Abandonment of citizenship applications and proof of residence

November 20, 2012

On November 16, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada introduced Operation Bulletin 476, entitled “Abandonment of citizenship grant applications where proof of residence has not been provided.” Below is an excerpt of the Bulletin.


Applicants for Canadian citizenship are responsible for providing all of the required information in support of their application in order for the citizenship judge to render an informed decision. The onus is on the applicant to convince the citizenship judge that the requirements for citizenship have been met.

Currently, in cases where additional information is required from an applicant in order to assess their residence in Canada (i.e. where the applicant was requested to complete a residence questionnaire (RQ) and provide evidence of residence), applicants who do not fulfil this request are scheduled for a hearing with a citizenship judge.

The abandonment procedures currently outlined in CP 13 state that abandonment can only occur in two scenarios:

  • Failure to attend a hearing with the citizenship judge after two notices (as described in subsection R11(9) of the Citizenship Regulations); and
  • Failure to attend a citizenship ceremony after one notice (as described insubsection R23(1) – this also applies to minor applicants 14 years and older).

In such cases, the application is recorded as abandoned without notifying the applicant of this administrative decision.

However, with the coming into force of amendments to the Citizenship Regulations on April 17, 2009 to support the implementation of Bill C-37 (2008), An Act to Amend the Citizenship Act, the regulations concerning documentary requirements for citizenship grants were revised. Specifically, one of the changes gave authority to require the applicant to provide evidence of residence in Canada.

Applicants who do not provide documentation in support of their residence in Canada (i.e. RQ and supporting evidence) do not need to be scheduled for a hearing with a citizenship judge before the application can be abandoned. They are instead subject to procedures described in section R11 (set out below).

New procedures – Effective immediately

RQ not provided when requested by the Case Processing Centre in Sydney (CPC-S)

Effective immediately, citizenship applications under subsection A5(1) can be registered as abandoned if the applicant has not responded to procedural requests to provide additional information to support their residence in Canada.

Since May 7, 2012, the CPC-S has been issuing the RQ directly to some applicants (local offices continue to issue RQs as well). Applicants are required to return their completedRQ with supporting documents to the local office responsible for processing their application.

Under R11, applicants are asked through a first notice that is sent to their latest known address to submit an RQ and supporting documents to establish residence. Applicants are given 45 business days to provide the completed RQ and supporting documents. Once the 45 business day deadline has elapsed, a one-week grace period may be given to the applicant to provide the RQ and supporting documents. After the grace period, the local office is to issue a final notice to the applicant by registered mail (or equivalent). The final notice will give the applicant an additional 30 business days to provide the RQ and supporting documents. If the applicant does not comply with CIC’s request after the 30 business days in the final notice, the local office will record the application as abandoned. Afterwards, no further action will be taken on the file. (See Annex for template letters)

A copy of the second RQ notice must be kept on file. CIC staff will enter the date on which the initial RQ letter was sent, as well as other applicant-specific information. Before mailing the second notice, the FOSS/GCMS record should be checked to verify whether or not the applicant has requested a change of address.

No-shows for a test and / or an interview with a citizenship official (Pilot procedures for 1 year)

Previously, applicants who did not show for their test and / or interview with CIC staff were scheduled for a second test/interview session or, in some cases, scheduled for a hearing with a citizenship judge.

With the introduction of OB 407 on May 7, 2012, applicants who do not attend their first scheduled test/interview event are to be scheduled for a second test/interview event.

Original Bulletin can be found at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/manuals/bulletins/2012/ob476.asp .

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