Apply for citizenship: After you apply

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Processing your application

Processing time ?

12 months

Due to COVID-19

  • we can’t provide accurate processing times
    • The 12-month processing time is how long it usually took us to process a complete application before COVID-19.
  • we have limited capacity to process applications
  • 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

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

Check the Document Checklist included in the application package. Once you get the information we ask for in the letter, resubmit your complete application.

Check your junk folder for our emails
  • 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
  • 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.

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

If your case is non-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

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

Due to COVID-19, we cannot

  • provide processing times or tell you how much longer it will take us to process your application
  • give you more information than what is available in the Client Application Status tool

While we process your application, contact us if any information on your application changes or if you

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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