Will I receive a Residence Questionnaire?
Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) occasionally distribute Residency Questionnaires (RQs) to individuals applying for citizenship or permanent residency in Canada. The RQ is administered in order to gain additional information about an applicant who may not meet the requirements to become a Canadian citizen/permanent resident. The questionnaire ultimately allows officials to further investigate your ties to Canada.
If you receive an RQ, you have 45 business days to respond with the requested documentation. Should you exceed this time limit, the IRCC offers a 30-day grace period. If you fail to respond after this, your application will then be abandoned.
It is important to note that if you received an RQ, your Canadian citizenship application will not be processed until you complete the Residence Questionnaire and submit your supporting documents. The RQ increases the processing time of your citizenship application by six months (at minimum). Oftentimes, the RQ delays the processing period of your citizenship to over one year.
What are the residency requirements?
In order to maintain permanent residency in Canada, you must spend a certain period of time in the country. The government mandates that individuals must be physically present for two years in every five year period. If you have been a permanent resident for less than five years, you must be able to show that you will be able to meet the minimum residency obligations.
What is in a Residency Questionnaire?
The RQ will ask you to submit documentation to prove your presence in Canada in recent years. There are a number of different ways you can prove your presence in Canada. You may provide:
- Proof of your absences from Canada. You may choose to provide copies of your passports and records of movement.
- Proof of residence. You can use rental/lease agreements, mortgage documents, property tax documents, insurance documents, and more. You may also provide proof of your existence in the country by submitting marriage certificates, birth certificates for children, divorce judgement, or other documents pertaining to life changes.
- Proof of education. You could send copies of your transcript, diploma, certificate, and/or academic awards. You could also submit these documents for your spouse’s educational experience in Canada.
- Proof of employment. To prove that you have been present in the country, you could submit tax documents (T4 or T5), investment documents, bank account statements, and credit card statements.
- Proof of property or business ownership. You prove your physical presence by sending proof of your physical presence in the form of incorporation documents, business license, corporate income tax documents, invoices, advertising, and contracts.
- Other documents. Some other documents you may choose to submit include your health records, memberships to clubs and organizations, or court documents.
How do I know if I’ll receive one?
- Have you submitted previous citizenship applications?
- Have you/do you travel outside of Canada frequently or for long periods of time?
- Were any of the documents you submitted altered?
- Is the information in your citizenship application inconsistent with information you have provided on other government documents (i.e. home address, mailing address, phone number, email address, etc.)?
- Do you have more than one valid passport?
- Were you born in a “high risk” country and are self-employed?
- Are there gaps in your personal history on your PR card renewal application?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may receive and RQ. The RQ allows the government to verify the information you have provided in your previous application and ensure that no fraudulent activity has occurred.