Procedures for handling certificates that are lost, stolen, or not delivered

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

The following procedures pertain to clients who did not receive their certificate, or it was lost, stolen or destroyed.

Undelivered certificates – returned by Canada Post

If a certificate is returned to CPC by Canada Post as undeliverable, CPC-S:

  • checks GCMS and the physical file for corrections to the address or a new address and re-mail the certificate to corrected or new address; or
  • contact the applicant to confirm their address, makes any necessary changes in GCMS, and re-mail the certificate.

If GCMS shows no change in address and CPC-S is unable to contact the citizen:

  • CPC-S enters a client note in GCMS, stating that the certificate was returned by the post office, that the certificate is destroyed and that a new address is required for one to be mailed; and
  • Add a Bring Forward (BF) notation of six months in GCMS to the file
  • If the applicant contacts the Call Centre within the six-month time period, the agent will enter the new address in GCMS and e-mail CPC Sydney to advise them of the address change to mail a new certificate to the citizen.
  • If there is no contact from the applicant within six months, the Client Note is updated and the certificate is cancelled and destroyed.

Certificates not received by applicant

If an applicant contacts the Call Centre to report that the citizenship certificate was not delivered:

  • The Call Centre agent confirms mailing address with the applicant and if necessary, updates GCMS.
  • The Call Centre agent sends the form Solemn declaration concerning a citizenship certificate that was lost, stolen, destroyed or never received (CIT 0457) to the applicant and adds a Client Note in GCMS.
  • The applicant mails or faxes the form to CPC-S.
  • CPC checks if the certificate was returned:
  • If yes, certificate is re-mailed to the applicant and a Client Note is added to GCMS.
  • If not, CPC-S checks that at least 30 days have passed since the certificate was mailed before taking action. This should allow sufficient time for the certificate to be returned to CPC-S by postal services. If at least 30 days have passed since the certificate was mailed and it has not been returned, CPC-S cancels the certificate in GCMS, and issues a new certificate.
  • The applicant has six months from the date the certificate was mailed to declare that the certificate was never received. After this six-month period, the applicant must submit a new Application for a Citizenship Certificate form, along with the required documents, photographs and fee.

Misplaced or lost certificate recovered

If an applicant who has previously reported a misplaced, lost, or stolen certificate now states that the certificate has been recovered, the following steps must be taken:

  • The official taking the report must be satisfied that the legitimate holder of the certificate is making the declaration.
  • If the applicant has already been sent a replacement certificate, explain that the recovered certificate has been cancelled and must be returned to CPC Sydney for destruction.
  • If the applicant has a replacement application in process, advise the applicant to return the recovered certificate and continue with the application in process.
    • The applicant must be advised that the new certificate will not be issued until the old one is surrendered.
    • CPC Sydney must be advised that the previous certificate has been recovered so that the new certificate is not mailed to the applicant until the previous certificate is surrendered.
    • If the applicant wants to keep the previous certificate for sentimental reasons, explain that the old certificate may be cancelled and returned as a memento.
  • If the applicant has never submitted a replacement application, explain that the previously misplaced, lost or stolen certificate has been cancelled.
  • Advise the applicant that the certificate cannot be reactivated.
  • Add a Client Note to GCMS.
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