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Lost expired passport; going to take a citizenship test soon

Discussion in 'Citizenship' started by krishamejica, May 18, 2019.

  1. Hello there. I just got an invitation for the citizenship test soon. But the problem is I dont know where my expired passport is. All I have is a photocopy of the biodata page.
    I'll go with the specifics, we became PR May 2014. That passport expires in 2015 so Feb 2015, we got a new passport. I havent travelled anywhere with the old passport. I was 15 years old at the time so it was my mom who carries my passport. Now she doesnt know or remember where my old passport is. We are looking for it like crazy. I dont know what will happen if I dont present my old passport. Please help me.
  2. Report it to the police and get a reference number. Present it during your interview with the details of what happened.
  3. Will that delay the process of becoming a citizen?
  4. No! Take care
  5. Thank you for the response. But I was also searching up people with similar situations and a lot have said that it will delay the process as they will be given a RQ or QR i forgot what it was. Im wondering why you said it wont delay the process for me?
  6. It is what it is at this point. You should have making sure you have the physical passport before submitting the application in the beginning.
    With regard to being issued an RQ, no one can say for sure. It totally depends on the officer who check your application. Worrying is no use at this stage of the process. You will have to be truthful and report it as lost to the officer.
  7. #7 dpenabill, May 20, 2019 at 10:09 PM
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
    As @canvan14 suggested, the failure to present ALL relevant travel documents can result in RQ - related requests for additional information and documents, and thus RQ - related non-routine processing and resulting delays. This includes older passports which were valid during any part of the eligibility period or otherwise could have been used during the eligibility period.

    Whether failing to present a required passport will actually result in RQ-related processing is a decision made either by the particular processing agent conducting the PI Interview (which includes the document verification check), or the Citizenship Officer who will make the determination whether to grant citizenship (after reviewing the file and input from the processing agent). So yes, to some extent, whether or not this results in a delay due to RQ-related processing depends on the judgment or decision-making of one or the other of these individuals.


    I will NOT attempt to enumerate the factors, but most of them fall into some broad categories:
    -- strength of case generally
    -- relevancy of the missing travel document (how the absence of this evidence, the passport, might affect the strength of case)
    -- applicant credibility

    I will NOT attempt a detailed analysis either. These categories have a lot of overlap, and many factors are relevant in all three, and how this or that factor influences things can vary widely, many factors having interrelated influence.

    But no special insider knowledge is necessary to get the gist of it: the stronger the case generally, and the less relevant the missing passport, and the more credible the applicant, the better the odds that IRCC will NOT have concerns and NOT implement non-routine processing, RQ-related or otherwise.

    In contrast . . .

    If the applicant has a weak case (for example: little buffer over minimum in conjunction with any concern about the travel history, work or school history, or address history), that will increase the risk a missing passport will trigger RQ-related requests.

    If the missing passport covers a large period of time and especially if it covers a significant portion of a period of time that the applicant reports being in Canada, that makes it more relevant and if it is missing it is more likely to trigger RQ-related requests.

    If the applicant's explanation for why the passport is not available seems vague, evasive, or especially deceptive, or there are other reasons to question the applicant's credibility (such as significant discrepancies in other information provided by the applicant), that will elevate the risk IRCC will make RQ-related requests.​

    I do not know what your eligibility period is or how your accounting of days present in Canada relates, or does not relate, to the time period before the date in 2015 that your missing passport expired. If, for example, your presence calculation shows presence in Canada for more than 1095 days AFTER that passport expired, that indicates the older, missing passport has rather minimal relevancy and this should increase your odds of NO RQ by quite a lot.

    My general impression, subject to the particular details in your case, is that this missing passport has minimal relevance in the calculation of your days present in Canada, and that may explain why @Jayson rather casually concluded this is not likely to cause any delays in your case. But this is subject to the particular details in your case.

    PASSPORTS ARE NOT AS IMPORTANT TODAY AS IN THE PAST (they are still very important, but not nearly so much as in the past):

    In general, IRCC considers passports to be important evidence, evidence that IRCC wants to examine in its evaluation of the applicant's qualifications, especially as to the physical presence requirement. Since the burden of proof is on the applicant, missing evidence hurts the applicant's case.

    But historically missing passports were a much bigger deal in the past. So there are many older discussions in forums like this about the high risk of RQ if there is a missing passport . . . no matter how innocent or not-at-fault the applicant was. Again, since the burden of proof is on the applicant, if important evidence is missing that hurts the applicant's case, even if the applicant is not at all to blame for the evidence missing (a decade or so ago, even applicants who did not have an older passport because the country issuing it kept and destroyed it when a new passport was issued, for example, still faced a dramatically elevated risk of RQ).

    There are several reasons why passports are not such a big deal now. Passport exit and entry stamps used to have a much bigger role, so much so forums like this used to have extensive discussions about the impact of a "missing stamp," let alone missing passport. Indeed, there were cases in which a so-called "missing stamp" was the key factor in the outcome, the absence of a stamp verifying the applicant's version of travel dates being enough to doubt the applicant's case. These days a lot of international travel does not result in a passport stamp . . . so there is little or no reasonable basis to doubt an applicant's travel history just because there is no stamp for every reported border crossing.

    Moreover, until June 2015 the applicant had to meet a "residency" requirement, not a presence requirement, and information in passports could reveal information suggesting the applicant had residency status in other countries, which was a key factor then. This is now only an indirect factor and has less weight, since the requirement is specifically about counting days physically in Canada without regard to where one was a "resident."

    IRCC still very much wants to examine all possibly relevant travel documents, all passports which potentially could have been used during the eligibility period. So much so the applicant is required to disclose ALL such passports or travel documents in the application itself AND explain any gaps in time for which the applicant reports not having a passport. And the processing agent conducting the interview will usually (not always but usually) examine ALL such passports.


    Perhaps the most significant factor in your situation is the limited extent to which your calculation of days present in Canada involves a period of time during which the missing passport could have been used. If that passport has minimal relevance, the fact it is not available should NOT cause any problem.

    As @canvan14 suggested, it is what it is at this point. But I doubt that an IRCC processing agent will be much surprised that a child's passport replaced more than four years ago is not available now. Should have preserved it, yes, but losing that passport is not likely to raise eyebrows much.

    If nearly all of your days present in Canada are after February 2015, for example, my sense is that @Jayson is right . . . UNLESS, of course, there are other factors tipping the needle in the other direction (if, for example, you applied with just 1098 days physical presence and there is some question about where you going to school during the eligibility period, or such).
    V.F.S and podaSK like this.
  8. Thank you so much for your reply @dpenabill. It is very detailed and helpful. I still have a copy of my physical presence calculator so i can tell you details about it. My total physical presence is 1452 days. We landed here in Canada on May 7,2014, became PR may 6 2014. We had our new passport Feb 7 2015. So if i calculated the days I am here in Canada and deducted the days covered by the expired passport, my total physical presence would now be 1,237 which is still over the 1098 day requirement. If I brought documents like work history and school history to prove that i was here within the time when my passport was expired, will that help too?
  9. My impression is you have little, if anything, to worry about. At least NOT in respect to the missing older passport.

    My sense is that @Jayson probably has it right . . . but as I outlined in some detail above, there is some risk otherwise. But my impression, based on the situation as you have presented it, is that risk is low.

    For what my impression is worth. I am NOT an expert. I am especially NOT capable or qualified to offer personal advice.

    To be clear, the presence requirement is 1095 days. I referenced "1098" days in my previous post just as an illustration of someone applying with a minimal margin over the minimum (again that is 1095 days), which leaves little room for mistakes. (Most of those who will apply with little margin over the minimum, super confident they are making no mistakes, are just as prone to mistakes as the rest of us, and they are for sure making a mistake assuming that IRCC personnel will be comfortable enough about the presence calculation to proceed without some non-routine processing to more fully verify the requirement has been met, given that any concern at all about just a few days could mean the applicant is NOT qualified.)

    Also, to be clear about why I am so emphatic that I am NO expert and I am NOT qualified to give personal advice: There is actually a big difference between knowing a fair amount about the rules, policies, and practices (to the extent these are disclosed), versus applying such knowledge to actual cases, let alone a particular individual's case. This difference is often under-appreciated in a forum like this (some here, for example, casually offer opinions based on limited anecdotal experiences -- sometimes based on just their own experience, with little regard for the variables and vagaries in individual cases). This is to emphasize that I am not merely saying I am NOT qualified to offer personal advice. As a real practical matter I really am NOT. Even if someone here is an expert, this is NOT an appropriate venue for sharing enough details to reach conclusions about an individual's case.

    "If I brought documents like work history and school history to prove that i was here within the time when my passport was expired, will that help too?"

    There are many here who think YES. And there are some reporting personal experience confident that the extra documents or evidence they brought to the test and interview made a difference.

    Frankly I doubt extra evidence at the interview makes a difference, except perhaps in a very few, very close call situations.

    Sure, I took some with me . . . carefully organized separate from the required original documents so I could present the required documents without fumbling through the additional papers I brought with me. But my interview went so fast there was not the slightest opportunity to even reference my additional evidence let alone actually present it. Not all interviews go so quickly or smoothly. But generally it appears that the interviewer (usually a processing agent, but some reports suggest sometimes it is the responsible Citizenship Officer conducting the interview) is either satisfied or has concerns which will lead to non-routine requests for additional information. That is, it goes one way or the other, with little opportunity to change the interviewer's opinion if the interviewer has concerns.

    REMEMBER the PI Interview is just that, a Program Integrity Interview. It is NOT a hearing. (Which is why it can be done by a processing agent and not necessarily by the Citizenship Officer who will decide whether to grant citizenship . . . pursuant to fair procedure requirements, if there is a "hearing" the decision-maker be the same person who conducted hearing.)

    In general the PI Interview is NOT a venue for the applicant to present additional evidence . . . it is specifically about VERIFYING information in the file. If the interviewer is satisfied that the applicant's original documents and answers to questions (which, by the way, are testing the applicant's ability in one of the official languages as much as asking for information) verify the information in the file, and the applicant has passed the knowledge of Canada test (if required . . . old dudes like me are test exempt), the interviewer will makes notes in the file essentially recommending the Citizenship Officer grant citizenship. If the interviewer has concerns or doubts, unless those involve some specific questions which will resolve those concerns, and the applicant's responses suffice to resolve them, that will lead to non-routine processing . . . and if those concerns are about physical presence, that will include RQ-related requests for additional information and documentation.

    My sense is that the processing agent has largely formed an opinion about the applicant's qualifications BEFORE the interview starts (notwithstanding some anecdotal reports insisting the interviewer was unfamiliar with their case), contingent on verification . . . examining the original documents and asking questions, mostly looking for affirmation the information in the application and file is complete and correct, or looking for signs there is something awry or missing.

    But sometimes having some extra documents can help boost one's confidence. Even if you never present or even refer to the extra evidence.

  10. Okay thank you so much! I was calling the ircc this morning but the lines were busy and so i might call again tomorrow to make sure. Thank you so much for all the help again!
  11. There is little if anything the help centre telephone agents can offer about an issue like this. They mostly answer the equivalent of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) or confirm the current status of an application. They know the requirements and may state what the applicable rule or instruction is, but they ordinarily do not attempt to answer what will happen given this or that fact.
    In particular they generally will not even attempt to give an advisory opinion based on facts in a particular individual's case. (Except the obvious; if the client calling the help centre says he has less than 1095 days presence, for example, sure the agent is likely to say something in the nature of 'sorry, that will not do it.')

    Thus, for example, they are likely to reaffirm the instruction to bring all passports, and may advise that otherwise you will need to explain why you do not have this or that passport, and that it will be up to the official (interviewer) what happens. They may be willing to go beyond that a little, or even be reassuring (given your facts), but to the extent they do that, that is no more reliable than what @Jayson or any of us here might say about an issue like this.

    You mostly need to prepare for the knowledge of Canada test, make sure you have the required documents (as best you can, recognizing you are an old passport short), RELAX, give yourself plenty of travel time to arrive at the test location well on time, and the odds are good this is going to go well. Applicants who clearly, easily meet the requirements, are NOT challenged. IRCC is NOT looking for reasons to give applicants a hard time. NOT at all. For the vast majority of qualified applicants the interview is a BRIEF formality, quick in and out, a few easy questions most of which are like engaging in a casual conversation.
  12. I have an update!! I just passed my citizenship test today, 19/20! I told the interviewer about the lost expired passport and he was asking me questions about it on where and when did I think I lost it. Also, at the end of the interview I told him I was so worried about the lost passport and he said he was pretty worried about it too but because I didnt travel a lot with my old passport, other than just using it to get here, I was fine. He said if I had more travels in that one, it wouldve made things complicated and would have lengthen the process. Tomorrow will be my oath taking and I'm more than excited. Thank you so much for all the help! I really appreciate it! God bless you all.

    And enjoy!

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