If you were born outside Canada and one of your biological or legal parents was a Canadian citizen at the time of your birth, you may qualify for Canadian citizenship.
For the Canadian government to determine if you are a Canadian citizen, you must submit a “proof of Canadian citizenship” application, also called a “Canadian citizenship certificate”.
No matter whether your Canadian parent is alive or deceased, you can apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate at any time during your life. Citizenship by descent is limited to those born outside Canada or to parents who are Canadian.
Canadian citizenship certificates are one of only two documents accepted by Passport Canada as proof of citizenship.
Process for Applying for a Canadian Citizenship Certificate
To apply for Canadian citizenship, you must visit the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website or contact an immigration consultant to assist you with the process.
You must provide evidence that at least one of your parents was a Canadian citizen at the time of your birth. Accepted evidence includes:
- Parent’s birth certificate
- Parent’s Canadian citizenship card
- Parent’s Canadian citizenship certificate
If your Canadian parent was born in Canada on or after February 15, 1977, or was granted citizenship on or after April 17, 2009, you can complete the entire application online. Otherwise, you must submit a paper application.
Your application will be reviewed by IRCC after we receive it and process the fee. You will receive an “acknowledgment of receipt.” After IRCC approves your application, a Canadian citizenship certificate will be sent to you.
By having proof of citizenship document, you can apply for a Canadian passport, vote in an election, and enjoy many other privileges.
Benefits of Canadian Citizenship
It’s a good idea to transition from permanent residence to Canadian citizenship. As well as the added security and pride that comes with citizenship, citizens can also benefit from some advantages that permanent residents cannot enjoy.
A Canadian citizen has access to many resources, such as more job opportunities, better healthcare, the right to live and work anywhere in the country, and the right to civil liberties.