Search of citizenship records: After you apply

How we process your application

Processing time

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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.

Find out how COVID-19 affects the processing of your citizenship application.

Processing your application

Answer a few questions to know

  • what happens after you submit your application
  • how to update and track your application during processing

After you applied on paper from Canada or the United States

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

Once we receive your application for a search of citizenship records, we’ll check if it’s complete. If it is, we’ll start processing it. We won’t automatically send you a confirmation.

If your application is incomplete

If something is missing, we’ll return your application and ask for the missing information.

Track and update your application

During processing, track and update your application by:

If you need urgent processing

We can process applications faster than our normal processing times in special cases, such as

  • confirming to a foreign government that you’re not a citizen (for example, to get a passport from that country)
  • administering the estate of a deceased person or executing a will
  • showing you are (or are not) a citizen to get a certain job

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 message that starts with “Request for urgent processing”
    • any documents that will support your explanation
  • make sure your document is 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 search of citizenship record on time.

Get your search result

You’ll receive a letter with the search result by email as a printable PDF file.

If you asked for a paper letter, we’ll mail your letter to your mailing address in Canada or the United States.

 Record found

If we find your record, we'll send you a letter that's valid for 6 months. It will state

  • when the person became a citizen or
  • if there is a Canadian citizenship application in process

No record found

We’ll send you a letter to tell you if

  • there is no record or
  • we can’t find a record using the information you gave us

After you apply 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

You’ll also automatically get

  • an acknowledgement of receipt (AOR) email, and
  • an application number(opens in a new tab) 

If your application is incomplete

If something is missing, we’ll

  • send a message in your account to ask for the missing information
  • cancel your application if you don’t respond by the deadline in the message

Track and update your application

During processing, track and update your application by

If you need urgent processing

We can process applications faster than our normal processing times in special cases, such as

  • confirming to a foreign government that you’re not a citizen (for example, to get a passport from that country)
  • showing you are (or are not) a citizen to get a certain job

To ask for urgent processing of an online application you’ve already submitted:

  • 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 message that starts with “Request for urgent processing”
    • any documents that will support your explanation
  • make sure your document is 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 search of citizenship record on time.

Get your search result

You’ll receive a letter with the search result in your online account(opens in a new tab) . Your letter will be in a printable PDF file.

 Record found

If we find your record, we'll send you a letter that's valid for 6 months. It will state

  • when the person became a citizen or
  • if there is a Canadian citizenship application in process

No record found

We’ll send you a letter to tell you if

  • there is no record or
  • we can’t find a record using the information you gave us

If you applied from outside Canada and the United States and provided an email

Once we receive your application for a search of citizenship records, we’ll check if it’s complete. If it is, we’ll start processing it. We won’t automatically send you a confirmation.

If your application is incomplete

We’ll return your application and ask for the missing information.

Track and update your application

During processing, track and update your application by:

If you need urgent processing

We can process applications faster than our normal processing times in special cases, such as

  • confirming to a foreign government that you’re not a citizen (for example, to get a passport from that country)
  • administering the estate of a deceased person or executing a will
  • showing you are (or are not) a citizen to get a certain job

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 search of citizenship record on time.

Get your search result

You’ll receive your letter by email. Your letter will be in a printable PDF file.

If you asked for a paper letter, we’ll mail your letter to the embassy, high commission or consulate where you submitted your application.

 Record found

If we find your record, we’ll send you a letter that’s valid for 6 months. It will state

  • when the person became a citizen or
  • if there is a Canadian citizenship application in process

No record found

We’ll send you a letter to tell you if

  • there is no record or
  • we can’t find a record using the information you gave us

If you applied from outside Canada and the United States but did not provide an email

Once we receive your application for a search of citizenship records, we’ll check if it’s complete. If it is, we’ll start processing it. We won’t automatically send you a confirmation.

Contact the Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate (opens in a new tab)  where you submitted your application to confirm that we received it.

If your application is incomplete

We’ll return your application and ask for the missing information.

Track and update your application

During processing, track and update your application by

If you need urgent processing

We can process applications faster than our normal processing times in special cases.

You can ask for urgent processing if you need to 

  • confirm to a foreign government that you’re not a citizen (for example, to get a passport from that country)
  • administer the estate of a deceased person or execute a will
  • show you are (or are not) a citizen to get a certain job

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 search of citizenship record on time.

Get your search result

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

 Record found

If we find your record, we’ll send you a letter that’s valid for 6 months. It will state

  • when the person became a citizen or
  • if there is a Canadian citizenship application in process

No record found

We’ll send you a letter to tell you if

  • there is no record or
  • we can’t find a record using the information you gave us
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