Save Time: Send a Complete Application

Are you planning to travel
or immigrate to Canada, apply for Canadian citizenship,
or sponsor a refugee? Are you filling out
any other Citizenship and Immigration
Canada applications? Excellent! I’m here to help you
complete your application correctly and avoid
common errors that result in application delays – and
get you on your way faster. Hi, my name is David and I work for Citizenship and
Immigration Canada – or CIC. We get thousands of
applications each year from people around the world. It seems that Canada’s
a popular place! What you may not know
is that many applications we receive are incomplete. Sometimes, applicants
don’t fill out their applications in full –
or they send applications that are missing some
of the documents we need. Others forget to
sign their forms. In all of these cases, we have
to return the applications without processing them. Unfortunately, this
means that valuable time is lost while applicants
re-submit their applications to us and wait for
them to be processed. I’m here to help you
save time… and worries. Watch carefully as I
walk you through the most common mistakes that
applicants make. Feel free to pause the
video at any time to check your form and materials. Press play again when
you’re ready to continue. And don’t forget! The Video Centre on our
website has other useful tutorials to help you
complete your application, so be sure to take a look. Let’s start with filling
out your application. All of our applications
are available online. The best way to fill out
your form is on your computer. It’s easier to
read and process. Some forms include a
“Validate” button at the top or bottom of the page. If your form has
this feature, make sure to click
the button once you’ve completed the form. This will tell you if you’ve
filled out all sections. If you haven’t, it will
highlight incomplete sections of the form in red. When you are working with
our online or PDF forms, remember that you can stop
and save your work at any time. This makes it easy for
you to locate documents or research your answers. You can return to your
application later to finish it. Here’s a real
problem area – often, we find that people skip
questions or leave them blank. Be sure to answer all the
questions on your form. Do not leave empty
question boxes or blanks. If the question does
not apply to you, simply write N/A,
meaning “not applicable.” The lesson here? Send us a complete application. Answer all the questions. It is also important to be
clear with your answers – to avoid confusion
during processing. Sometimes, we receive
applications that are hard to read or difficult
to understand. If CIC staff do not
understand or cannot read an answer, the application
will be returned. The applicant has to fix
the problem and re-submit the forms to us
to be processed. Filling out your
application on a computer is always the best approach. Answers are easier to read, which makes applications
easier to process. Another tip: Answer all
questions completely. In other words,
give us the facts. Sometimes people give
vague or irrelevant answers. Try to avoid this by giving us
complete and detailed answers. For example, if a question
requests your address in Canada, do not simply write Canada. Please provide as complete
an address as possible. At minimum, include the
name of the town or city and province in Canada. If you’re not sure of
the exact location, do not leave it blank. Make sure you search for the
right answer and include it. Another common
problem area is photos. We have very specific
photo requirements – and these are clearly outlined
in each application kit. They’re sometimes different
for different applications. We often receive photos that
do not meet our specifications. Sometimes they’re damaged. Or they’re not clear,
too dark, or have shadows. Unfortunately, we have
to return the entire application to you and
ask to send new photos when you re-submit
your application. Your best approach
is to bring the photo specifications in your
application package to your photographer. Check the photos when you
receive them to make sure that they meet our needs. When you are ready to
submit your application, remember to include all
supporting documents. This means photos, fee receipts
and supplementary forms. Supporting documents
include items such as: passports, birth certificates,
medical information, financial statements, language test
assessments or sponsor forms. Go through the checklist
to see what, if any, supporting documents are
needed – and include them with your application. When applying by mail,
always send originals, unless the application
guide or document checklist says photocopies
are acceptable. Another common mistake
happens when applicants send us the wrong types
of supporting documents. Keep in mind that we do
not accept substitutes. If we have asked for
a birth certificate, do not send a
passport instead. Other identification that
lists your complete name and birth date is not
always acceptable. Read the questions
carefully and go through our checklist to make
sure that you are following the proper steps. What do you do if you
can no longer obtain an original document
– like a birth certificate – that is needed for
your application? If you’re in
this situation, you must provide a statutory
declaration or affidavit. To find out when and how
to provide a statutory declaration or affidavit,
refer to the guide in your application kit. If you cannot provide
an original document that is required, tell us why. Do not leave the
section blank, and do not write N/A. Remember, save time. Send us a complete
application so you can get on your way faster. Be sure to provide us
with the right number of identification documents. If we have asked
for more than one, that means we need
more than one for your application to be
considered complete. Don’t forget to fill
out and include any supplementary forms
that are required. These are extra forms that
you may need to fill out. Check your
application guide, locate the right forms
and complete them. Do you have a family? Spouse or dependants
– or both? Make sure you provide all
the information we need for your entire family. If they’re not coming
with you to Canada, you must still
provide their information as requested on
the application. You’re almost ready to
send your application package to CIC, right? It’s time to stop
and review everything. Have you included photos? Supporting documents? And all required
supplementary forms? Don’t forget to include
the correct fee. Make sure you
double-check the amount and include it in full. Sign all documents
related to your fees. Do one last review of
the document checklist in your application kit. Make sure you’ve
included all the information and materials we require. Remember, it is important
to send a complete application to avoid
processing delays – and get on your way faster. Your application will be
returned to you if there are problems or if you are missing
information or documents. You will be asked
to fix the problems or obtain the correct
documents, then re-submit your application to us. This takes time
and causes delays. If you need to provide
extra information to support your application,
you may include a note with your application package. The note should be
provided on a separate piece of paper and should
include additional details you want to give CIC. However, do not
provide documents that we have not requested. Finally, remember to sign
and date your application. We need your signature
and the date for your application to be considered
complete and valid. Depending on the form
you’re filling out, you may need to sign
in more than one place. Be sure to read the
application and guide carefully. You’ll find all
application guides and checklists on
our website at Be sure to use them. If you’re like most people,
you probably don’t like delays. My best advice? Skip the frustrating step
of having an incomplete application returned to you. Save time: Send us a
complete application!

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