Yes, you can apply for urgent processing of your Canadian citizenship application.
Until very recently, the only way you could become a Canadian Citizen urgently through service in the Canadian Forces.
However, as of 2016, you can now apply for urgent processing of your citizenship application, provided you meet all the eligibility requirements.
You can now apply for urgent processing of your Canadian citizenship application under the following circumstances:
- You must be physically present in Canada AND
- There is an emergency situation that requires you to have your citizenship application processed sooner.
Types Possible of Emergency Situations Which Qualify for Urgent Citizenship Application Processing
There are four main types of emergency situations that might allow you to apply for urgent processing of your citizenship application:
Using Your Job to Request Urgent Processing
- If you you could lose your job because you are not a citizen – due to security concerns, for example – then you can apply for urgent processing of your citizenship application.
If you cannot apply for a new job you are qualified for, because you are not a Canadian citizen – for example some federal government jobs require citizenship – you can apply for urgent processing.
In either case, IRCC is under no obligation to process your application urgently. You have to prove to IRCC that this is an emergency situation.
Acceptable Proofs for an Urgent Citizenship Application: Employment
- If you could lose your job because you are not yet a citizen, you will need to get something in writing (on company letterhead) to that effect, giving you a date by which you must prove your citizenship.
- If you need citizenship to accept a job offer, you will need a letter from your prospective employer stating that requirement and giving you a date by which to prove your citizenship.
In both cases, the more detail the better.
Using Your Education to Apply for Urgent Processing
If you are unable to attend a Canadian school, college or university because you are not a Canadian citizen, then you can apply for urgency processing. We’re not too sure how this situation could arise, because normally your permanent residence would be enough. However, one possibility is that you did not renew your PR Card because you were getting your citizenship, and now your educational institution requires proof of status. Perhaps that could be a reason for urgency.
Using Travel to Prove You Require Urgent Citizenship
If you need to travel because of the death of a family member (or serious illness) and you cannot get a passport from your home country (i.e. you’re a refugee or there’s some other reason you cannot get your passport), and so you need your citizenship to get a passport, you can apply for urgency processing.
Acceptable Proofs for Requesting Urgent Citizenship – Travel
If you want to get your citizenship application processed urgently due to a death in the family or a family medical emergency, you will have to prove the nature of the emergency and that you have no other recourse to a travel document. You will need:
- A copy of the death certificate and/or funeral notice OR a letter from a doctor or medical institution about your immediate family member’s condition AND
- Some kind of proof that you cannot get a passport from your home country in time, such as proof of your refugee status in Canada, or written communication from the passport issuing authority denying your passport application or otherwise demonstrating you are unable to get a passport.
You Won a Citizenship Appeal – Getting Your Citizenship Urgently
You may also be eligible for urgency processing if you have received a positive decision on an appeal of a rejected citizenship application. In this case, your application may be given preferential processing because you already had your application assessed.
NOTE: Applying for urgency processing does not mean your request will be granted.
I have already submitted my citizenship application. Can I apply for urgency processing?
You can certainly try to speed up your application, but you will
- need to provide proof of your need for urgent processing
- have to make sure that your request for processing contains all the required information to allow the officer to match your request with your file, including your UCI (Unique Client Identifier), your application number (if possible) and your full name, birth date, place of birth and gender.
It is unlikely your request will be approved, especially if your application was received quite a while ago.
What happens if my request for urgent processing is ignored?
If your request is ignored, your application will be processed in order of receipt with all the other Canadian citizenship and will take approximately 12 months, provided it is a routine application.
Can I re-submit an urgency request if the first one was ignored?
Yes, you can certainly re-submit your request but, unless it contains new information, it will likely be ignored as well.