Guide for Online Applications for a Search of Citizenship Records (CIT 0058)
Table of Contents
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 online applications
- has information you must know before you submit your application
- explains how to fill out the application and gather your supporting documents.
Read this instruction guide completely before you complete your online application.
Symbols used in this guideThis guide uses these symbols to draw your attention to important information:
Important information that you need to know to avoid delays or other problems.
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 online?
You can apply online to request a search of Canadian citizenship records to verify your naturalization or citizenship information.
If you need to verify information about someone else, you must apply on paper.
Check if you can apply for a search of citizenship records
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.
Important: We do not send search of records letters by mail. Your letter will be sent electronically through your online account. You can download the letter from your account and print it.
What will I need to apply online?
You’ll need to create an online account (if you don’t already have one) and sign in. To apply online you must have:
- an email address
- access to a scanner or digital camera to create electronic images of your documents to upload
- a valid credit card or debit card to pay with
When you apply online we will contact you through your online account. You’ll need to be able to check your email and access the internet regularly.
You might also need to access a scanner or digital camera multiple times. We may ask you for more information or additional documents and you’ll need to be able to upload them.
To print your record letter, you’ll need access to a printer.
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
Note: If any of the required documents are missing, or the photocopies or images are of poor quality, your application may be cancelled.
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
- 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.
If you’re requesting 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
- show you are or are not a citizen to get a certain job
You’ll need to include a letter explaining why you need urgent processing, and supporting documents such as:
- letter from a foreign government stating that they need the information
- letter from an employer
We review all urgent requests 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
Upload the document, the translation and the affidavit in the same file.
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:
- 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 the online questionnaire
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 your application:
- Create or sign in to your account
- Click the link “Citizenship: Apply for a search or proof of citizenship”
- Answer the eligibility questions to make sure you can apply online
- Complete the guided questionnaire
- answer all of the questions completely
- upload the documents we ask you for
- review your application to make sure it’s complete
- Pay your fees and submit your application
- You can save your information and go back as often as you need to for up to 60 days from the date you started the application.
- You cannot submit your application until you have answered all mandatory questions and uploaded all of the documents on your checklist.
- If you need help with a question check the available Help text.
- If a question does not apply to you, enter “Not Applicable” or “NA”.
- If you don’t know the answer to a question enter “Unknown“.
- Your personalized Document Checklist shows all the supporting documents you need to upload. If you can’t provide a document that we asked for upload an explanation instead.
Step 3: Pay your fees and submit your application
After you complete the guided questionnaire and upload your documents, you will be presented with the total fees for your application and asked to pay. You must pay your fees using a credit card, Debit MasterCard® or Visa® Debit.
Note: This is the only method of payment for online applications.
The fees are as follows:
|Application (per person)||$CAN|
|Search for a record of citizenship||75|
We recommend that you print a copy of the receipt for your records.
Note: Fees are non-refundable once processing has begun, regardless of the final decision.
Submit your application
Your application will be automatically submitted to our Case Processing Centre in Sydney after you complete your payment.
Before you submit your application make sure that you:
- included two (2) pieces of your personal identification to show your identity
- 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
Remember that you must submit your application within 60 days of starting it. After 60 days your application will be deleted and you’ll have to start all over again.
What happens next?
After you submit your application
You’ll receive a confirmation email from us very soon after submitting the application.
You’ll also receive an ‘acknowledgement of receipt’ letter from us in your online account. This letter will contain your application number.
If your application is incomplete or cancelled you’ll receive a letter in your online account.
Important: Check your email account regularly, including your junk mail or spam folder. Emails from us will end in “@cic.gc.ca”, or “@canada.ca”, or “@international.gc.ca”.
Once your application is received and 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 you 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 through your online account.
For more information
Current processing times
You can check current processing times on the Application processing times webpage.
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
You can check your application status through your online account. Your account will send you emails to let you know when there is new information on your application. You can then log in and check your status and messages.
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.
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