Updating status of certificates

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.

Procedures for taking the report

  • Take the name and telephone number of the person making the report, especially if it is not the holder of the certificate in question.
  • Take the details of the loss, theft or destruction.
  • Take certificate holder's current address and telephone number.
  • Advise the client that the loss/theft/destruction of the certificate will be recorded in our database.
  • Recommend that the client make an application (PDF, 1.85 MB) for a replacement certificate and give reasons for doing so (e.g. to ensure the client has proof of citizenship when needed).
  • If the report is taken over the telephone, the Call Centre agent or other CIC staff must be satisfied that the person reporting the loss of the certificate is the legitimate holder or is acting on behalf of the legitimate holder (e.g. in the case of a minor or in the case of an elderly person whose language requirement had been waived for the grant).Forward the report to CPC Sydney referral e-mail box
  • Give enough detail to identify the record in GCMS (e.g. client ID number, certificate number, name, date of birth, etc.).
  • Include the details of the loss or theft of the certificate and update the client's address and telephone number(s) in GCMS.
  • CPC Sydney will update the certificate status in GCMS and add a Client Note including a brief summary of the report, the date, and the source of the information.

Report made on application for a replacement certificate

If the applicant states on a citizenship certificate application or in correspondence supporting an application that a certificate was lost, stolen, or destroyed, the certificate status is updated in GCMS.

Report made but no application for a replacement certificate submitted

When a citizen reports that a certificate was lost, stolen or destroyed, the certificate's status is updated in GCMS even if the client does not make an application for a replacement certificate. Also, a Client Note is entered giving details of the report.

Report received at CIC or Consular Mission

While it is more likely that a report will be made to a Call Centre or Consular Mission, any CIC staff at a Call Centre, local office, or CPC Sydney can take a report.

Report received by mail

If a citizen writes a letter or sends an e-mail advising CIC or a mission of the loss or theft of a citizenship certificate, the letter or e-mail will be forwarded to CPC Sydney.

If there is not enough information in the correspondence to identify the correct record, CPC Sydney will try to contact the author of the correspondence to get sufficient information to identify the record.

Once the record has been positively identified, CPC Sydney will record that correspondence was received and will update the certificate status in GCMS.

Found certificates

Certificates are returned to CIC through various means. For example, someone who finds a certificate may put it in a mailbox; these certificates are returned to CIC by Canada Post. Consular Missions abroad and local CIC offices return "found" certificates to CPC Sydney.

Procedures for CPC Sydney review of the files:

  • If it appears the certificate has been altered or is fraudulent, CPC Sydney sends the certificate to Case Management Branch for investigation.
  • If an application for a replacement certificate has been received, CPC destroys the found certificate, updates GCMS, and processes the replacement application;
  • If a new certificate has already been issued, CPC updates GCMS, and destroys the found certificate;
  • If no application for a replacement certificate has been made or no new certificate has been issued, CPC tries to contact the holder through the phone number in GCMS (if available);
  • If satisfied the legitimate holder of the certificate has been located and no new certificate has been issued and no replacement application received, CPC may send the certificate directly to the client. If there is doubt or a language barrier, CPC sends the certificate to the appropriate local office for the client to be properly identified to retrieve his or her certificate.

If the holder of the certificate cannot be located, CPC Sydney:

  • holds the certificate for a maximum of 6 months, after which, if the client is not located, the certificate is destroyed;
  • if, within six months, the holder does submit a replacement application, CPC Sydney destroys the held certificate and processes the replacement application;
  • CPC adds a Client Note in GCMS to keep the citizenship certificate record up to date.

Multiple replacement certificates

If an applicant has been issued several certificates where none of the previously-issued certificates have been returned to CIC, there may be cause for investigation (e.g. two certificates in three years or three certificates in any time period). CPC Sydney forwards the file, including all microprints, to the local office or mission closest to the applicant's home address. Local office or mission staff interview the applicant to discuss the circumstances of the losses, and determine the appropriateness of issuing another certificate or referring the case for investigation.

If an investigation is warranted, local office or mission staff forward the file to Case Management Branch.

Deceased person

When CIC or a mission receives notification that a person to whom a citizenship certificate was issued has died, the status of any certificates issued to that person is updated. CIC or mission staff records the name and address of the person making the report and his or her relationship to the deceased and forwards the information via email to CPC Sydney.

CIC or mission staff must request that the certificate(s) be returned. Compassion in this situation is essential. If written confirmation of the death is available, such as a death certificate, funeral home notice, obituary or newspaper report, ask that it be forwarded to CPC Sydney.

If the person reporting the death wishes to keep the certificate of the deceased, advise him or her that the certificate can be cancelled and returned. This will allow the person to keep the certificate as a memento and protect the certificate against misuse. However, every report, whether followed by written confirmation or not, will result in the cancellation of all certificates issued to the deceased and a Client Note entered in GCMS.

If the certificate(s) are physically cancelled at the local office or mission please include this information in the e-mail to CPC Sydney and obtain a written receipt from the person to whom the cancelled certificate was given. Miniature certificates can only be cancelled by CPC Sydney.

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