If you were born abroad to at least one Canadian parent, you may already be eligible for Canadian citizenship.
When you are already eligible for citizenship, you do not need to go through the regular application process, which involves a physical presence requirement as a permanent resident, a knowledge test, and attending a citizenship ceremony among other requirements.
Instead, you apply for proof of citizenship, also known as a citizenship certificate.
You are likely already a Canadian citizen if you were born in Canada, unless you were born to foreign diplomats. If you were born abroad, you may already be Canadian if and at least one of your parents was a first-generation Canadian at the time of your birth.
To be considered a first-generation Canadian, your parent had to have been either born in Canada or obtained citizenship by going through the application process. If your grandparent was a first-generation Canadian and your parent got citizenship by descent, then you are not eligible for proof of citizenship. However, you can still obtain citizenship by going through the Canadian immigration process.
To apply for proof of citizenship, you must download the application package available on IRCC’s website. You must demonstrate your biological or legal parent was a Canadian citizen when you were born. IRCC accepts evidence such as your parent’s birth certificate, Canadian citizenship card or citizenship certificate.
IRCC will send an acknowledgment of receipt, known as an AOR, once it confirms the submitted application is complete. Upon the application being approved, IRCC will send a Canadian citizenship certificate.
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 for people who need to access benefits such as healthcare, a social insurance number, start a job, or in case of emergency travel to or from Canada.
The Canadian government fee is $75 CAD to apply.
You can have a Canadian immigration lawyer to help you with the process. An experienced immigration lawyer can double check to ensure you meet all the eligibility criteria and help you prove your Canadian citizenship without delay.
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