Retiring a citizenship application

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 final stage of processing an application is ”application retirement”. A case is closed in GCMS and a copy of the physical record is stored. Citizenship records are stored for a minimum of 150 years. Applications that are ready for retirement are micro-filmed at CPC Sydney.

Policy on maintaining information

The Citizenship program is mandated to maintain all information relevant to the decision or final outcome of an application for proof, grant, resumption, renunciation, retention or revocation of citizenship. It is incumbent upon CIC to maintain complete and accurate records through the most economical means available. Although all files are micro-filmed, it is more economical to micro-film only the information which cannot be stored electronically in GCMS.

Who is responsible for retiring a file?

The official who makes the decision to grant citizenship or approve an application for proof of citizenship, or the official who finalizes the processing for renunciation, revocation or retention of citizenship is the person responsible for ensuring a file is ready for file retirement. The local office will remove and destroy the citizenship test and/or test sheet as well as any fingerprints before forwarding the file to CPC Sydney for stripping and retirement.

What is considered relevant information and documentation?

Relevant information includes the documents used by a citizenship judge or officer to come to a decision.

Relevant documentation includes:

  • documents used to verify permanent resident status, place or date of birth, parentage, criminal prohibitions, residence in another country or nationality of another country;
  • correspondence from an applicant and from a CIC official to an applicant, which contain information pertinent to the final outcome of a case;
  • in the case of abandoned or withdrawn applications, notices to appear, proof of registered mail or letters of withdrawal are part of the relevant documentation.

How to retain information

Information is retained in two ways:

  • GCMS data entry; and
  • micro-filming of the records.

Where documents are entered in GCMS, they do not need to be micro-filmed. Data entry may occur at either the beginning of the process or at the file retirement stage. A document is considered entered in GCMS when the document is listed by title, country of issue and serial number.

Example: British passport #L0123; United States Birth certificate, New Jersey #4567.

Documents not entered in GCMS are micro-filmed

Documents that are not entered fully in GCMS are micro-filmed during the file retirement process.

Example: GCMS indicates ”all documents seen”- the actual copies of the documents are to be microfilmed unless the data is entered at the file retirement stage.

Correspondence which is relevant to the file but which cannot be entered into GCMS is also micro-filmed.

Example: Non-approval letter, letter of withdrawal, copy of registered mail receipt for abandoned applications and notes to file.

Documents marked FILM to be micro-filmed

Citizenship officers dealing with unusual or exceptional cases are responsible for ensuring that the documents listed in the tables below are retained for micro-filming.

Documents which must form part of the permanent record

The following documents form the permanent file and must always be entered in GCMS or micro-filmed at the time the file is retired:

Adult Grant / Resumption

Documentation to be microfilmed in all cases

  • application form;
  • decision form and/or CARF;
  • citizenship judge's question sheet;
  • non-approval letter;
  • oath form;
  • request for fingerprints (if the letter was not generated with CRS/GCMS);
  • RCMP conviction report;
  • court and police documents;
  • guardianship document.

Documentation to be microfilmed if abandoned or withdrawn

  • correspondence requesting documentation (if it was not fully generated with GCMS);
  • notice to appear for test, hearing or ceremony (if it was not fully generated with GCMS);
  • copy of letter sent by registered mail for final notices or requests for documents (if it was not fully generated with GCMS);
  • letter of withdrawal;
  • proof of correspondence sent by registered mail (in all cases of abandonment and non-approval).

Documents which must be either entered in GCMS or microfilmed

Example:

  • IMM 1000, PR card or Confirmation of PR;
  • Passport;
  • Birth Certificate;
  • Marriage Certificate;
  • Any other information relevant to the decision or final outcome of the application.

Minor Grant

Documentation to be microfilmed in all cases

  • application form;
  • oath form;
  • CARF;
  • refusal letter;
  • request for fingerprints (if the letter was not generated with GCMS);
  • RCMP conviction report;
  • court and police documents;
  • guardianship document.

Documentation to be microfilmed if abandoned or withdrawn

  • correspondence requesting documentation (if the letter was not fully generated with GCMS);
  • copy of letter sent by registered mail for final requests for documents (if the letter was not fully generated with GCMS);
  • letter of withdrawal;
  • proof of correspondence sent by registered mail;
  • correspondence requesting documentation (if the letter was not fully generated with GCMS);
  • notice to appear for hearing (if the letter was not fully generated with GCMS);
  • copy of letter sent by registered mail for final requests for documents (if the letter was not fully generated with GCMS);
  • letter of withdrawal;
  • proof of correspondence sent by registered mail (in all cases of abandonment and non-approval).

Documents which must be either entered in GCMS or microfilmed

Example:

  • Passport or Certificate of Identity or Travel Document;
  • IMM 1000, PR card or Confirmation of PR;
  • Birth certificate establishing parentage;
  • Any other information relevant to the decision or final outcome of the application.

Retention

Documentation to be microfilmed in all cases

  • application form;
  • decision form;
  • non-approval letter;
  • court and police documents.

Documentation to be microfilmed if abandoned or withdrawn

  • correspondence requesting documentation (if the letter was not fully generated with GCMS);
  • notice to appear for hearing (if the letter was not fully generated with GCMS);
  • copy of letter sent by registered mail for final requests for documents (if the letter was not fully generated with GCMS);
  • letter of withdrawal;
  • proof of correspondence sent by registered mail (in all cases of abandonment and non-approval).

Documents which must be either entered in GCMS or microfilmed

Example:

  • Birth Certificate showing parentage;
  • Parents’ proof of Canadian citizenship;
  • Evidence of residence;
  • Any other information relevant to the decision or final outcome of the application.

Renunciation

Documentation to be microfilmed in all cases

  • application form;
  • decision form;
  • proof of residence outside Canada;
  • proof will become citizen of foreign country;
  • non-approval letter.

Documentation to be microfilmed if abandoned or withdrawn

  • correspondence requesting documentation (if the letter was not fully generated with GCMS);
  • notice to appear for hearing (if the letter was not fully generated with GCMS);
  • copy of letter sent by registered mail for final notices or requests for documents (if the letter was not fully generated with GCMS);
  • letter of withdrawal;
  • proof of correspondence sent by registered mail (in all cases of abandonment and non-approval).

Documents which must be either entered in GCMS or microfilmed

Example:

  • Proof of residence outside Canada;
  • Proof of Canadian citizenship or Canadian Passport;
  • Any other information relevant to the decision or final outcome of the application.

Proof of Citizenship

Documentation to be microfilmed in all cases

  • application form

Documentation to be microfilmed if abandoned or withdrawn

  • correspondence requesting documentation (if the letter was not fully generated with GCMS);
  • copy of letter sent by registered mail requests for documents (if the letter was not fully generated with GCMS);
  • letter of withdrawal;
  • proof of correspondence sent by registered mail.

Documents which must be either entered in GCMS or microfilmed

Example:

  • Birth Certificate or Canadian passport;
  • Any other information relevant to the decision or final outcome of the application.

Revocation

Documentation to be microfilmed in all cases

  • Notice of Intent to Revoke;
  • Correspondence from subject indicating referral to Federal court;
  • Notice of Application to Appeal to Federal Court;
  • Disposition of Federal Court;
  • Notice to Governor-in-Council;
  • Any other information relevant to the decision or final outcome of the application.

Documentation to be microfilmed if withdrawn by Minister

  • Correspondence to client;
  • Any other information relevant to the decision or final outcome of the application.

Documentation to be microfilmed if revoked by Order-In-Council

  • Order-in-Council indicating date of revocation;
  • Copies of correspondence to various agencies (CBSA, Passport);
  • Any other information relevant to the decision or final outcome of the application.

Retirement of search applications

A search application constitutes personal information concerning an individual that has been used for administrative purposes. As per section 4 of the Privacy Act Regulations, Search Applications shall be retained for at least two years following the last administrative action.

As clients may request a search at any time, it is in the interest of risk management that CIC officials maintain a complete and accurate electronic record of a search application in GCMS.

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