Guide for Paper Applications for a Search of Citizenship Records (CIT 0058)

This is not a legal document. The explanations and definitions are not legal definitions. In case of a discrepancy between the language in this document and the relevant legislation or regulations, the legal text in the legislation and regulations prevails.

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This information will help you complete the forms and guide you through the application process.


This instruction guide:

  • is for paper applications that will be submitted by mail or at a Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate
  • has information you must know before you submit your application
  • explains how to fill out the application and gather your supporting documents.

Read the instruction guide completely and then fill out each of the applicable forms in the application package.

The forms are designed with questions that will help process your application.

Symbols used in this guide

This guide uses these symbols to draw your attention to important information:
Required step

What you must do to have your application processed.

Important information

Important information that you need to know to avoid delays or other problems.

Get more information

Where to get more information.


Tips that will help you with this application.

Before you apply

Who may apply for a search of citizenship records?

Check if you can apply for a search of citizenship records

We’ll send the result of our search to the email address you provided in your application form.

If you need a paper copy of the result

  • let us know in the application form
  • you may need to wait longer (due to the time needed to mail the letter)
  • you will not receive the electronic letter

Note: These letters cannot be used as proof of citizenship, or to cross international borders including the Canadian/U.S.A. border.

stop sign The only official proof of citizenship is a citizenship certificate. For information on how to get a citizenship certificate, visit Apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate.

Note: We cannot disclose personal information about an individual who has been dead for less than 20 years. In some cases, an exception will be made if the executor of the estate or Power of Attorney requires the deceased’s personal information to administer their estate.

Step 1. Gather your documents

What documents do I need?

You need to provide:

  • clear and easy-to-read colour copies of your documents, unless otherwise stated
  • translations of documents that are not in English or French

Whether you’re applying for information about yourself, or about another person, you must provide two (2) pieces of your personal identification to show your identity.

If you’re applying for information regarding another person, you may have to provide other documents, such as proof of your relationship to that person and/or proof of their death.

 Note: If any of the required documents are missing, or the photocopies or images are of poor quality, your application may be returned to you.

 Note: Additional documents and information may be required during the processing of your application.

Acceptable identity documents

Two pieces of valid identification are required to establish your identity. Both documents must show your name and date of birth. One must have your photo on it.

Examples of Canadian federal, provincial or territorial government-issued documents that can be used to establish identity:

  • driver’s license
  • age of majority card
  • passport
  • certificate of Indian status card
  • health insurance identification card
  • senior citizen’s card
  • travel document

If you live outside of Canada and are not able to provide Canadian identity documents, you may provide foreign government-issued identity documents that are equivalent to the Canadian documents listed above. If your foreign identity documents are not in English or French, you must also include a translation and affidavit. See section Translation of documents.

 Note: Birth certificates, Social Insurance Number (SIN) cards, bank cards, credit cards, and previous Canadian citizenship certificates are not accepted as personal identification for this application process.

Proof of consent

To obtain information about someone else, you need their written consent authorizing you to receive their personal information. You will need to provide a written statement that includes:

  • name of the person giving the consent
  • name of the person to whom consent is being given
  • signature of the person giving the consent
  • date the letter was signed

Proof of death

If the person whose record you’re asking for is deceased, you must provide proof of their death. Proof of death may include:

  • a copy of an obituary notice
  • a death certificate
  • a photograph of the person’s tombstone

Proof of relationship

You will need to tell us about your relationship to the person whose record you’re asking for (example, spouse, child, sibling or parent). You must also provide proof of the relationship, such as a

  • birth certificate showing parentage
  • marriage certificate

If you are the executor or administrator of an estate and you need a deceased person’s record to administer their estate, you must provide documents showing executorship or Power of Attorney as proof of relationship.

Urgent processing

If you’d like to request urgent processing you must provide proof that your application is urgent.

We only process applications urgently in special cases, such as:

  • you need to prove to a foreign government that you’re not a citizen, for example to get a passport from that country
  • you need to administer the estate of a deceased person or execute a will
  • you need to show you are or are not a citizen to get a certain job

Your request for urgent processing must include an explanation letter and supporting documents, for example:

  • letter from a foreign government stating that they need the information
  • documents that show you’re administering an estate or the executor of a will
  • letter from an employer

Write “Urgent – Search of the Citizenship Records” on the envelope if you are mailing your application from within Canada and the US. If you’re outside of Canada and the US, request urgent processing with the Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate, where you will be submitting your application.

We review all urgent request to see if they qualify.

Translation of documents

You must include the following along with any document that is not in English or French:

  • the English or French translation and
  • an affidavit from the person who completed the translation

Translations may be done by:

  • a person who is fluent in both languages (English or French, and the unofficial language), or
  • a Canadian certified translator (a member in good standing of a provincial or territorial organization of translators and interpreters in Canada)

If the translation isn’t done by a Canadian certified translator, the person who completed the translation must provide an affidavit swearing to their language proficiency and the accuracy of the translation.

The affidavit must be sworn in the presence of:

In Canada:

  • a notary public
  • a commissioner of oaths
  • a commissioner of taking affidavits

Authority to certify varies by province and territory. Consult your local provincial or territorial authorities.

Outside of Canada:

  • a notary public

Authority to administer oaths varies by country. Consult your local authorities.

 Important information: Translations must not be done by applicants themselves nor by members of applicants’ family. This includes a parent, guardian, sibling, spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, grandparent, child, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew and first cousin.

Note: An affidavit is a document on which the translator has sworn, in the presence of a person authorized to administer oaths in the country where the translator is living, that the contents of their translation are a true translation and representation of the contents of the original document. Translators who are certified in Canada don’t need to supply an affidavit.

Step 2: Complete your application

 Note: It is a serious offence to give false or misleading information on these forms. The information you provide on your application will be subject to verification.

Follow these steps to complete the paper application form:

 Tips to help complete your application form

  • If a section does not apply to you, write “Not Applicable” or “NA”. If your application is incomplete it may be returned to you and this will delay processing.
  • If you need more space to answer any questions, use an extra sheet of paper and indicate the number and/or letter of the question you’re answering.
  • All of your answers must be complete and true.

Step-by-step instructions

Section 1 – Language of service

Would you like to receive service in English or in French? Please check one. Your correspondence will be in the language that you choose.

Section 2 – Information on the person whose record you’re asking for

  1. Please provide the surname/last name and given name(s) of the person whose record you want us to search for. If possible, write the name the same way it is written on the Record of Landing (IMM 1000), Permanent Resident Card (PRC), or Canadian Citizenship Certificate.
  2. If the person has used other names in the past, or are known by a name other than the one(s) you provided in the previous section of the application, please indicate them in the space provided. You can use a separate piece of paper if required.

    Note: Other names can include birth name, maiden names, nicknames, married names, call names, community name, etc.

    Please indicate the person’s date of birth.

  3. Please indicate the place and country where the person was born.

    Provide the date the person entered Canada as a permanent resident.

  4. If the person has ever had a Canadian citizenship certificate, if known, please indicate:
    • the name that was on that certificate,
    • when it was issued, and
    • the number on the certificate.
  5. If the person entered Canada before 1915, you’ll need to fill out the section on the person’s father. This is because citizenship records for persons who entered Canada before 1915 are usually based on the father’s record. Without the father’s information, we will not be able to find the person’s record. For this section, fill in as much detail as you know about the name of the town and province where the father lived, what his job was and the father’s birth date.

    If the person did not enter Canada before 1915, write N/A in the spaces provided.

Section 3 – Information on the person asking for the search

Whether you’re applying for information about yourself or about another person, you must fill in this section about yourself.

  • Write down your surname/last name and given name(s).
  • Provide your current mailing address, complete with postal code.
  • We may need to contact you by phone. List the telephone number(s) where you can be reached.
  • Indicate your e-mail address using this format (if applicable): We may contact you via e-mail.

Section 4 – Authorization for the release of information

We cannot release information about an individual unless the individual agrees.

The information contained in citizenship records is protected under the Privacy Act. The Act also states that information cannot be released without the written consent of the person concerned. This is why you must complete Section 4 of the application (Authorization for the release of information), if you want to release information about your application to an authorized individual. By signing Section 4, you’re agreeing to let us release the information to the individual or organization identified.

  1. If this Application for a Search of Citizenship Records is for information about you only, tick off “Yes” in the first box and go to the next section (Section 5).

    If the information you need is about a relative or another person, tick off “No” in the second box and complete all of section 4. You must have the permission of the person indicated, for the release of this personal information.

  2. Have the other person sign their name where it says “signature”, and have the person fill in the date that they signed the application.
  3. If the person whose record you’re asking for is deceased, you must provide proof of death. Proof of death may include a copy of an obituary notice, a death certificate, or a photograph of the person’s tombstone.

    Note: We cannot disclose personal information about an individual who has been deceased for less than 20 years. In some cases, an exception will be made if the executor or the estate or on having Power of Attorney requires the deceased’s personal information to administer his/her estate. In these cases, you must also provide proof of executorship or Power of Attorney.

  4. Please indicate what your relationship is to the person whose record you’re asking for (for example, husband, wife, child, brother, sister or parent). You must provide proof of this relationship with your application (for example, a birth certificate showing parentage).

Section 5 – Why do you need this information?

  • You must tell us why you need a letter. Use the space provided to indicate the reasons you need the letter.
  • Sign the application form with the signature you currently use on your other official documents. Indicate the date you signed the application and where.

Step 3. Pay your fees

Your fees

If you’re applying for more than one search of citizenship records, pay the fees for all applications together.

Use the table below to calculate the total amount of fees to be paid. The fee payment receipt must be included with this application.

Application (per person) $CAN
Search for a record of citizenship $75

Explanation of fees

The following text describes the fees that are required and if they are refundable.

Processing Fee

Amount: $75 for each person

Non-refundable once processing has begun, regardless of the final decision.

Note: If you’re applying for a citizenship certificate (proof of citizenship) at the same time as this application, you do not have to pay for a search of citizenship records.

The only acceptable form of payment is online payment. If you send any other form of payment, we will return your application.

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How to pay the fees for your application

To pay your fees for your application you’ll need:

  • a valid e-mail address;
  • access to a printer (you’ll need to print the receipt), and
  • a credit card, Debit MasterCard® or Visa® Debit card.

Visit the link below and follow these instructions to pay:

  • Go to Online Payment.
  • Follow the online instructions.
    • At the end, click on the button to print the IRCC official receipt with barcode. Print two copies.
  • Attach a copy of this receipt to your completed application.
    • Keep the second copy of the receipt for your records.

stop sign hand Do not exit without printing the receipt! The printed receipt is your proof of payment!

Payment Issues

No fee included or insufficient fees

If you do not pay the full fees for your application(s) we will return your application(s). We will only start processing your application after you return it with the correct fees.

blue question mark For immigration applications, see section 10 of the IRPR and for citizenship applications, see section 13 of the Citizenship Act for more information.


If you pay more than the fees needed for your application(s) we will start processing your application, and send you a refund as soon as possible.

Note: You don’t have to ask for a refund. It will be done automatically.

Note: If you’re eligible for a refund, we will issue the refund to the person indicated on the Payer Information section of the receipt (if a receipt is attached to a paper application or uploaded as part of an online application). If you paid directly within an online application (no receipt attached), or if there is no name indicated on the receipt, we will send the refund to the applicant.

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Only online payments are accepted in Canada. If any other forms of payment are received, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will return your application.

Fee payment outside Canada and the United States

Use the following method of payment only if:

  • you’re living outside Canada and the United States, and
  • you do not have access to the Internet.

If you cannot pay online, you must pay directly to the Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate where you’re submitting your application.

  • Visit the Pay your fees web page
  • Select the country/territory where you’re paying from
  • Select your application type
  • Click on “get payment instructions”
  • Bring your completed application and correct fees to the Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate indicated.

Note: Consular offices cannot accept:

  • receipts for fees paid in Canada, or
  • personal cheques

Step 4. Submit your application

If you live outside Canada and the United States

Submit your completed application to the Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate responsible for the region where you live.

If you live inside Canada or the United States

Send your completed application to:

IRCC Digitization Centre - Citizenship
3050 Wilson Ave
New Waterford, NS
B1H 5V8

If you’re sending more than one application

If you’re sending more than one application (for example, applications for family members), send all of the applications together in one envelope so that they can be processed at the same time.

Note: If you’re sending more than one application and one of the applications is incomplete, all the applications will be returned to you.

Sign the form

The application form must be signed and dated before it is submitted. If your application is not signed and dated, it will be returned to you.

Helpful reminders

To avoid your application being returned to you make sure that you:

  • answered all questions, or wrote “N/A” (Not applicable) on the application form for any question or section that is not applicable to you
  • included two (2) pieces of valid personal identification, one of which must have your photo on it
  • included the original document, the translation, and an affidavit by the translator, for any documents that are not in English or French
  • provided a letter of explanation for any documents that are missing or not included with your application
  • signed and dated the form. Before you send it, make sure that it is not stale-dated (dated more than 90 days before we receive it) or post-dated (dated into the future).
  • paid the correct fees and included your receipt with your application.

What happens next?

After you submit your application

Once we receive your application for a search of citizenship records, we’ll check if it’s complete. If it is, we’ll start processing it. We won’t automatically send you a confirmation.

Once your application is considered complete

  • Officials will search the citizenship records for the requested record.
  • Some applications may encounter delays and require more time for processing. In these cases, you’ll be contacted for more information or asked to supply additional documents.
  • If the record is located, you’ll receive a letter telling you when the person became a citizen, or if there is a Canadian citizenship application in process.
  • If there is no record, or if no record can be located based on the information provided, you’ll receive a letter telling you that there is no record.

Note: You’ll get your letter by email unless you requested a paper letter. If your mailing address is inside Canada or the United States, you’ll get your letter by mail. If your mailing address is outside Canada and the United States, the Canadian embassy, high commission, or consulate where you submitted your application will contact you.

For more information

Current processing times

You can check current processing times on the Application processing times webpage.

Important information

Updating your contact information

While your application is in process, you must tell us if you change your address or telephone number. Use the Change your address tool to give us your new contact information.

Checking application status

If it’s been longer than the normal processing time (opens in a new tab) or you need more information

If you live outside Canada and the United States, you can also contact the Canadian embassy, High Commission or consulate where you submitted your application.

Protecting your information

The personal information you provide on your application will not be disclosed to other organizations except as permitted under the provisions of the Privacy Act or the Citizenship Regulations.

For more information about the protection of your data, visit the Help Centre.

Quality assurance program

Our quality assurance program randomly chooses applications for a special review. If chosen, we’ll ask you to attend an in-person interview where we will:

  • review and verify the original documentation you submitted,
  • verify that the information you provided on your application form is accurate, and
  • request additional supporting documentation, up to and including DNA to confirm parentage, if we’re not satisfied with the documentation on file.

Note: We will notify you in writing if your application is chosen.

Need help?

If you need help, you can find answers to your questions by visiting the Help Centre.

Find out if you are eligible

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