Procedure: Suspending applications

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

Section 13.1 of the Citizenship Act allows the Minister to suspend an application in certain circumstances, and without time limitation, in order to obtain the following information needed to make a decision:

  • information, evidence, or the results of any investigation or inquiry for the purpose of ascertaining whether the applicant:
    • meets the requirements under the Citizenship Act relating to the application,
    • should be the subject of an admissibility hearing or a removal order under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act or whether section 20 or 22 applies with respect to the applicant; and
  • in the case of an applicant who is a permanent resident and who is the subject of an admissibility hearing under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the determination as to whether a removal order is to be made against the applicant.

Suspension is an administrative action taken on an application; it is not an adjudicative decision.

The authority to suspend an application is delegated to citizenship officers.

How to suspend an application in the Global Case Management System (GCMS)

Whenever an application is suspended, the officer would record this administrative action in a case note in GCMS.

In GCMS CIT Legacy, set the cases status to On Hold and select the case reason value Suspended. Enter a case note in GCMS using the appropriate case note Type value (Suspend-IMM, Suspend-CRM, Suspend-Security, or Suspend-Residence). Using the Bring Forward feature, ensure that the file is monitored every 60 days. The case note should briefly explain what the officer is waiting to receive.

Examples of when to use suspension

Example 1: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) receives information that the applicant is the subject of an investigation by any of our enforcement partners.

Example 2: CIC is informed that an investigation into the applicant’s permanent residence status is underway (for admissibility and/or a permanent residency determination) by either the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) or another branch or office of CIC.

Example 3: Staff becomes aware that the applicant is the subject of an open (not finalized) report under A44 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Example 4: The RCMP, the CBSA, the local immigration office, or Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) need more time to complete an investigation where there may be an impact on the applicant’s clearance.

Do not suspend to gain time

Never suspend an application:

  • To allow the applicant to complete a probation or a jail term.
  • To allow more time to reach a decision when all relevant information is available.
  • When a citizenship judge requests additional information from an applicant following a hearing.
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