Table of Contents
- Citizenship fees
- How to complete the form
- Where to send your application
- What happens next?
This is not a legal document. For legal information, refer to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations or the Citizenship Act and Regulations, as applicable.
This publication is available in alternative formats upon request.
This application can be used to request a search of Canadian citizenship records to verify naturalization or citizenship information. In response to your application, you will receive a:
- No Record Letter, if no record of the person is found; or
- Record Letter detailing how and when the person became a Canadian citizen, or if a pending Canadian Citizenship application is in process.
Note: Record Letters are issued for specific reasons and are valid for a limited time period only. These letters cannot be used as proof of citizenship. These letters cannot be used to cross international borders including the Canadian/U.S.A. border. The only official proof of citizenship is a citizenship certificate. For information on how to get a citizenship certificate, contact the Call Centre.
Before you apply
Read the information contained in this guide carefully. If your application is completed incorrectly or you fail to provide the necessary documents, your application will not be processed and will be returned to you.
What you must send with this form
See the Citizenship Fees section of this guide for information on the current fee and method of payment. The fee is not refundable. If you have printed this application from the website, a receipt is not included. You must order an original receipt as shown in the Citizenship Fees section.
Note: If you are submitting an application for a search of citizenship records at the same time as an application for a citizenship certificate (proof of citizenship), you do not have to pay for the search of citizenship records.
Whether you are applying for information about yourself, or about another person, you must send a clear and legible photocopy of two (2) pieces of your personal identification to show your identity. For example, your driver’s licence, and your health insurance card. If you are applying for information regarding another person, you may have to provide clear and legible photocopies of other documents, such as proof of your relationship to that person and/or proof of death.
Calculating your fees
Use the table below to calculate the total amount of fees to be paid. Fees must be included with this application.
|Processing Fee||Number of
|Amount per person||Amount
|Search of citizenship records||x $75|
Explanation of fees and refunds
The following table describes the fees that are required and if they are refundable. All payment must be made in Canadian funds.
Amount: $75 for each person
Non-refundable once processing has begun, regardless of the final decision.
Note: If you are applying for a citizenship certificate (proof of citizenship) at the same time as this application, you do not have to pay for a search of citizenship records.
Incorrect fee payment
Incorrect fee payments may delay processing your application.
Payment issue – No fee included
CIC will return your application.
Note: Processing of your application will only start after you return your application with requested fees.
Payment issue – Insufficient fees included
CIC will inform you of how much to pay and how to pay.
Note: Processing of your application will only continue after you provide the missing fees.
Payment issue – Overpayment
- start processing your application, and
- send you a refund as soon as possible.
Note: You do not have to request a refund, it will be done automatically.
Payment method options
Preferred method of payment
Important information. Payment of fees online is the preferred method of payment for both inside and outside Canada.
Inside and outside Canada – Online fee payment
For clients located inside and outside of Canada.
You can pay your fees online if you have:
- a credit card (Visa, Master Card or American Express)
- access to a computer with an Internet connection
- a valid email address
- access to a printer (you will need to print the receipt)
Follow these step-by-step instructions to pay using the Internet.
- Go to the CIC website
- Follow the online instructions
At the end, click on the button to print the CIC official receipt.
Note. Do not exit without printing the receipt (page)!
- Fill in the Payer Information Section by hand.
- Attach the bottom portion (copy 2) of this receipt to your completed application.
Proof of payment
The receipt printed off of the Internet in step 2 of the instructions above will serve as your proof of payment.
Inside Canada only – Fee payment at financial institutions
If you do not wish to pay using the Internet, payment must be made at a financial institution in Canada. The financial institution will let you know what method of payment it accepts. There is no banking charge to pay at a financial institution.
Note. The only acceptable forms of payment inside Canada are online or through a financial institution. If you send any other form of payment inside Canada your application will be returned.
For clients located inside Canada only.
A payment receipt form (IMM 5401) can be ordered online.
Follow these step-by-step instructions to pay at a financial institution in Canada.
- Calculate the total fee amount to be paid using the chart Calculating your fees at the beginning of this section.
- Fill out one (1) payment receipt form (IMM 5401).
Important information. An original payment receipt form (pink and white) must be used. A photocopy is not acceptable.
For more information. See Obtaining an original receipt form – inside Canada in this section.
- Insert the total amount paid on line 09 Citizenship or Immigration Services Fees.
Important information. Do not complete the top two portions of the receipt. These will be completed by the financial institution.
- Fill in the Payer Information section on the back of the payment receipt form.
Do you already have an open file and know the client identification number (client ID) that we have assigned to you?
- If yes, enter the number in the box provided for that purpose.
- If no, leave that box empty.
- Bring the receipt form and your payment to the teller (cashier) at the financial institution. Do not present your application, only your receipt form.
The teller (cashier) will:
- stamp and enter the amount paid in the upper two portions of the receipt form, and
- give you the top two portions of the form.
- The following list indicates what you should be doing with the different parts of the IMM 5401 receipt.
- Copy 1 (top): Keep for your records.
- Copy 2 (middle): Attach to your completed application.
- Copy 3 (bottom): The financial institution will keep the bottom part.
Proof of payment
Completed payment receipt form (Original form IMM 5401)
Obtaining an original receipt form – inside Canada
You may obtain an original receipt form (IMM 5401) inside Canada by:
- ordering through our website
For more information. See Contact Information at the beginning of this guide.
Outside Canada only
The following mode of payment may be used if you do not have access to the Internet.
If you do not have access to the Internet, you may pay directly to the Canadian embassy, High Commission or consulate closest to your home.
Make sure you bring your completed application and the correct fees.
Note. The only acceptable forms of payment outside Canada are online or payment directly to the Canadian embassy, High Commission or consulate responsible for your area.
You can find information on fee payment methods outside Canada by visiting the CIC website
- Select Pay your fees.
- Select Canadian embassies, high commissions and consulates.
You must choose the consular office responsible for your area.
Note: Consular offices cannot accept:
- receipts for fees paid in Canada, or
- personal cheques.
How to complete the form
Follow the instructions carefully. Delays will result if your application is not properly completed. If you need more space to answer any questions, use an extra sheet of paper and indicate the number and/or letter of the question you are answering.
Warning: If you send us an application that has any misleading or fraudulent information on it, you can be charged with a criminal offence, and you may be subject to criminal prosecution in a court, and refusal of your application.
Follow these step-by-step instructions
You must indicate whether you would like service in English or French.
- Whether you are applying for information about yourself or about another
person, write down the surname/last name and given name(s) of the person
whose record you want us to search. It will help us find the record if you
write the name the same way the name has been recorded on the Record of Landing (IMM 1000),
Permanent Resident Card (PRC), or on a citizenship certificate.
- You must indicate all the names the person has ever used, for example,
name at birth, name used during a previous marriage, nick names etc.
- Indicate the date of birth and the place and country where the person
was born. Give the date the person entered Canada as a permanent resident.
- If the person ever had a citizenship certificate, indicate the name
that was on that certificate, when it was issued and the number of the certificate
if you have this information.
- If the person entered Canada before 1915, you will need to fill out the section on the person’s father. This is because citizenship records for persons who entered Canada before 1915 are usually based on the father’s record. Without the father’s information, we will not be able to find the person’s record. For this section, fill in as much detail as you know about the name of the town and province where the father lived, what his job was and the father’s birth date.
Whether you are applying for information about yourself or about another person, you must fill in this section about yourself.
- Write down your surname/last name and given name(s).
- Provide your current mailing address, complete with postal code.
- We may need to contact you by phone. List the telephone number(s) where you can be reached.
- Indicate your e-mail address using this format (if applicable): email@example.com CIC may contact via e-mail if necessary.
Authorization for the release of information
Citizenship and Immigration Canada cannot release information about an individual unless the individual agrees.
The information contained in citizenship records is protected under the Privacy Act. The Act also states that information cannot be released without the written consent of the person concerned. This is why you must complete Section 4 of the application (Authorization for the release of information), if you want to release information about your application to an authorized individual. By signing Section 4, you are agreeing to let us release the information to the individual or organization identified.
- If this Application for a Search of Citizenship Records is for information
about you only, tick off “Yes” in the first
box and go to the next section (Section 5).
If the information you need is about a relative or another person, tick off “No” in the second box and complete all of section 4. You must have the permission of the person indicated, for the release of this personal information.
- Have the other person sign their name where it says “signature”,
and have the person fill in the date of the signing.
- If the other person is deceased, you will need to give the date of
death. Do not forget to provide proof of death if the person has been deceased
for less than 20 years. If the other person is not deceased and does not
give us permission to release the information, you will not be able to access
- You must indicate what your relationship is to the person whose record is requested; for example, husband, wife, child, brother, sister or parent, and provide proof of relationship for example birth certificate showing parentage.
- You must indicate why you need a letter. Use the space provided to indicate the reasons you need the letter.
- Sign the application in the same manner you would sign any other official document. Do not print. Indicate the date and place. Date the application the same day you sign it.
Where to send your application
For applicants living inside Canada and the United States
On the envelope to mail your application, print:
(Your Postal Code)
Case Processing Centre - Sydney - Search
P.O. Box 10010
SYDNEY, NS B1P 7C1
- Print your name and address in the top left corner of the envelope.
- Remember to include all supporting documents and fees.
If you are sending more than one application (for example, applications for family members), you may send one receipt to cover all applications. Mail the receipt and all applications together in one envelope. That way they will be processed together.
For applicants living outside Canada and the United States
Mail your completed application form and the required documents to the Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate responsible for you area.
What happens next?
Once your application has been received at the Case Processing Centre in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials will search the Citizenship Registration System for the requested record. If the record is located, a letter will be sent to the mailing address provided by you. The letter will indicate when the person became a citizen, or if there is a Canadian citizenship application in process.
If there is no record, or if no record can be located based on the information provided, a letter indicating that there is no record will be sent to the mailing address provided by you.
Remember: You must advise us of any change of address or telephone number
How to contact CIC
Contact the CIC Call Centre to talk with an agent at:
1 888 242-2100 (toll-free)
Hours of operation:
Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., your local time
If you are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing, or you have a speech impediment and use a text telephone, you can access the TTY service from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. your local time by calling: 1-888-576-8502 (in Canada only).
In the United States:
- Send a letter to:
- If you sent your application directly to CIC on or after September 2, 2013 use the address in the instruction guide.
- If you submitted your application to a Canadian embassy or consulate before September 2, 2013 contact this same the Canadian embassy or consulate.
Outside Canada and the United States
Contact the Canadian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate.