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Why is my application considered complex or non-routine and what does that mean for me?

We consider your application complex or non-routine if some parts of your application need extra review or processing on our part.

It may take us longer than the normal processing time to review a non-routine application.

Below are some examples of why your application might be complex or non-routine.

Citizenship applications
  • You asked to change your personal information, like your
    • name
    • sex or gender identifier
    • date of birth
  • We need you to submit extra documents, like
    • fingerprints
    • residence documents
  • You missed a test, interview or hearing.
  • We invited you to another interview or hearing after you attended your interview.
  • You failed a test.
  • During your interview, you didn’t meet the language requirements.
Permanent residence applications
  • Your contact information is outdated and we can’t contact you or a family member.
  • We requested more documents, and they weren’t submitted on time, or at all.
  • Your dependant(s) turned 18 since you applied.
  • You added 1 or more dependants to your application since you applied.
  • Your dependant(s) got married and/or had children of their own since you applied.
  • You provided legal documents regarding child custody or that confirm a change to your marital status.
  • You or your family member were asked to resubmit a medical exam because one expired.
    • Exams for every person must all be valid at the same time.
  • You or a family member were asked to appear for an interview.
  • You or a family member might not be eligible.
  • Background checks are still in progress for you or your family members.
Temporary residence (visitor visa, study permit, work permit) applications
  • We’re verifying your information and documents.
  • We need additional documents from you, such as child custody information.
  • You sent us unclear copies of your documents.
  • You have a medical condition for which you may need more tests or consultations.
  • You lived in Canada before as a permanent resident.
  • There’s a criminal, security or other admissibility issue.
  • We need to consult with other offices in Canada or abroad.

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