Canadian Citizenship: How to Apply for Proofs

You can apply for Canadian citizenship if you were born outside of Canada and at least one of your biological or legal parents at birth was a Canadian citizen.

Proof of Canadian citizenship permits you to enjoy all the benefits of being a citizen of Canada, including getting a social insurance number (SIN), access to universal healthcare, getting a driver’s license, voting in federal elections, and holding one of the world’s most influential passports.

To prove that you’re a citizen of Canada, you need to submit a proof of Canadian citizenship application to the government of Canada, also known as applying for a Canadian citizenship certificate.

A birth certificate from Canada and a Canadian citizenship certificate are the only two documents that Passport Canada accepts as proof that you are a citizen of Canada.

You can apply for a citizenship certificate at any time, irrespective of whether your parent is alive or has passed away. 

How to apply for a citizenship certificate from Canada

You can apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) website.

You need to provide evidence that at least one of your legal or biological parent at birth was a citizen of Canada.

Evidence may include:


Citizenship by descent in Canada is limited to the first generation born outside the country or to parents born in the country, so you will not be eligible if only your grandparents or other extended family are in Canada.

Furthermore, You can’t be a citizen of Canada if you were born abroad or are adopted by Canadians.

You can submit the application and evidence online, as long as your Canadian parent was born on or after February 15, 1977, or became a citizen on or after April 17, 2009. Otherwise, you need to submit a paper application. 

You will get an “acknowledgment of receipt” once IRCC accepts your application. It will review and process your file. You can check the processing status of your application online, as processing times may differ based on individual circumstances. IRCC may also ask for additional information or documents.

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