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How to Apply for a Certificate of Residence

By IntFormalities
Updated on December 23, 2022
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Proving your residency is a requirement for every individual living in Canada. The government offers multiple ways to ascertain your legal residency status for several reasons. Suppose your entrepreneurial spirit has led you to venture into other business opportunities around the globe, or you are currently working in the country. In that case, you might need to have one of these for official purposes. Let’s dig deeper into what proof of residency is and why you’d need to apply for it.

Step-by-Step Application for A Canadian Certificate of Residence

What Is a Certificate of Residence, And What Might You Need It For?

A Canadian certificate of residency is a legal document issued by the federal government (Canadian Revenue Authority) that ascertains that a particular individual is physically resident in Canada. Aside from acting as proof of residence, this document is also helpful in verifying that the taxpayer is liable for tax in and out of the country for every business or employment opportunity they venture into.

Suppose you travel abroad and would like to work or start a business. In that case, the residency certificate helps prove you have a home in Canada and deducts or exempts you from taxes, depending on the country’s relationship with Canada.

Who Can Get One

A certificate of residency Canada is available to individuals, corporations, trusts, charities and non-profit organizations, a Canadian government entity, and others. If you are a non-resident, even in cases of a tie-breaker treaty with another country, you can’t get a Canadian tax residency certificate.

Where And When Should You Submit Your Request

You can submit your request for a certificate of residence at any time of the year if you’re asking for the current or previous fiscal years. Otherwise, if you want a Canada tax residency certificate for future years, you must wait until the 15th of October to submit your request.

The CRA allows applicants to utilize multiple application options for this document. You can effortlessly mail or fax the written request or the form given to you by the foreign government to the Sudbury tax center. Alternatively, you can call the same office at 1-800-959-8281 for individual and trust requests or 1-800-959-5525 for corporations and other non-trust organizations.

The Canadian Revenue Agency is responsible for this paper’s provision. You can contact them online, via call, or visit the Sudbury tax center for more details if you’re stuck or need particular help.

What To Include in Your Request

Aside from the identification documents and address details, applicants must provide information about beneficiaries, tax exemption status, and the legal provision that warrants the exemption. If you solicit help from a legal representative, they must use a power of attorney to complete the process. 

Requirements And Documentation Needed

Applicants must include specific information and documents depending on the kind of organization or entity they work with. Individuals should provide their full name, address, social security number, the name of the foreign country asking for the certificate of residence, and the tax years.

As for partnerships, trusts, corporations, and other organizations must provide a mailing address, identification details for trustees or relevant persons, CRA registration number, the foreign country asking for the Canadian tax residency certificate, and tax years to be included in the document.

A dated and signed letter of consent must accompany a request if the application isn’t individual or if a legal representative is applying on behalf of someone.

How To Apply Step by Step

Following all necessary steps when sending this request is vital; otherwise, you risk having the application rejected. Here’s what you should do:

  • Draft a formal request or provide the form given to you by the foreign country.
  • Include the name of the trustees and partners, the business number, the authorization letter, the CRA registration number, the mailing address, tax years to include in the request, and the social security number.
  • Address the mail to the Sudbury tax center or the relevant fax numbers and send it. If you prefer using the phone option, ensure you have all the required documents before making the call.

Ensure you have all the required recommendations before sending the request.

What Happens After You Apply?

Once you apply for this document, you’ll wait for the CRA’s response. The organization may contact you for further information when necessary. You’re free to contact the agency to find out the progress via phone call.

Validity And Processing Time

How much you pay for a Canadian certificate of residence depends on the type of residence status you apply for and the particular reason bringing you to Canada. The Canadian tax residency certificate is valid for 12 months, so you must provide a fresh one if there’s a new request. It takes six weeks to process the application in most cases, but it may take longer depending on individual circumstances and the application method.

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