After you apply: next steps — Citizenship
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Processing your application
Processing time is the average for how long it takes from when an application is received to when we make a decision. 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 you did, we send you an acknowledgement of receipt (AOR). That means your application is ready to be processed. Your unique client identifier (UCI) is in the AOR letter.
If your application is missing information, documents or the fee receipt, we won’t accept your application and send it back to you. Once you get the missing information, you can resubmit your application.
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.
Check your application status
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.
Citizenship test, interview, and hearing
If you were between 18 and 54 years of age when you signed your application, you’ll be invited to take the citizenship test. We may invite you to take the citizenship test within weeks after we send you the acknowledgement of receipt. The test usually takes place 4 weeks after we send the notice.
After the test, you may go to an interview with a citizenship official. The interview is usually on the same day as the test. Adults who don’t need to take the test (over 54 years of age), will still be invited to an interview. Generally minors (under 18) who apply at the same time as their parents, don’t need to go to an interview. Minors between 14 and 17 years of age will be invited to an interview if they’re applying alone.
If you don’t pass the test the first time, you’ll take the test a second time. The second test usually takes place 4 to 8 weeks after the first test, but it may be longer.
If you don’t pass the test the second time, we’ll schedule a hearing for you with a citizenship official. At the hearing, we may also:
- verify your language skills
- ask any questions we may have about your application
A citizenship official makes a decision on your application after the test, interview, and hearing if you had one. When they make a decision, we change the status of your application to “Decision made”. This means we either approved or refused your application.
If we approved your application, you meet all the requirements for citizenship at this time. We’ll send you an invitation to take the Oath of Citizenship at a citizenship ceremony. We’ll let you know by email if you gave us your email address or letter mail if we don’t have your email address.
If we refused your application for citizenship, you don’t meet the requirements for citizenship. We’ll send you a letter by registered mail explaining why.
Oath of Citizenship
Taking the Oath of Citizenship at a citizenship ceremony is the final step to become a Canadian citizen. The ceremony usually takes place within three months after we make a decision on your application. We’ll send you the invitation approximately 4 weeks before the ceremony.
Staying eligible until you take the Oath
To take the Oath of Citizenship, you must meet all eligibility requirements for citizenship until you take the Oath. We can change the decision if your situation changes and you no longer meet the requirements. For example, if you:
- lose your permanent resident (PR) status
- have been asked by Canadian officials to leave Canada (removal order)
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