Although there are several ways to become a Canadian citizen, if you are unsure you may wish to obtain proof of citizenship.
This document provides definitive proof that you are a Canadian citizen and can be used to apply for a Canadian passport.
You are probably not a Canadian citizen if you:
- were born in Canada to foreign diplomats;
- your citizenship has been taken away (revoked);
- renounced your Canadian citizenship and never asked to have it back;
- marry a Canadian citizen;
- are adopted by a Canadian citizen;
- have your asylum application accepted;
- live in Canada as a permanent resident for many years; Where
- were born outside Canada to Canadian parents on or after April 17, 2009, but neither parent was born or naturalized in Canada.
However, if any of these situations apply to you, you may still have the option of immigrating to Canada through one of the country’s many immigration programs. Once you are a permanent resident, you may become eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship.
Conversely, you are likely a Canadian citizen if any of the following describes you:
- were born in Canada (except for foreign diplomats);
- became a citizen due to changes to the Citizenship Act;
- applied for and obtained your Canadian citizenship;
- received Canadian citizenship as a minor when a parent or legal guardian applied for your citizenship;
- were born outside of Canada and at least one of your parents (biological or legal at birth) was born in Canada or became a naturalized citizen before you were born.
The First Generation Rule Explained
You can only be eligible to become a Canadian citizen from birth outside of Canada if your parent was a first-generation Canadian citizen. Citizens who were born in Canada or who were naturalized (that is, who applied for citizenship) are considered first-generation Canadians, in the context of this rule. Therefore, if you were born outside of Canada to the first generation of Canadians after April 17, 2009, you will be granted citizenship.
If you were born outside of Canada before this date to a Canadian citizen, the first generation rule does not matter. However, if this applies to you and you did not obtain proof of citizenship before, you may have difficulty obtaining it now.
How to request proof of citizenship
To apply for proof of citizenship, you must prove that at least one of your legal or biological parents at birth was a Canadian citizen. You can submit the application online on the IRCC website.
Once IRCC receives your application, you will receive an “acknowledgment of receipt” and your file will be reviewed and processed.
A lawyer can help you discuss your options for obtaining proof of citizenship.
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