The Proof of Canadian Citizenship application process

Daniel Levy
Published: February 27, 2023

To determine if a person is a Canadian citizen and to be issued a document called a "Canadian citizenship certificate," a "Proof of Canadian citizenship" application must be submitted to the Canadian government.

Canadian citizenship certificates can be issued to a person born in Canada, a person born outside of Canada to a Canadian parent, or to a permanent resident who has obtained Canadian citizenship.

Citizenship refers to a person’s legal status. Canadian citizenship can be obtained either by birth or by a process called “naturalization.”

Immigrants who come and settle in Canada and meet certain criteria may be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship by naturalization. Being granted Canadian citizenship is the final step in the immigration process for many immigrants.

Get a Free Legal Consultation on Applying for Proof of Canadian Citizenship

There are many reasons why Canadians may seek to pass on their citizenship status to their foreign-born children. These include the opportunity to live and work in what is one of the most prosperous and stable countries in the world, or to have access to a Canadian passport that allows visa-free travel to well over 100 countries. It can also be used as proof of access to various services and benefits, such as a pension, to apply for a job or to vote.

How do I apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate?

Typically, applications for proof of citizenship are submitted by adults who have a Canadian-born parent and who believe they are eligible for Canadian citizenship but are not certain. In addition, such applications are submitted by Canadian parents on behalf of their foreign-born children, or by the children themselves.

IRCC requires proof that at least one biological or legal parent was a Canadian citizen when the child was born. Examples of proof include the parent's birth certificate, citizenship card, or citizenship certificate.  This point is important to emphasize because currently, in Canada, citizenship by descent is limited to Canadian parents who have themselves become citizens by birth or naturalization. In other words, Canadians who have acquired citizenship by descent are not entitled to pass on their citizenship to their children unless the children were born in Canada.

Proof of citizenship applications can be submitted online or on paper.

The total cost of the application to the Canadian government is $75 CAD.

IRCC then reviews the application to ensure it is complete. You will then receive an "acknowledgment of receipt." If your file is complicated, IRCC may need to contact you for additional information or documents. IRCC may also need more time to process complicated files.

Get a Free Legal Consultation on Applying for Proof of Canadian Citizenship

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