ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 300b - November 8, 2011

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

Return of Incomplete Citizenship Proof and Grant Applications

This document has expired. Please refer to the appropriate Program Delivery Instructions for current information.


The purpose of this Operational Bulletin (OB) is to provide instructions for the return of incomplete citizenship proof and grant applications submitted to the Case Processing Centre in Sydney (CPC-S).


Citizenship proof and grant applications are submitted to the CPC-S, Nova Scotia.

There is no provision in the Citizenship Act that defines what a complete application is; however, in accordance with the requirements of R3, R4, R10, R31 and R32 of the Citizenship Regulations, an application shall be made in the prescribed form and filed with fees, photos and supporting documents.

Before April 1, 2011, CPC-S began the processing of an application and if the application was incomplete, the processing agent contacted the applicant up to two times to request the missing information or document. A client note was entered into the Global Case Management System (GCMS) and a bring-forward was added to the system. The application was held until the missing information was received or a set time frame, whichever came sooner.

With the aim of increasing operational efficiency, CPC-S has conducted a pilot project starting on April 1, 2011, to assess the feasibility and operational impacts of returning incomplete proof and grant applications. These include the following applications:

  • Adult grant applications under subsection 5(1)
  • Minor grant applications under subsection 5(2)
  • Proof applications under section 3 (citizenship certificate)

During the pilot, CPC-S checked all applications upfront for completeness and if the application was incomplete, a notice letter was sent to the applicant to provide the missing information or document within 30 days.

New procedures – Effective immediately

All applications received will be checked upfront for completeness, and when CPC-S receives an incomplete application, the mailroom staff will:

  • Not allocate the paid fees to the processing of the application;
  • Not record basic data in GCMS;
  • Return the entire application package to the applicant with a notice letter indicating what information or document is missing in their application and three options will be offered to them:
    1. Resubmit the application with the missing information or document;
    2. Proceed with the incomplete application as initially submitted; or
    3. Request the refund of the fees paid as the applicant no longer wishes to submit their application.

Citizenship grant and proof applications forms and guides have been updated. New enhanced Document Checklists outlining the necessary documents that must be provided for an application to be considered complete have been integrated within the application form. They can be found at the end of the application forms:

Should an application package include more than one application (for example, family members), and one of the applications is incomplete, the mailroom staff will return the entire package.

Requirements to submit a new application in response to a returned incomplete grant application

Effective immediately, when a grant application is returned on the grounds that it is not signed, not dated, post-dated or received at CPC-S after 90 days from the date the application was signed, applicants who wish to resubmit a grant application, will be instructed to complete and return a new application form. This will avoid any confusion in determining if the applicant has updated the information on their new application form or knowingly concealed any material circumstances that could lead to proceedings under paragraph 29(2)(a)of the Citizenship Act.

Files currently on hold waiting for missing information or document

During the pilot project, applicants were given 30 days to provide the missing information or document. As of today, for all applications currently on hold where the 30 days have elapsed and the applicant has not provided the missing information or document, the entire package will be returned to the applicant with a notice letter listing what component is missing offering the three options as mentioned above.

Urgent processing

These procedures also apply to applications which meet the urgent processing criteria. However, CPC-S may use alternative means of communication to obtain the missing information or document as required by the circumstances of each application.

Proceed with incomplete application

If applicants wish to proceed with their incomplete citizenship proof or grant application, they will be requested to indicate on the notice of incomplete application that they wish to proceed with their application as it was originally submitted. The applicant will be asked to return that notice letter with their previously submitted application to the CPC-S. A decision will be rendered based on the information submitted with the application.

Refund of fee payment

If applicants no longer wish to submit their citizenship proof or grant application, they will be requested to indicate on the notice of incomplete application that they do not wish to submit their application. Since fees will already have been paid upfront, the applicant will be asked to return that notice letter with a copy of their fee payment to the CPC-S, at the address indicated on the notice letter to obtain a refund.

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