Operational Bulletin 392 - March 1, 2012

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.

Transition Out of CIC Services When Newcomers Obtain Citizenship


The purpose of this Operational Bulletin is to inform Settlement Officers about policy on the transition of clients out of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Settlement Programs services when they obtain Canadian citizenship. Once Permanent Residents, including refugees become Canadian citizens they are no longer eligible for Settlement Program services. However, they should not experience a disadvantage because they choose to obtain citizenship and therefore, a period of time is needed for the transition from CIC services to those offered by other departments (e.g. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC)) or provinces/territories.


There is a need to provide for an orderly transition out of Settlement Program services when CIC clients obtain Canadian citizenship and consequently must switch to services from other departments or other levels of government.


The Settlement Program Terms and Conditions specify that when newcomers become Canadian citizens, they are no longer eligible to receive CIC services. On the one hand, newcomers are encouraged to become fully participating citizens, but on the other, obtaining citizenship results in loss of access to CIC services. Currently, practices vary across regions regarding how quickly clients must leave CIC services after they obtain citizenship. In some provinces CIC and the provincial government cost-share the same program and in these cases the clients are eligible to remain in the program as provincially-sponsored participants. For other CIC services, such as those for labour market access, there may be a comparable HRSDC program or provincial program available to citizens. What is needed is enough time to permit an orderly transition out of CIC services to those provided by other departments or levels of government.


The appropriate transition period for different programs will vary. For Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada classes, which are offered over terms of specified length (e.g. September to January, February to June), the maximum transition period would be to the end of the term in which the newcomer is enrolled (e.g. June). For other programs that do not have clear cut-off dates to discontinue the service, there will be a maximum time newcomers can participate after they have obtained citizenship. This transition period of two months is considered adequate to arrange for placement in alternative programs offered by other departments or levels of government.

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