Apply for Proof of Canadian Citizenship | Get a Free Legal Consultation

Last updated: 7 November 2023


You may be eligible for Canadian citizenship if you were born abroad to a Canadian citizen.

The many benefits of being a Canadian include the right to live permanently in one of the world's best countries and obtaining one of the world's most powerful passports

The Canadian citizenship certificate is the standardised 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. 

It is important to note that Canada only allows citizenship by descent for the first generation.

This CanadaVisa page provides an overview of the proof of Canadian citizenship process.

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Eligibility Criteria

You are eligible for Canadian citizenship if you were born outside of Canada and at least one of your biological or legal parents at birth was already a Canadian citizen when you were born. The Canadian government's formal process to find out if you are a citizen is to submit what is called a "proof of Canadian citizenship" application (also known as applying for a "Canadian citizenship certificate"). 

It is important to note that Canada limits citizenship by descent to the first generation born outside Canada to a Canadian parent.

You can apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate at any time of your life. You can also submit the application irrespective of whether your Canadian parent is alive or deceased.

Note that children adopted by a Canadian after they were born need to become a Canadian citizen. They are not eligible to apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate.

Canadian Citizenship Certificate Application Process

To apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate, you must download the application package available on IRCC’s website. IRCC will require evidence that at least one of your legal or biological parents at birth was a Canadian citizen. You can submit the application online on IRCC's website.

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

You can check the processing status of your application online on IRCC's 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 Cohen Immigration Law for Canadian Citizenship Assistance

Do you need Canadian citizenship assistance? Cohen Immigration Law is here to help. We can assess your eligibility and submit your Canadian citizenship application to the Canadian government. Cohen Immigration Law offers over 45 years of expertise helping clients become Canadians.

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