Apply for citizenship: After you apply
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Processing your application
Processing time is the average for how long it takes from when we begin processing a complete application to when you become a Canadian citizen. Learn more about processing times.
When we receive your application for citizenship, we review your application to make sure you
- answered all the questions on the form
- sent all the required documents
- paid the fees
If your application is complete
We start processing it and send you an acknowledgement of receipt letter.
Your unique client identifier (UCI) is in the acknowledgement of receipt letter.
If your application is incomplete
We return it to you with a letter that explains why your application is incomplete and what the next steps are.
The letter will tell you
- which forms, documents or fees are missing
- if you have to
- fill out a new application form
- if so, use the newest version of the form
- sign and date the form
- recalculate your physical presence/time you’ve lived in Canada (opens in a new tab)
- if so, include the new calculator printout when you resubmit the application
- submit a new fee receipt
- if the letter doesn’t ask for a new receipt, include the same receipt that you used with your first form, when you resubmit the application
- resubmit any documents
- fill out a new application form
Check the Document Checklist included in the application package. Once you get the information we ask for in the letter, resubmit your complete application.
- If you gave us your email address in your application, we’ll contact you by email.
- To avoid missing our emails, check your junk or spam folder.
- Look for messages from email addresses ending in “@cic.gc.ca.”
Leaving Canada after you submit your application
You can leave Canada after we receive your application as long as you:
- keep your permanent resident (PR) status
- can receive any letter mail, parcels and emails we send you after you submit your application
- can reply to our letters and emails within the specified time, usually within 30 days
- are available in person in Canada to attend your citizenship test (if you’re between 18 and 54 years of age), interview, and ceremony
Let us know if you plan to leave Canada for more than two weeks in a row.
How to submit your fingerprints if needed
If we ask you to submit your fingerprints for citizenship, you’re responsible for paying all fees to have your fingerprints taken.
Your fingerprints must be taken electronically. You can arrange to have them taken through
- your local police service
- the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
- an RCMP-accredited fingerprint company
To find an RCMP-accredited fingerprint company, search online: RCMP accredited fingerprinting company [city name]. Make sure the fingerprinting company can provide you with a copy of their RCMP Letter of Accreditation.
Learn more about what services accredited fingerprint companies offer.
Check and update your application
You can check your application status online to find out where we are with your application.
Some applications take longer to process than the time shown on our site. For example, if your case is not routine, we may contact you to get more information or ask you to send us other documents.Check your application status
When to contact us
While we process your application, contact us if any information on your application changes or if you:
- change your address
- plan to leave Canada for more than two weeks in a row
- can’t check your application status online and the normal processing time for your application has passed
- are charged with a crime
Due to privacy laws, we can’t give information about your application to anyone but you unless you consent in writing. For example, if you have difficulty communicating in English or French, you need to consent for a family member to contact us about your application.Contact us
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