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Canadian Citizenship: Application Processing Time

July 17, 2020BY Dale Carroll

Canada is the dream country to live in for many individuals and families. It is one of the safest and most developed countries in the world. Once you go there, you will definitely want to get settled and live there for the rest of your life. This includes acquiring citizenship, as well.

Who does not want to be a registered citizen of a country like Canada! In this article, we will look at the total time requires for the citizenship application and know how the application process works.

What is the Application Processing Time for Canadian Citizenship

Once you apply for citizenship in Canada, the processing time starts. The application form can be found on the website. You fill it up, pay the application fees and then submit the form. However, form submission can be made online, by mail or in person.

The processing time initiates from exactly then. The overall process takes about a year to complete. This processing time is the total time needed from when the authority starts the form evaluation to the time you become a complete citizen of the country.

After you submit your application, the authorities check whether you have filled all the necessary blanks and answered all the questions in the form or not. They will also check whether the payment is completed or not. Then they will check the documents.

In between, there are other steps that they follow, which will include your presence. Overall, this whole process takes 12 months to complete due to a precise and in-depth evaluation of the citizenship application.

Calculating The Total Processing Time

The citizenship application processing time can be calculated in two ways. First, the authority, which is the immigration department, will estimate the processing time based on the complete citizenship application it has received. Then the authorities estimate how fast they can process at least 80% of the applications.

And secondly, the citizenship application processing time can be calculated by the historical data as well. This means the processing time depends on how much time had taken to process 80% of the total applications.

Factors Affecting the Total Processing Time

Even though the total processing time for the citizenship application in Canada takes a maximum of 12 months, it can vary depending on many factors. These factors are:

  • The type of application an applicant has submitted. This means that the processing time might vary if you submit the application online or in person. Also, if you delay payments, that will delay the processing time.
  • If your application is not complete, then the processing time will increase. Not providing complete answers and information will lead to delayed completion of the citizenship application.
  • As already mentioned, the amount of total application will also matter in the overall processing time. When there are too many applicants, the total time will increase.
  • Sometimes, the authority may take too much time to verify your information. In addition, information verification may be time-consuming in your case.
  • Furthermore, if you take a lot of time to respond to queries of the immigration department, that will delay the process as well.

Requirements to Apply for Citizenship in Canada

  • The applicant will have to be above 18 years. Anyone younger than that cannot apply for citizenship.
  • The applicant must clear the minimum level of language proficiency required for the citizenship application. The official languages of Canada are English and French
  • The applicant must be a permanent resident of the country. This means that the applicant has a PR status in Canada.
  • The applicant must show clear and adequate intention to live in Canada after acquiring citizenship.
  • The applicant must stay in Canada as a PR for at least 4 years out of 1,460 days, before applying for citizenship.
  • Additionally, the applicant must be present in the country for a minimum of 183 days each year during the 4 years.
  • The applicant is a strict follower of Canadian law and justice. The applicant must have obeyed the policies, rules and regulations of the country. And, the applicant has regularly paid taxes for the 4 years, and there is no due income tax to be paid.
  • Finally, the applicant must apply for Canadian citizenship from inside the county. The applicant can leave the country after applying but must return.

How Does the Application Process Work?

Stage 1

After receiving the application of citizenship, the immigrant office reviews the application to make sure that you have answered all the questions.

Then they will review whether your application form has all the required documents or not. If you have already paid the fees and everything else checks out, your application is complete.

Stage 2

In this stage, the authority will start processing the application and evaluate the documents. Moreover, they will send you an acknowledgement of receipt letter. This letter will include a Unique Client Identifier (UCI).

Stage 3

After the processing is done, the authority will call you within the next 4 weeks to sit for the Canadian Citizenship test. They will notify you 1 or 2 weeks before the test date. On the same day of the test, a citizenship officer will interview with you.

The test is a written test that will assess your knowledge about geography, culture, and Canadian history. In case you fail the test, you can sit for it again when called which will likely take 4 to 8 weeks more.

Stage 4

After you clear the test and interview, an official decision will be made on your citizenship status. In the meantime, they will continue evaluating your application forms and verifying the documents. If everything is approved, you will be provided with a date when the Canadian citizenship ceremony will be held.

Generally, the ceremony takes place 3 months after the citizenship decision is confirmed on your application.

Stage 5

The last stage is the ceremonial program of you becoming an official citizen of Canada. In the ceremony, you take the oath of citizenship and sing the Canadian national anthem. You will receive your Canadian citizenship certificate on that day as well.

What Happens When the Application is Judged Incomplete?

When your application is incomplete, the authority will return you all the forms and documents. The return file will include a letter from the immigrant office that explains why your application was incomplete and also provide you with the next steps to be followed.

Specifically, the letter will describe what questions are unanswered in the form, which documents are missing, and whether you will have to fill up a new form or not.

If you have to resubmit a new form, you need to sign and date them again with recalculating your physical stay in the country. Moreover, you will have to submit a new fee receipt, which means you will have to pay the fees again. However, the letter might tell you not to pay again. In that case, you are okay to use the previous receipt.

Conclusion

The immigration office in Canada checks all the documents and your application thoroughly with enough transparency and legality. The country is strict about its law and order, which makes it one of the most desired country to live in. Acquiring citizenship in Canada is a lengthy process which takes at least a year, but the process is simple and easy to complete.

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