You may qualify for Canadian citizenship if you were born outside of Canada and if at least one of your biological or legal parents was a Canadian citizen at the time of your birth.
Obtaining proof of Canadian citizenship affords you the full range of privileges associated with being a Canadian citizen. This includes the right to vote in federal elections, acquiring a Social Insurance Number (SIN), access to universal healthcare, obtaining a driver’s license, and having one of the world’s most powerful passports.
To establish your Canadian citizenship, you can apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate through the Canadian government. They also call this process applying for a Canadian citizenship certificate.
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For Passport Canada to recognize your Canadian citizenship, only two documents can be proof. The Canadian citizenship certificate and a Canadian birth certificate.
You can apply for a citizenship certificate anytime, regardless of whether your Canadian parent is alive or deceased.
Step-by-Step Guide: Applying for a Canadian Citizenship Certificate
To apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate, you can visit the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.
You must provide evidence that at least one of your legal or biological parents was a Canadian citizen at the time of your birth. This evidence can take the form of:
- Your parent’s birth certificate.
- Your parent’s Canadian citizenship card.
- Your parent’s citizenship certificate.
Canadian citizenship by descent is typically limited to the first generation born outside of Canada or to a Canadian parent. You may not be eligible if only your grandparents or other extended family members are Canadian.
Additionally, if you were born abroad and a Canadian citizen adopted you, you may not be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship.
You can submit your application and provide the necessary evidence online if 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 will need to submit a paper application.
Once the IRCC receives your application, you will receive an “acknowledgment of receipt.” And your application will be reviewed and processed. You can monitor the processing status of your application online, as processing times may vary based on individual circumstances. The IRCC may also request additional information or documents as needed.