Apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate: Urgent processing

Processing times show how long it takes us to process applications for proof of citizenship (citizenship certificate). We can process applications faster in special cases.

You can ask for urgent processing if you need a citizenship certificate to:

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

Your request for urgent processing must include:

  • an explanation letter
  • supporting documents, for example:
    • plane tickets or itineraries, with proof of payment
    • letter from employer
    • letter from school
    • doctor’s note
    • death certificate

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.

Dual Canadian citizens impacted by eTA can apply for a proof of citizenship urgently. To qualify, you must:

  • also be a citizen of a visa-exempt country
  • have proof of air travel to Canada within 6 months following the date of application and
  • have applied at the same time for a citizenship certificate and a Canadian passport

How to request urgent processing

If you haven’t sent your application

Apply on paper and request urgent processing

Complete the application package. Include with your application:

  • a letter explaining why you need urgent processing
  • documents to support your explanation

Write “Urgent – Citizenship Certificate (Proof)” in large, dark letters on the envelope.

Submit the application

If you already sent your application

You applied on paper and live in Canada or the United States

Fill out the Web form explaining why you need urgent processing and include:

  • your full name, date of birth, email address and telephone numbers
  • your unique client identifier (UCI) or application number
  • a message that starts with “Request for urgent processing”
  • any documents that will support your explanation
    • files must in PDF, JPEG, TIFF, DOC, or DOCX format
    • files must be 2 MB or smaller
    • if you include multiple files, the total size must be 3.5 MB or smaller
    • help for how to reduce file size

You applied on paper and live outside Canada and the United States

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

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