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Leaving Canada after applying

Discussion in 'Citizenship' started by CaBeaver, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. I will be eligible for the citizenship in few months, but I haven't been able to find another job so far, and if I cannot find a job until I am eligible, I am planning to leave Canada after applying. How could this affect my application? and if they asked me why I am not in Canada, what should I tell them? Thanks
  2. It won't affect your application .
    If they ask you, what do you want to say? How about the truth?
  3. Yes, I would say the truth. I want to settle in Canada, as I got job offers from outside Canada, but I want to stay in Canada and see how things will unravel until the date of my eligibility. But after applying, if I still cannot find a job in Canada, I am leaving temporarily until I get my citizenship because I cannot afford living in Canada more than that without a job, and then I will try again later.
  4. Only answer what is asked, don’t try to add anything
  5. So if they asked why did you leave after applying for the citizenship, is the answer "I left because I couldn't find a job in Canada" OK and acceptable? My concern is that if they feel I cannot find a job in Canada, they would think that I will take my passport and leave Canada, which could affect their decision.
  6. You are overthinking everything. Your citizenship application (and thus qualification) is hinged on your ELIGIBILITY PERIOD. If you fulfill residency requirement within your eligibility period then you are fine. Intent to continue to reside in Canada was repealed by Bill C-6.

    Part of Bill C-6
    Previous Provision; Applicants were required to intend to continue to live in Canada if granted citizenship.

    Bill C-6 This provision is repealed. Applicants are no longer required to intend to continue to live in Canada once granted citizenship. This provides more flexibility to Canadians who may need to live outside of Canada for work or personal reasons.
    CaBeaver likes this.
  7. Thanks for the reply.
  8. Of course it's OK. It's the truth and better than any other story you can make up. And the law has been changed so they are not allowed to take this factor into consideration.

    CaBeaver likes this.
  9. Thanks for confirming.
  10. Apart from the inherently logistical RISKS (missing notifications or failing to get to scheduled events on time, among others) that are involved if living abroad while a citizenship application is in process, which are discussed in multiple topics here . . . a reminder that this subject is NOT nearly so cut-and-dry as some suggest . . .

    These days there appear to be few reports of processing problems resulting from the applicant's absence from Canada AFTER applying, assuming the applicant otherwise meets the requirements AND, of course, timely responds to all IRCC communications and appears for scheduled events.

    And, currently, there is nothing about being outside Canada after applying that in itself constitutes a reason to deny the application . . .

    . . . unless the process takes so long, and the applicant remains outside Canada so long, that at any point before taking the oath the applicant fails to be present in Canada at least 730 days within the preceding five years (this would be grounds for a Removal Order which would prohibit a grant of citizenship . . . which in the past, when processing times were very long for some applicants, meant that even applicants approved and scheduled for the oath were instead reported at the PoE upon their return to Canada and not only did not become citizens but lost their PR status).

    So it is correct to state, as some have, that applicants are NOT required to continue living in Canada while the application is processing, AND there is NO required intent to live in Canada.

    Nonetheless some CAUTION is warranted.

    It is NOT true, for example, that IRCC is "not allowed to take this factor [applicant living abroad after applying] into consideration." To be clear, there is very, very little restriction on what factors IRCC can take into consideration when assessing the facts in a citizenship application. IRCC cannot discriminate on the basis of certain things like religion or race, for example. IRCC cannot employ a game of chance (rolling dice for example) or other capricious means for making a decision on an application for citizenship. And, overall, the reasons for the decision must be REASONABLE, which involves principles like the applicable standard and burden of proof (applicant has the burden to prove qualification beyond a balance of probabilities).

    This leads back to the observation that THESE DAYS there appear to be few reports of processing problems resulting from the applicant's absence from Canada AFTER applying. It may indeed be the current LIBERAL government's general policy to recognize the need for more flexibility in a global economy and as a matter of practice NOT elevate scrutiny (not impose non-routine processing) just because the applicant has gone abroad after applying. I am NOT sure this is the case, BUT even if it is, there is going to be a Federal election by October and the Liberals are currently NOT polling well at all.

    Thus, new applicants, and more than a few of those who currently have applications in process, should be aware that policies and practices can change, and potentially change rather dramatically, in the event a different government is formed later this year, especially if it is a Conservative government.

    This leads to recognizing the difference between what the law literally and technically prescribes, and the practical impact that the wide, wide range of discretionary policies and practices can have.

    Best illustration of this is that even BEFORE there was any intent-to-continue-residing-in-Canada requirement, under BOTH Liberal and Conservative governments just the mere fact the applicant was living abroad after applying WAS AN EXPLICIT FACTOR in determining if there were REASONS-TO-QUESTION-RESIDENCY. At that time the residency requirement calculation was in fact specifically about the relevant time period (four years at the time), and time outside Canada after applying could NOT deduct from the calculation. BUT NONETHELESS applicants who were perceived to be living abroad after applying were commonly subjected to elevated scrutiny, RQ, and much longer processing time lines.

    This became especially prominent during the years Harper was PM. But it was under a Liberal government, before Harper, that CIC (as it was then named) formally adopted criteria for questioning the applicant's residency based on indications the applicant was abroad and returning just for the purpose of attending the test or oath ceremony. This was in an appendix added to CP-5 Residence in 2005. Then under the Harper government this was taken to a much more severe extreme, when it appears CIC may have been deliberately stalling processing applicants who were perceived to be applying-on-the-way-to-the-airport or otherwise seeking-a-passport-of-convenience.

    To be clear, IRCC does NOT need to explain or have justification to issue RQ. Perhaps the current government is NOT targeting applicants living abroad for RQ or even considering this factor when deciding whether or not to issue RQ (my sense is that this may not be a big factor, like it has been in the past, but that it is probably still considered to some extent).

    But, for example, if a Conservative government is formed later this year, NO CHANGE in the LAW itself is necessary for IRCC to pay a lot more attention to applicants who are abroad or to impose RQ on them.


    IRCC cannot deny the applicant just because the applicant is living abroad. But it can ask a lot more questions. It can approach the applicant's account of facts more skeptically. It can issue RQ. And the fact the applicant is living or working abroad after applying can be what triggers this . . . or a factor in conjunction with others that triggers this.

    Whether it will or not is the big question. The RISK. Many believe that risk is fairly low (or even non-existent) under the current government.

    My sense is that the current risk depends in part on the extent to which the applicant has other risk factors . . . for example, an applicant who applies within just a few days of reaching the eligibility threshold and promptly leaves Canada to live and work at a job abroad, I'd guess has a rather significantly higher risk of non-routine processing, RQ, and a more skeptical approach to assessing the evidence of actual presence.

    We can only speculate about what the risk will be later this year. No crystal ball or powers of prophesy are necessary, however, to forecast the risks increasing if the next government is Conservative . . . the real question, if that happens, is by how much.


    As others have said and emphasized, and for which a DUH is perhaps warranted: the only way to respond to such questions is HONESTLY, FRANKLY, OPENLY . . . without artifice. Any attempt to script answers to such questions is far, far more likely to appear disingenuous or evasive or defensive or outright deceptive, EVEN if the answer is actually truthful . . . and thus more likely to trigger concerns, doubts, or suspicions, again EVEN if the answer is actually truthful.

    Note for example, even at the peak of the Harper government crackdown on applicants who appeared to apply-on-the-way-to-the-airport, many applicants abroad while the application was pending did NOT encounter problems . . . why many did and others did not is a separate discussion, which is not worth the tangent here since, again, there are NO odds trying to script this. The applicant who goes abroad does so for his or her own reasons. If asked about it, the truth is the only sensible response.
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  11. It depends on your luck, i.e. whether you end up with someone in a bad mood while processing your case. I personally know at least 2 people who left shortly after submitting their applications and got their citizenship within 8 months. I on the other hand have been waiting for over 18 months while staying in Canada for most of the time
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  12. #12 CaBeaver, Mar 26, 2019 at 4:06 AM
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
    But I cannot stop my whole life and stay in Canada without a job. Currently, I don't have any source of income. I held a job for 2 years, but have been struggling to secure another job. Currently I have a job offer from abroad, but I am thinking to decline the offer, because I have been waiting for the citizenship for years. I know the IRCC can use my absence as an excuse to do whatever they can, but people have situations and circumstances, and the hope is to take these into consideration. Some Canadian-born people are working abroad permanently. I know we immigrants are treated differently, but I am sure it's not the first choice for many. Leaving shortly after applying for the citizenship doesn't necessarily mean leaving Canada permanently. My wish is to find a job in Canada (I am still applying) and stay and settle down. I have sacrificed a lot to this point, but things aren't working for me in Canada. It's not like I came only 3 years ago to satisfy the requirements, and apply to the citizenship and then leave. I have been living in Canada for 8 years between studying and working.
  13. Sorry you have been waiting for so long. Why do you think that might be? Have they contacted you regarding specific documents or issues?
  14. To be clear, applicants are NOT required to continue living in Canada while the application is processing. Living abroad after applying does NOT disqualify an otherwise qualified applicant.

    And recent reporting tends to indicate fair odds of a routinely processed application notwithstanding living abroad after applying.

    See the following post, for example:
    In contrast, my post above was to be clear, however, there is SOME RISK involved.

    There are, in particular, real logistical RISKS. The risk of not getting a notice from IRCC, or not getting it timely, is obviously significantly greater for the applicant outside Canada. If problems are encountered in the process (request for fingerprints, for example, or RQ related requests), handling things tends to be significantly easier for an applicant in Canada (note, for example, applicants outside Canada cannot, not easily anyway, telephone the Help Centre). These days it appears IRCC is giving a good amount of notice before an applicant is scheduled for an event. But historically at times the notices have sometimes provided rather little time, which might make it especially difficult for the applicant abroad to arrange the trip on time to attend the event.

    And in my previous post I outlined cause to exercise caution about the decision-making process, at least insofar as one's expectations about how being abroad might influence a total stranger bureaucrat's assessment of the facts.

    The risks in general are difficult to quantify. Some risks are particular to the individual, like how much buffer over the minimum the applicant applies with. Like how easily it will be for the applicant to quickly return to Canada for the test or an interview or the oath. For example: Taking a job in the ME, especially in circumstances where leaving that country may be controlled, is significantly more risky, in this sense, than taking a job in Chicago, Illinois, in the U.S. and being able to drive to Canada in just a few hours.

    How much risk an individual will take also involves weighing personal factors, taking into consideration alternatives, financial resources, how important Canadian citizenship is, among others. Only you can assess what risks you are willing to take, what risks you are compelled to take.

    How you go about this is a very personal decision. Many will sail through, NO PROBLEM. Despite some risks.

    And as others have observed, if you solidly meet the qualifications, even if the process itself runs into NON-routine processing and delays, eventually the qualified applicant gets invited to take the oath.

    After all this time, sure, such decisions can be difficult. Immigration tends to encounter a difficulty or three along the way, bigger issues for some compared to others. It is not for everyone. You can be sure I am very, very glad the whole process is well behind me. And I had it rather easy compared to many. (And I still earn my living selling my services to clients outside Canada . . . grateful I can do that work here and NOT have to scramble for work in Canada. So I am familiar with that side of the equation as well.)

    The main thing is to be informed and make your decisions carefully, in consideration of the risks and the stakes, in consideration of what is to be gained, what might be lost. All you can do is take your best shot.
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  15. The only issue that seems to me is to respond in a timely manner, which I think with every request being sent via email with some time margin to respond, there is a little risk. I think I can meet these time margins with no problems.

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