In Citizenship
Mary Keyork
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Why was I asked to complete a Canadian Residency Questionnaire?

I have been a permanent resident for five years, and I applied for Canadian citizenship last year. I received a letter from the citizenship office requesting me to fill out a Residence Questionnaire and asking me to provide a lot of documents. I have been physically resident in Canada for almost four years when I applied, so I do not understand why I need to provide so many documents which are difficult to get. Is it possible they have made a mistake?

As a part of the government’s efforts to combat fraud, citizenship applications are being reviewed much more carefully than previously. In the past, many applicants stated that they were physically resident in Canada when, in fact, they were not. In order to ensure that all applicants are truthful in their applications, the new procedure requires applicants to substantiate physical residence with documents including taxation, banking, employment, education, medical and other records. You have not been singled out for this request, as all applicants must now satisfy officers that they have been physically resident or face refusal of their applications. It is certainly true that the new requirements will make the application process far more onerous for applicants. In addition, this will no doubt cause further delays as officers spend time reviewing the questionnaires and supporting documentation submitted by applicants.