Apply for citizenship: After you apply

Electronic citizenship certificate (e-certificate) pilot

We’re currently testing the e-certificate with some applicants who submitted a citizenship application.

  • If we select you in the pilot, we’ll contact you by email.
  • You do not need to contact us.

On this page

Processing your application

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Due to COVID-19, it’s taking us longer to send out acknowledgement of receipt (AOR) letters or emails.

You’ll get an AOR after we receive your application and check that it’s complete.

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

Answer a few questions to find out how we review and process your application.

How did you apply?

If you applied online by yourself and use a representative

  1. After you submit your application, you (not your representative) will automatically get a confirmation email.

    The confirmation email

    • means we received your application
    • is not the acknowledgement of receipt (AOR)
  1. We need time to check if your application is complete.

 Check your email and ask your representative for updates

Before we confirm the completeness of your application, we’ll send all updates to your email address, not your representative’s. This includes emails about incomplete applications.

To avoid missing our emails

  • check your email regularly
  • check your junk or spam folder
  • look for messages from email address ending in “@cic.gc.ca”

After we check that your application is complete, we’ll send all updates to your representative, including your AOR.

 If your application is complete

We’ll send the AOR to your representative. When they get the AOR, this means

The AOR has your application number and unique client identifier (UCI).

 If your application is incomplete

If your application is incomplete, we

  • will return the application to you
  • have not processed the fee payment yet

You, not your representative

  • will get an email that asks you to check your online account
  • need to sign in to your account

In your account, you’ll find a message with

  • a list of the missing information and documents
  • instructions to resubmit the application

To resubmit a complete application, you must

If the resubmitted application is complete

  • we’ll send your representative the AOR
  • the processing time will restart
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 in Canada through

  •   your local police service
  •   the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
  •   an RCMP-accredited fingerprint company
    • If you use this service
      • bring your fingerprint request letter to the company
      • make sure they can provide you with a copy of their RCMP letter of accreditation

Do not go to a Service Canada Centre to have your fingerprints taken for a citizenship application.

If you have them taken at a Service Canada Centre

  • We can’t use the fingerprints for your citizenship application and they will be deleted.
  • You must have your fingerprints retaken at 1 of the above collection points

If you applied online by yourself and don’t use a representative

  1. After you submit your application, you (not your representative) will automatically get a confirmation email.

    The confirmation email

    • means we received your application
    • is not the acknowledgement of receipt (AOR)
  1. We need time to check if your application is complete.

 Check your email for updates

To avoid missing our emails

  • check your email regularly
  • check your junk or spam folder
  • look for messages from email address ending in “@cic.gc.ca”

 If your application is complete

If your application is complete, we’ll email you the AOR. This means

The AOR has your application number and unique client identifier (UCI).

 If your application is incomplete

If your application is incomplete, we

  • will return the application to you
  • have not processed the fee payment yet

You

  • will get an email that asks you to check your online account
  • need to sign in to your account

In your account, you’ll find a message with

  • a list of the missing information and documents
  • instructions to resubmit the application

To resubmit a complete application, you must

If the resubmitted application is complete

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 in Canada through

  •   your local police service
  •   the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
  •   an RCMP-accredited fingerprint company
    • If you use this service
      • bring your fingerprint request letter to the company
      • make sure they can provide you with a copy of their RCMP letter of accreditation

Do not go to a Service Canada Centre to have your fingerprints taken for a citizenship application.

If you have them taken at a Service Canada Centre

  • We can’t use the fingerprints for your citizenship application and they will be deleted.
  • You must have your fingerprints retaken at 1 of the above collection points

If you applied online as a group and at least 1 person uses a representative

  1. After your group submits the online applications, everyone will automatically get a confirmation email, which

    • means we received your applications
    • is not the acknowledgement of receipt (AOR)
  1. We need time to check if your application is complete.

 Check your email or ask your representative for updates

Before we confirm the completeness of your application, we’ll email your group directly for updates to the applications, such as emails about incomplete applications.

To avoid missing our emails

  • check your email regularly
  • check your junk or spam folder
  • look for messages from email address ending in “@cic.gc.ca”

After we check that all applications are complete, we’ll send the updates to you or your representative.

If an individual in the group

  • has a representative, we’ll send all updates to their representative, including the individual’s AOR
  • doesn’t have a representative, we’ll send all updates directly to the individual

 If your application is complete

When you or your representative gets the AOR, it means

  • we’ve started processing your group’s applications
  • you or your representative can now check your application status (opens in a new tab) 
    • If anyone in the group uses a representative, they can ask their representative about their application status.

Each application gets its own AOR, which has each person’s unique client identifier (UCI) and an application number.

 If your application is incomplete

If anyone in your group has an incomplete application, we

  • will return all applications to your group
  • won’t have processed the fee payment yet

Your group will get an email asking each person to check their individual online account. These emails are sent to the applicants, not their representatives. In the account, there will be a message

  • explaining that the group application is incomplete
  • with instructions to resubmit the group application

In your account, you’ll find a message with

  • a list of the missing information and documents
  • instructions to resubmit the application

 For privacy reasons, the online application shows the list of missing information or documents to the affected individuals only.

To resubmit a complete group application

If the resubmitted applications are complete

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 in Canada through

  •   your local police service
  •   the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
  •   an RCMP-accredited fingerprint company
    • If you use this service
      • bring your fingerprint request letter to the company
      • make sure they can provide you with a copy of their RCMP letter of accreditation

Do not go to a Service Canada Centre to have your fingerprints taken for a citizenship application.

If you have them taken at a Service Canada Centre

  • We can’t use the fingerprints for your citizenship application and they will be deleted.
  • You must have your fingerprints retaken at 1 of the above collection points

If you applied online as a group without representatives

  1. After your group submits the online applications, everyone will automatically get a confirmation email, which

    • means we received your applications
    • is not the acknowledgement of receipt (AOR)
  1. We need time to check if your application is complete.

 Check your emails regularly

To avoid missing our emails, everyone in your group needs to

  • check their emails regularly
  • check the junk or spam folder
  • look for messages from email address ending in “@cic.gc.ca”

 If your application is complete

If all applications are complete, we’ll email your group the AORs. This means

Each person will get their own AOR, which has each person’s unique client identifier (UCI) and an application number.

 If your application is incomplete

If anyone in your group has an incomplete application, we

  • will return all applications to your group
  • won’t have processed the fee payment yet

Your group will get an email asking each person to check their individual online account. In the account, there will be a message

  • explaining that the group application is incomplete
  • with instructions to resubmit the group application

In your account, you’ll find a message with

  • a list of the missing information and documents
  • instructions to resubmit the application

 For privacy reasons, the online application shows the list of missing information or documents to the affected individuals only.

To resubmit a complete group application

If the resubmitted applications are complete

  • we’ll send the AORs to your group (1 AOR per person)
  • the processing time will restart
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 in Canada through

  •   your local police service
  •   the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
  •   an RCMP-accredited fingerprint company
    • If you use this service
      • bring your fingerprint request letter to the company
      • make sure they can provide you with a copy of their RCMP letter of accreditation

Do not go to a Service Canada Centre to have your fingerprints taken for a citizenship application.

If you have them taken at a Service Canada Centre

  • We can’t use the fingerprints for your citizenship application and they will be deleted.
  • You must have your fingerprints retaken at 1 of the above collection points

If you applied on paper by yourself and use a representative

  1. It will take time for your mailed application to reach us.

    If you have a tracking number with a courier or postal service, check if they delivered your application to us.

  1. We’ll open your application after we receive it.

    You won’t get a confirmation if we received your application

  1. We need time to check if your application is complete.

 Check your mailbox and ask your representative for updates

If your application is incomplete, we’ll return it to you, not to your representative, by mail.

After we check that your application is complete, we’ll send all updates to your representative, including your acknowledgement of receipt (AOR).

 If your application is complete

When your representative gets the AOR, it means

The AOR has your application number and unique client identifier (UCI).

 If your application is incomplete

If your application is incomplete, we

  • will return it to you (not your representative)
  • have not processed the fee payment yet

You’ll get a mailed letter that explains why your application is incomplete and what the next steps are.

The letter will tell you

Once you get the information we ask for in the letter, resubmit your application. If the resubmitted application is complete

  • we’ll send your representative the AOR
  • the processing time will restart
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 in Canada through

  •   your local police service
  •   the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
  •   an RCMP-accredited fingerprint company
    • If you use this service
      • bring your fingerprint request letter to the company
      • make sure they can provide you with a copy of their RCMP letter of accreditation

Do not go to a Service Canada Centre to have your fingerprints taken for a citizenship application.

If you have them taken at a Service Canada Centre

  • We can’t use the fingerprints for your citizenship application and they will be deleted.
  • You must have your fingerprints retaken at 1 of the above collection points

If you applied on paper by yourself, provided an email address and don’t use a representative

  1. It will take time for your mailed application to reach us.

    If you have a tracking number with a courier or postal service, check if they delivered your application to us.

  1. We’ll open your application after we receive it.

    You won’t get a confirmation if we received your application

  1. We need time to check if your application is complete.

 Check your mailbox and email for updates

If your application is incomplete, we’ll return it to you by mail.

After we check that your application is complete, we’ll send you all updates by email. To avoid missing our emails

  • check your email regularly
  • check your junk or spam folder
  • look for messages from email address ending in “@cic.gc.ca”

 If your application is complete

If your application is complete, we’ll email you the AOR. This means

The AOR has your application number and unique client identifier (UCI).

 If your application is incomplete

If your application is incomplete, we’ll return it to you.

You’ll get a mailed letter that explains why your application is incomplete and what the next steps are.

The letter will tell you

Once you get the information we ask for in the letter, resubmit your application. If the resubmitted application is complete

  • we’ll send your representative the AOR
  • the processing time will restart
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 in Canada through

  •   your local police service
  •   the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
  •   an RCMP-accredited fingerprint company
    • If you use this service
      • bring your fingerprint request letter to the company
      • make sure they can provide you with a copy of their RCMP letter of accreditation

Do not go to a Service Canada Centre to have your fingerprints taken for a citizenship application.

If you have them taken at a Service Canada Centre

  • We can’t use the fingerprints for your citizenship application and they will be deleted.
  • You must have your fingerprints retaken at 1 of the above collection points

If you applied on paper by yourself, didn’t provide an email address and don’t use a representative

  1. It will take time for your mailed application to reach us.

    If you have a tracking number with a courier or postal service, check if they delivered your application to us.

  1. We’ll open your application after we receive it.

    You won’t get a confirmation if we received your application

  1. We need time to check if your application is complete.

 Check your mailbox for updates

We’ll send you mailed letters for all updates about your application.

If your application is incomplete, we’ll return it to you by mail.

After we check that your application is complete, we may call you to ask if you want email updates. If you provide an email address, we’ll send the AORs and all updates by email.

 If your application is complete

If your application is complete, we’ll send you the AOR by mailed letter or email.

  • We may call you to ask if you want provide an email address.
  • If you provide an email address, we’ll send the AORs by email.

This means

The AOR has your application number and unique client identifier (UCI).

 If your application is incomplete

If your application is incomplete, we

  • will return it to you
  • won’t have processed the fee payment yet

You’ll get a mailed letter that explains why your application is incomplete and what the next steps are.

The letter will tell you

Once you get the information we ask for in the letter, resubmit your application. If the resubmitted application is complete

  • we’ll send your representative the AOR
  • the processing time will restart
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 in Canada through

  •   your local police service
  •   the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
  •   an RCMP-accredited fingerprint company
    • If you use this service
      • bring your fingerprint request letter to the company
      • make sure they can provide you with a copy of their RCMP letter of accreditation

Do not go to a Service Canada Centre to have your fingerprints taken for a citizenship application.

If you have them taken at a Service Canada Centre

  • We can’t use the fingerprints for your citizenship application and they will be deleted.
  • You must have your fingerprints retaken at 1 of the above collection points

If you applied on paper as a group and at least 1 person uses a representative

  1. It will take time for your mailed application to reach us.

    If you have a tracking number with a courier or postal service, check if they delivered your application to us.

  1. We’ll open your application after we receive it.

    You or your representative won’t get a confirmation if we received your applications.

  1. We need time to check if your application is complete.

 Wait for us to contact you or ask your representative for updates

If anyone in the group has an incomplete application, we’ll return all applications to your group by mail.

After we check that your applications are complete, we’ll send the updates to you or your representative. If an individual in the group

  • has a representative, we’ll send all updates to their representative, including the individual’s AOR
  • doesn’t have a representative, we’ll send all updates directly to the individual

 If your application is complete

When you or your representative gets the AOR, it means

Each person will get their own AOR, which has each person’s unique client identifier (UCI) and an application number.

The AOR has your application number and unique client identifier (UCI).

 If your application is incomplete

If anyone in your group has an incomplete application, we

  • will return all applications to your group
  • have not processed the fee payment yet

You’ll get a mailed letter that explains why your group application is incomplete and what the next steps are.

For privacy reasons, we send the list of missing information or documents to the affected individuals only. The list will specify

Once you get the information we ask for, resubmit your application.

If all resubmitted applications are complete

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 in Canada through

  •   your local police service
  •   the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
  •   an RCMP-accredited fingerprint company
    • If you use this service
      • bring your fingerprint request letter to the company
      • make sure they can provide you with a copy of their RCMP letter of accreditation

Do not go to a Service Canada Centre to have your fingerprints taken for a citizenship application.

If you have them taken at a Service Canada Centre

  • We can’t use the fingerprints for your citizenship application and they will be deleted.
  • You must have your fingerprints retaken at 1 of the above collection points

If you applied on paper as a group and don’t use a representative

  1. It will take time for your mailed application to reach us.

    If you have a tracking number with a courier or postal service, check if they delivered your application to us.

  1. We’ll open your application after we receive it.

    You or your representative won’t get a confirmation if we received your applications.

  1. We need time to check if your application is complete.

 Check your mailbox for updates

We’ll send you mailed letters for all updates about your group’s applications.

 If your application is complete

If all applications are complete, we’ll send your group the AOR. This means

Each person will get their own AOR, which has each person’s unique client identifier (UCI) and an application number.

 If your application is incomplete

If anyone in your group has an incomplete application, we

  • will return all applications to your group
  • have not processed the fee payment yet

You’ll get a mailed letter that explains why your group application is incomplete and what the next steps are.

For privacy reasons, we send the list of missing information or documents to the affected individuals only. The list will specify

Once you get the information we ask for in the letter, resubmit your application.

If all resubmitted applications are complete

  • we’ll send the AORs to your group (1 AOR per person)
  • the processing time will restart
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 in Canada through

  •   your local police service
  •   the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
  •   an RCMP-accredited fingerprint company
    • If you use this service
      • bring your fingerprint request letter to the company
      • make sure they can provide you with a copy of their RCMP letter of accreditation

Do not go to a Service Canada Centre to have your fingerprints taken for a citizenship application.

If you have them taken at a Service Canada Centre

  • We can’t use the fingerprints for your citizenship application and they will be deleted.
  • You must have your fingerprints retaken at 1 of the above collection points

Check and update your application

You can check your application status online

  • to find out our progress with your application
  • only after you’ve received an acknowledgement of receipt (AOR) letter or email
    • You’ll get an AOR after we receive your application and check that it’s complete.
    • It can take some time before you receive it.

Due to COVID-19, it’s taking us longer to

  • check that your application is complete
  • send you an AOR letter or email with your application number

We may contact you to get more information if your case is non-routine.

Check your application status

When to contact us

Do not contact us about your application status if you don’t have an acknowledgement of receipt (AOR) letter.

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 2 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
  • applied as part of a group, but now want to continue the application by yourself

Due to privacy laws, we can’t give information about your application to anyone unless you consent in writing. For example, if you have difficulty communicating in English or French, you need to provide consent for a family member to contact us about your application.

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