Apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate: After you apply

Floods in British Columbia

If you’re directly affected by the floods, you may be able to get

  • free replacement of documents that are lost, damaged, destroyed or inaccessible due to the floods
  • urgent processing and a refund for an application you’ve submitted because of the floods

Find out how to apply

Processing your application

Once we receive your application, we’ll review your application to make sure it’s complete.

If your case is complex, we may

  • contact you to get more information or documents
  • need more time to process your application

There may be a delay between when we receive your application and when we start processing it.

Answer the following questions to find out how we’ll process your application.

Processing time

15 months ?

Applications outside Canada and the United States may take longer.


If you applied online

After you submit your online application, you’ll see a confirmation page. This page

  • confirms you successfully submitted your application
  • has a confirmation number. Keep it for your records.

After we check that your application is complete, we’ll send you

Incomplete online application

If your online application is incomplete, you’ll get a message in your online account.

Update your online application

Keep your application up to date to avoid delays.

  • If we need more documents from you, we’ll send a message in your account asking you to submit them (opens in a new tab)  through your online account.
  • If you need to send documents we didn’t ask for, use the web form (opens in a new tab) .
  • Let us know if you change your address (opens in a new tab) .

If you need urgent processing

We can process applications faster than our normal processing times (opens in a new tab)  in special cases, such as for

  • accessing benefits like
    • a pension
    • health care
    • a Social Insurance Number
  • proving you’re a Canadian citizen to get a job
  • travelling to or from Canada because of a death or serious illness in your family

To ask for urgent processing of your submitted application

  • fill out the web form (opens in a new tab)  to explain why you need urgent processing
  • include
    • your full name, date of birth, email address and telephone numbers
    • a message that starts with “Request for urgent processing”
    • any documents that will support your explanation
  • make sure your documents are in the correct format

We’ll review your request to see if it qualifies. Even if you qualify, we can’t guarantee that you’ll get your citizenship certificate on time.

Check the status of your online application

Sign in to your online account (opens in a new tab)  to check your application status.

Withdrawing your application

You may withdraw (cancel) your application (opens in a new tab) . If you do, you may be eligible for a refund (opens in a new tab) .

Final decision

If you are a Canadian citizen and we approve your application, you’ll get a citizenship certificate.

If you’re not a Canadian citizen, we’ll send you a refusal letter. Your fee will not be refunded.

Receiving your certificate or refusal letter

Applying from Canada or the United States

We’ll mail your certificate or refusal letter to your mailing address in Canada or the United States.

Applying from outside Canada and the United States

We’ll mail your certificate or refusal letter to the embassy, high commission or consulate you chose in your application.


If you applied on paper from Canada or the United States

After we check that your application is complete, you’ll get

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

Incomplete paper application

If your application is incomplete, we’ll

  • return your application and
  • send you a letter asking you to resubmit the application with the missing information

Update your paper application

If you need to update your application

If you need urgent processing

We can process applications faster than our normal processing times (opens in a new tab)  in special cases, such as for

  • accessing benefits like
    • a pension
    • health care
    • a Social Insurance Number
  • proving you’re a Canadian citizen to get a job
  • travelling to or from Canada because of a death or serious illness in your family

To ask for urgent processing of your submitted application

  • fill out the web form (opens in a new tab)  to explain why you need urgent processing
  • include
    • your full name, date of birth, email address and telephone numbers
    • an explanation letter
    • any documents that will support your explanation
  • make sure your documents are in the correct format

We’ll review your request to see if it qualifies. Even if you qualify, we can’t guarantee that you’ll get your citizenship certificate on time.

Check the status of your paper application

After you receive your acknowledgement of receipt (AOR), you can check the status of your paper application online (opens in a new tab) .

If you can’t see your status online and the normal processing time has passed, contact us using our web form (opens in a new tab) .

Withdrawing your application

You may withdraw (cancel) your application (opens in a new tab) . If you do, you may be eligible for a refund (opens in a new tab) .

Final decision

 If you are a Canadian citizen and we approve your application, you’ll get a citizenship certificate.

 If you’re not a Canadian citizen, we’ll

  • send you a refusal letter and
  • still collect the processing fee

Receiving your certificate or refusal letter

We’ll mail your certificate or refusal letter to your mailing address in Canada or the United States.


If you applied on paper from outside Canada and the United States (email provided)

After we check that your application is complete, you’ll get

If you forgot to provide your email in your application

  • we won’t automatically send you a confirmation
  • contact the Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate where you submitted your application to

Incomplete paper application

If your application is incomplete, we’ll

  • return your application and
  • send you a letter asking you to resubmit the application with the missing information

Update your paper application

If you need to update your application

If you need urgent processing

We can process applications faster than our normal processing times (opens in a new tab)  in special cases, such as for

  • accessing benefits like
    • a pension
    • health care
    • a Social Insurance Number
  • proving you’re a Canadian citizen to get a job
  • travelling to or from Canada because of a death or serious illness in your family

To ask for urgent processing of your submitted application, contact the Canadian embassy, consulate or high commission (opens in a new tab)  where you submitted your application.

We’ll review your request to see if it qualifies. Even if you qualify, we can’t guarantee that you’ll get your citizenship certificate on time.

Check the status of your paper application

After you receive your acknowledgement of receipt (AOR), you can check the status of your paper application online (opens in a new tab) .

If you can’t see your status online and the normal processing time has passed, contact the Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate (opens in a new tab)  where you sent your application.

Withdrawing your application

You may withdraw (cancel) your application (opens in a new tab) . If you do, you may be eligible for a refund (opens in a new tab) .

Final decision

 If you are a Canadian citizen and we approve your application, you’ll get a citizenship certificate.

 If you’re not a Canadian citizen, we’ll

  • send you a refusal letter and
  • still collect the processing fee

Receiving your certificate or refusal letter

We’ll mail your certificate or refusal letter to the embassy, high commission or consulate where you submitted your application.


If you applied on paper from outside Canada and the United States (no email provided)

We won’t automatically send you a confirmation.

Contact the Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate where you submitted your application to

Incomplete paper application

If your application is incomplete, we’ll

  • return your application and
  • send you a letter asking you to resubmit the application with the missing information

Update your paper application

If you need to update your application

If you need urgent processing

We can process applications faster than our normal processing times (opens in a new tab)  in special cases, such as for

  • accessing benefits like
    • a pension
    • health care
    • a Social Insurance Number
  • proving you’re a Canadian citizen to get a job
  • travelling to or from Canada because of a death or serious illness in your family

To ask for urgent processing of your submitted application, contact the Canadian embassy, consulate or high commission (opens in a new tab)  where you submitted your application.

We’ll review your request to see if it qualifies. Even if you qualify, we can’t guarantee that you’ll get your citizenship certificate on time.

Check the status of your paper application

After you get your unique client identifier (UCI), you can check the status of your paper application online (opens in a new tab) 

If you can’t see your status online and the normal processing time has passed, contact the Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate (opens in a new tab)  where you sent your application.

Withdrawing your application

You may withdraw (cancel) your application (opens in a new tab) . If you do, you may be eligible for a refund (opens in a new tab) .

Final decision

 If you are a Canadian citizen and we approve your application, you’ll get a citizenship certificate.

 If you’re not a Canadian citizen, we’ll

  • send you a refusal letter and
  • still collect the processing fee

Receiving your certificate or refusal letter

We’ll mail your certificate or refusal letter to the embassy, high commission or consulate where you submitted your application.

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