Getting proof of citizenship if your parent is Canadian

Edana Robitaille
Published: July 1, 2023

Becoming a Canadian citizen is the end-goal for many who choose to immigrate to Canada as a temporary worker, student, or permanent resident.

There are also many who are entitled to citizenship through their birth even though they may be born in a different country and have never even been to Canada.

To elaborate, 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.

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

This only applies to direct descendants of Canadian citizens, meaning if one of your parents is Canadian, you are eligible for citizenship, but you are not eligible if only your grandparents or other extended family is Canadian.

There is no time limit to when you can apply for your citizenship certificate, and you can apply regardless of if your parent(s) is dead or alive.

How to prove you are eligible for Canadian citizenship

To prove you are eligible for Canadian citizenship, you must fill out an application on the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship (IRCC) website. IRCC will require evidence that at least one of your parents is a Canadian citizen and was at the time of your birth. This applies to biological parents and legal parents.

If you were born abroad and adopted by a Canadian after your birth, you are not eligible to apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate.

IRCC requires that you prove that at least one of your parents at birth was a Canadian citizen. The department will accept:

  • Your parent’s birth certificate
  • Your parent’s Canadian citizenship card
  • Your parent’s Canadian citizenship certificate

The application and all documents can be submitted online provided that your Canadian parent was born in Canada on or after February 15, 1977, or was granted citizenship on or after April 17, 2009. Otherwise, you must submit a paper application. After IRCC receives your application and processing fee ($75), an officer will review it to check that it is complete.

According to the latest processing time information from IRCC, applicants can expect to wait 10 months for their application to be processed. Once IRCC approves your application, the department will send you a Canadian citizenship certificate.

Benefits of getting your proof of citizenship

Once you get your proof of citizenship, you are eligible for all the services and benefits that all Canadians receive.

One major benefit is a Canadian Passport. In the most recent global passport ranking by Henley and Partners, Canada has the 7th strongest passport in the world. This means that Canadian passport holders can visit 185 countries around the world without a visa.

Canada also allows citizens to hold more than one passport as a dual citizen. This means if your home country also allows more than one passport, you can keep as many passports as you are eligible for.

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

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