Procedure : Multiple applications
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.
This section describes when the processing of an application should be suspended because the client has more than one active application for citizenship.
Applicants for citizenship services must submit an appropriate application form with the prescribed fees, evidence and materials in order to be granted citizenship, to obtain proof of citizenship or to retain, renounce or resume citizenship. In some cases, persons may apply for a citizenship service when they already have an earlier application being processed by CIC or which is in litigation. Multiple applications filed by the same client often cause difficulties in processing, resulting in confusion for the client and the local office, and increased status inquiries to the Call Centre.
When an applicant submits more than one application before an earlier application is finally and formally dispensed with, CIC must determine whether the later application should be processed at the same time as the earlier application is being finalized.
CIC has an obligation to avoid duplication of work or unnecessary costs in the processing of an application. Unless a client specifically requests CIC to process two or more applications at the same time, all applications will be held by CIC until processing on the initial application is completed. Applicants are encouraged to submit new applications only if they have new facts or evidence.
If an application is deemed lost and depending on the circumstances of a case, a file can be recreated based on information in GCMS. Additionally, in these cases, the CPC-S or the local office may ask the applicant to submit a second application. The original date signed, absence assessment, etc. should be used to complete a new application form for the applicant. The applicant should be interviewed by a PM-03 who is to explain that CIC has used the electronic information based on the application to complete a new application form. The newly completed application should be reviewed with the applicant for accuracy and the applicant would be required to sign the new application form. The officer should ensure that the prohibition section is reviewed with the applicant. As an extra precaution, it is advisable to have the applicant sign an additional declaration confirming the information in the application form represents an accurate reflection of the information contained in the original application. In the event the applicant kept a copy of the original application prior to having submitted it, a copy should also be placed on file as an attachment to the second application. During the interview, the officer will confirm identity and review documents as per usual practice. Photocopies of the ID, PR card, landing document, language evidence (if applicable) and bio page of the passport must be made and placed on the file as well.
Detailed notes should be entered on the File Requirements Checklist and in GCMS to document the situation.
Applicant filed for judicial review
In cases where the applicant has filed a second application while an earlier application is in litigation, both of them proceed normally through their respective processes until a decision is rendered on one of the applications (see Procedures for simultaneous processing of multiple applications with one application in litigation).
The CPC officer will process the first application but will also consider any additional evidence in the subsequent applications when processing the file.
Example: A person may have filed an application for a child born outside Canada, via a Canadian mission overseas, and then have filed a second application a few weeks later from within Canada. The CPC-S will process the first application but will consider new evidence presented in the second application.
The fact that a person has more than one active application in the system comes to the attention of a CPC-S official during the data collection stage when the case is being created in GCMS. In some cases, only the CPC-S is involved with the subsequent process while in others, the local office or the Case Management Branch (CMB) will be directly involved. Regardless of the route followed, the CPC S official enters the information in GCMS. Cross referencing information is done by GCMS as the cases are attached by client in the system. This assists colleagues in the CPC-S, CMB, Call Centre and local offices to answer inquiries from clients about secondary applications.
In some cases, the client has simply moved and resubmitted an application to ensure the CPC S is aware of the new address. The CPC-S may be able to resolve these simple cases with the client. The first application is processed to completion and the second application is not processed.
Local office involvement
In certain instances, the two applications are put together and the CPC notifies the local office responsible for the first application that there is a second application in the system. The second application is put on hold. The information about the second application is forwarded to the local office so that a comparison of information regarding addresses, absences, prohibitions and other data can be made. The office responsible for the initial application will clarify any discrepancies with the client. The local office will determine the appropriate steps to take depending on the circumstances (refer suspected misrepresentation to the CMB, call client in for a personal interview, transfer file to another office).
Case Management Branch involvement
On other occasions, the case may need to be referred to the CMB because the first application is already under investigation or is in the process of being litigated. Where a first application is under investigation, the second application is put on hold pending the results.
Procedures for the processing of multiple general applications
There are times when clients decide to file a second application when they already have an active application for the same case type. This can occur, for example, when applicants realize they do not meet the residence requirements in the first application. In general, the CPC-S accepts the second application and enters a bring forward (BF) date until the outcome of the first application is known. The second application will remain on hold pending the outcome of the first application. The CPC-S usually contacts the holder of the initial file to determine what action should be taken depending on the circumstances of the case.
- If the client chooses to withdraw the first application, the CPC-S will send a withdrawal form to the client. Once the signed withdrawal form is received, the CPC-S will inform the local office. The local office will return the first file to the CPC-S who will close off the file and proceed with any refunds. The CPC-S will enter the second application into the system and send it to the local office for processing.
- If the client chooses to withdraw the second application, the CPC-S will send a withdrawal form to the client. The CPC-S will close off the file and proceed with any refunds once the signed withdrawal form is received.
- If the application is withdrawn before the “capture” stage is completed, the total fee is returned. If the application is closed off after the “capture” stage is completed, then only the Right of Citizenship fee is refunded.
Application on hold
- If the client does not wish to withdraw an application, the client can choose which application is processed first. A note will be put on the other application and the local office or the CPC-S will hold it pending the outcome of the chosen application.
- If the application is successful, the application on hold will be designated "incomplete", the file retired and the appropriate fees returned.
- If the application is unsuccessful, the suspended application is released from hold and processing continued.
- The client should be instructed to advise CIC if their application is unsuccessful in order to ensure that their second application is released from hold and processed promptly.
Procedures for simultaneous processing of multiple applications with one application in litigation
Clients who are pursuing redress may choose to file a second application while the first is in litigation. In this instance, both proceed normally through their respective processes until a decision is rendered on one of the applications. The CPC-S will ensure the capture is completed for both applications. The CIC office will inform Litigation Management that a second application has been received.
Once a decision is made on an application, the other application must be finalized. The table below shows the process to follow when processing continues on both applications.
If the applicant is successful on the first application
- then the first application will be processed to ceremony;
- and the second application is not processed to completion. The file is retired and the Right of Citizenship Fee is refunded.
If the applicant is not successful on the first application
- then the first application is returned to the CPC-S for retirement;
- and the second application continues to be processed.
If the second application is processed BEFORE litigation is completed on the first application, and the second application is successful
- then the second application is finalized through to the oath;
- and the local office advises Litigation Management that citizenship has been granted.
If the second application is processed BEFORE litigation is completed on the first application, and the second application is also refused
- then the second application is finalized (a refusal/non-approval letter is sent);
- the local office advises Litigation Management that the second application has been refused; and
- the litigation process on the first application continues.
The processing fee is not refundable for citizenship applications. It is the Department's policy that processing revenues be refunded only where a fee has been collected in error, or in excess of the requirements and/or if the client requests that the service is no longer required prior to the processing of the service service or if the application is deemed incomplete.
In this latter instance, the request to cancel the service must be received before the application has been processed in whole or in part. Since in all cases the subsequent application will have been processed beyond the initial stages, there is no refund of the citizenship application-processing fee, even where a file has been suspended, withdrawn or closed off as incomplete.
Right of Citizenship fee
- A Person submits two applications:
- both applications result in refusals;
- the Right of Citizenship fee is refunded for both.
- A Person submits two applications:
- the first application results in a refusal;
- the second application is successful;
- the Right of Citizenship fee is refunded for the first application.
- A person submits two applications:
- if client decides to withdraw both applications before a decision is rendered, the Right of Citizenship fee is refunded for both.
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