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7 Mistakes to Avoid in a Citizenship Application

Citizenship Application

Errors in citizenship applications will cost you time and money. Incomplete citizenship applications will be rejected and returned. Program caps may be filled while you try to figure out how to fix mistakes and resubmit your application. A serious mistake may jeopardize your chances of immigration to Canada. It is in your best interest to get it right the first time and avoid errors in your citizenship application.

Watch out for these common errors in a citizenship application

Calgary immigration lawyer Abdul Souraya prepared this list of common (but avoidable) mistakes made by applicants:

  1. Too many absences from Canada in the five-year period preceding the date of your application. You must be physically present in Canada as a permanent resident for 1,095 days within the five years immediately before applying for citizenship. There are different rules for counting time if you are a temporary resident or protected person. Calculating physical presence can be complicated. If you are uncertain, ask for help. Also, note that in certain circumstances, an application for citizenship can still be approved even if you do NOT meet the requirement of 1,095 days in Canada within the five years preceding the date of your application. Please contact our office to learn more.

  2. Applying for citizenship before you are eligible. There are legal requirements for Canadian citizenship that must be met before applying. In addition to the physical presence in Canada requirement discussed above, you must have filed income tax returns for the previous three years. If you had any terms and conditions imposed on you when you became a permanent resident and you have not met them, you may not be eligible for citizenship (e.g., some new permanent residents are required to undergo medical screening after they arrive in Canada). Before applying for citizenship, review all eligibility requirements and all documents provided to you when you first came to live in Canada to ensure that you have no unfulfilled conditions related to your permanent resident status.

  3. Not submitting all forms and required documents. There are many required forms and supporting documents that must be submitted with a citizenship application, with strict submission dates. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has detailed checklists that set out the required documents to be submitted with a citizenship application. If you do not include all required forms and supporting documents, your whole application will be returned without being processed. Incomplete applications do not get a place in the processing queue. You will have to resubmit your application and it will be processed based on the date the complete application was received.

  4. Submitting only the documents listed in the IRCC document checklist. In many cases, the documents in the IRCC document checklist will not be enough to have your application approved. Additional documents to submit with your citizenship application will depend on your circumstances, but may include supplemental forms, affidavit evidence, educational transcripts, letters of support from family or friends, or reference letters from your past or current employers. It is also highly recommended that you submit a detailed covering letter with your citizenship application.

  5. Providing misinformation, withholding information, or being dishonest in your application. Information in your citizenship application must be truthful. If a person is found out to have lied or provided falsified documents, their application will be refused. The IRCC can also forbid them from entering Canada for at least five years, give them a permanent record of fraud with IRCC, take away their status as a permanent resident, charge them with a crime or remove them from Canada. A person who has received Canadian citizenship can still face revocation if an investigation later shows that they lied on the citizenship application. Even “honest” or “innocent” mistakes can result in serious repercussions. Always tell the truth, and if you do not understand something in the application form, get help before submitting to avoid being accused of misrepresenting yourself.

  6. Making simple mistakes in the application package. There are so many things to remember when completing an application, and it is easy to overlook items and make simple mistakes. Did you sign all of the forms in all of the right places? Some forms require multiple signatures per page. If you miss a signature or sign in the wrong spot on any of the forms, your application will be rejected. Did you pay the correct processing fee and use the correct form of payment? Are your photographs the right size? If you filled out your forms by hand (which is not advisable), is your handwriting legible? Always double check the forms and ask for help – an experienced set of eyes can catch simple mistakes and prevent oversights.

  7. Using an unauthorized representative. People who are looking to immigrate to Canada often hire a professional to help simplify the immigration process. Unfortunately, there is a high level of fraud when it comes to individuals holding themselves out as “immigration consultants” and it is not uncommon for potential immigrants to Canada to be victims of fraud or identity theft by unauthorized consultants. There is little recourse for victims of fraudulent immigration consultants and there is no victim compensation fund for fraud or errors made by an immigration consultant. To avoid this mistake, ask for professional credentials when hiring an immigration professional.

Get advice from a trusted immigration lawyer in Calgary

Citizenship applications can be complicated. You want to get it right the first time. Our experienced immigration lawyer in Calgary will guide you through the citizenship application process, ensure you meet all the eligibility criteria, and help prevent avoidable mistakes that can result in processing delays. With over 29 years of legal experience, Abdul Souraya is an immigration lawyer in Calgary who provides a variety of immigration services. Our immigration law firm in Calgary can assist you with applications for permanent residence, temporary residence, immigration appeals, federal court removal, business immigration, and of course, citizenship applications. Calgary’s Phoenix Legal is here to help you. Please call our office today at 403-568-3000 or complete our online form. We offer services in English, French and Arabic. Virtual service is available around the world.


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