Applying For Proof of Citizenship

Last updated: 16 October 2020

You were born abroad to a Canadian citizen and need proof of citizenship to obtain your passport? You intend to work in Canada and need your citizenship certificate for employment that is only accessible to Canadian citizens? Do you need a Canadian citizenship certificate for your child born abroad?

To enjoy the benefits of citizenship, such as having a Canadian passport, working in Canada or voting in Canadian elections, you must apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate.

The Canadian citizenship certificate is the standardized document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that provides definitive proof that you are a citizen of the country. Along with the Canadian birth certificate, it is one of only two documents accepted by Passport Canada as proof of Canadian citizenship.

You may apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate for yourself if you were born outside of Canada and you have a Canadian parent.

You may also apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate for your children if at least one of their parents (legal parent at birth or biological parent) was born in Canada or naturalized as a Canadian citizen before their birth. However, if your child is adopted and was born outside of Canada, he or she is not automatically a Canadian citizen.

Canadian Citizenship Certificate Application Process

To apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate, you must download an application package available on IRCC’s website. You are required to complete the application form in its entirety and submit it with the required supporting documents. It is very important to gather and submit the appropriate documents, in the appropriate format.

If your documents are not in English or French you will need a translation of the documents and the translator will need to supply an affidavit.

If you have obtained a citizenship certificate in the past, you must submit the original of the previous certificate as well as photocopies of other required documents.

Once IRCC receives your application for a Canadian citizenship certificate, you will receive an “acknowledgement of receipt” and your file will be reviewed and processed.

Currently, an application can be processed within approximately five months and you can check the processing status of your application online on the Canadian government website. Complex files sometimes have longer processing times. IRCC offers an urgent processing option in special cases. This provides individuals with a facilitated and expedited route if they need to access benefits such as healthcare, a social insurance number, to start a job, or in case of emergency travel to or from Canada.

Contact us for more information about the Canadian citizenship Certificate application process, or for assistance in preparing an application.