The Canadian Citizenship Application was known to take over two years until very recently.
As of December 2016, the processing time for a Canadian citizenship application is currently 12 months (according to IRCC’s website), provided you have submitted your application after March 2015. However, any correspondence between you and IRCC will mean that your application will likely be delayed. Receiving the Residence Questionnaire has been known to delay applications over a year.
If your application was submitted before April 2015, IRCC attempted to have your application processed before March 31, 2016 but that didn’t exactly happen. However, they claim that the remaining applications were “non-routine,” meaning correspondence was required.
What Happens When my Citizenship Application is Submitted?
CPC Sydney makes sure that your application:
- Meets the minimum processing requirements (legible, complete, etc.);
- Includes ALL the documents required;
- Has a receipt for the CORRECT fee.
If your application is complete you will receive:
- Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR);
- Citizenship Study Guide (available in alternate forms like Braille).
In the Decision Phase, CPC Sydney sends your application to your local IRCC office to be processed further. A citizenship official or judge will decide on your application and you will be called in for an interview to review your documents and to evaluate your knowledge of Canada, if necessary. You will receive:
- Notification to take a Citizenship Test, AND/OR
- Notification to appear for an interview with a Citizenship Official, AND/OR
- Notification to appear for an interview with a citizenship officer or a citizenship judge.
In the Ceremony Phase, if you meet all the requirements of citizenship, you will receive:
- Notification to appear to take to the Oath of Citizenship (time and place).
- Certificate of Canadian Citizenship received at the ceremony after taking the Oath of Citizenship.
Go here to check your application status.
How long does a “non-routine” citizenship application take?
How long a non-routine application takes depends upon many factors:
- how many things IRCC requests from you
- how quickly you respond to IRCC’s requests
- how many times IRCC requests documents
- whether or not you have to go to an IRCC office
- and other factors.
There is no way of predicting how long it will take, but it will likely add at least a year extra to the processing time.
I received correspondence from IRCC, will this delay my application?
If the correspondence is routine then it will not delay your application. But it if isn’t routine, it will delay your application. Routine correspondence:
- Acknowledgement of Receipt of your application
- Notice to take the Citizenship Test
- Notice of your Citizenship Ceremony
All other correspondence is non-routine and means your application will be delayed. You should respond to any requests from IRCC as soon as you possibly can.
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