Search of Citizenship Record (17:IX)

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This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by the Law Students' Legal Advice Program on July 29, 2022.

The search of record service verifies the citizenship status of citizens and non-citizens. There are three basic reasons someone would request a “record letter”:

  1. The applicant does not have proof of citizenship,
  2. The applicant had proof, but needs a letter that outlines when and how he or she became a citizen, and
  3. A third party asks for citizenship confirmation.

All persons requiring a record letter must make an application for search of citizenship records and pay a $75 fee. All search applications are processed at the centre in Sydney, Nova Scotia. After a search, if no record is found, the applicant will be given a “no record” letter, but if a record of citizenship is found, a numbered record letter is issued, which is valid for a specific purpose and stated length of time. Generally, the letter is valid for one month, but it may be valid for a maximum of three months. If a user of this manual is not sure if he or she was registered as a Canadian citizen in the past, that person should make applications for proof of citizenship and search of citizenship record at the same time and pay only one fee ($75). If the search of citizenship record is positive, the user will already be in line to receive a certificate of citizenship.

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