will identify this as a remission order case when returning the file to CPC-Sydney (see procedures above).

Program support officer procedures for refund of fees

As stated above, there will be cases where Program Support receives files from local offices identified as remission order cases.

In this instance, the program support officer will:

Step Action
1 complete the remission template;
2 forward the file to CPC-Sydney Finance for processing of the refund;
3 archive the file after it has been acted on and returned by CPC-Sydney Finance.
CPC-Sydney Finance procedures for refund of fees

When CPC-Sydney Finance receives a file with a completed remission template from Program Support, CPC-Sydney Finance will:

Step Action
1 issue the refund under the remission order;
2 record all necessary information for reporting purposes;
3 return the file to Program Support.

Questions?

Questions about this operational bulletin should be sent to the Citizenship Program Unit, Operational Management and Coordination Branch at Nat-Cit-Operations@cic.gc.ca

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