What to do if you get an RQ

*Do not send any original documents! None of your documents will be returned to you! Photocopy.

  1. Read your cover letter closely to see if there is any indication of why you may have received the RQ. This is unlikely, but good to check for.
  2. Read the instructions on the RQ form itself very carefully.
  3. Call the CIC helpline at 1-888-242-2100 for any clarifications. Write down the agent’s name and the date on a sheet paper. You may also request the agents 4 digit number.
  4. Calculate 45 days from the date on your RQ cover letter.
  5. Request Records of Movement (information regarding border crossings) from any country where you have a passport.
  6. Request your CIC files to verify that they entered all your information correctly and see if there’s any information indicating their specific concerns about your application. This will take about 30 days to be processed.
  7. Find Rental records or mortage receipts. If you lived in shared housing and your name is not on the lease, include a copy of the lease with your roommate’s name and have your roommate to write a letter stating when you lived at the address in question and the monthly rent you paid. If at all possible, have them visit a commissioner of oaths or notary to certify that this letter is truthful. Housing records are some of the strongest evidence in RQ cases.
  8. Locate documentation of any employment during the four year period preceding your application for citizenship. Employment records are some of the strongest evidence of residency. If you were a student, retired, or a stay-at-home parent, list yourself as “student”, “homemaker” or “retired” in the space provided rather than leaving it blank.
  9. Request medical records from the provinces where you have lived. This will take 14-60 days.
  10. Reconstruct and verify your travel history;
    a. Triple check all passport stamps
    b. Search date ranges in old email files for emails to family or friends about your travel plans.
    c. Search date ranges in old email files for receipts of car rentals, plane or train tickets.
    d. Search any old personal date books or calendars your have from past years.
    e. Search any online calendars you have for past years.
    f. If you have been in a relationship for some or all of your time in Canada, search their records as well.
  11. Remember to photocopy your complete application for you records before you send it.
  12. In the all-too-likely event that you cannot provide all documentation within the prescribed 45 days, send what you have with a cover letter indicating your Client ID and listing your outstanding documents. Send the rest when you get it.
  13. Always make sure you get a tracking number, delivery confirmation and insurance to cover re-photocopying everything or replacing transcripts or original documents. Do not send documents like a regular letter.
  14. After you have sent all your documentation, contact your MP and tell them how frustrated you are by the poor administration of the RQ process. After you feel you have been waiting for awhile, ask them to inquire about the status of your citizenship application. Some information about the processing of your application may only be shared with you through the intercession of your MP. It is your MP’s duty to advocate for you regardless of their political party and your current lack of citizenship.

7 responses to “What to do if you get an RQ

  1. I am concerned about the over reliance on what are most likely very incomplete and possibly misleading border crossing records. I am especially concerned about CIC relying on foreign records to make a decision.

    • This is generally good advice and should be more widely disseminated. I would expect that most immigrants, who do not have the right to vote and thus do not “have” an MP, would be reluctant to write LTE or to a would-be future MP for fear of retaliation by CIC or being brushed off by the MP. Nonetheless, these are well written letters. Perhaps AFTER taking the oath new citizens might want to act on these ideas. At least if the current administration is changed to a more immigrant-friendly one.

      • Thank you Louise. MPs represent everyone in their districts, not just citizens, and one of their responsibilities is to act as an “ombudsman” to the federal government for people within their districts including Permanent Residents, so I would encourage people to contact them and give them the opportunity to hear your voice and do their job. I understand the fear of retaliation, but I really do not believe the CIC will retaliate if applicants contact their MP and make their perfectly reasonable frustrations known. We have seen no evidence of retaliation for much more serious action by applicants, such as lawsuits.

        Of course we all must make our own decisions about what actions we are comfortable with, but I encourage people, especially those of us who are already deprived of voting rights and other citizenship rights, to not unnecessarily deny ourselves the other rights that we do have. We all, regardless of our citizenship status, have the right to free speech in Canada.

  2. Hi, do you know if I can provide photocopies of the supporting documents or do I have to provide originals? For example, I am very reluctant about sending the original copies of my children’s immunization forms !

  3. Hi, when answering question 10,
    “Where have all of your family members (e.g., spouse, common-law partner, children, mother, father, brothers and sisters) lived since your arrival date in Canada?”
    Do I need to provide Rental/Lease agreements with proof of rental payment for family members who live outside of Canada?

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