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Posted on November 5, 2022

Citizenship plays a very crucial role for numerous reasons, including with regard to making individuals feel at home, secure and comfortable in Canada.

Also, citizenship in Canada provides a pathway for us to accomplish major goals, such as voting in federal elections, acquiring a SIN (social insurance number), and getting a job.

Some Canadians, in order to accomplish the above goals, will need to acquire Proof of Citizenship from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This is a vital document, which provides definite proof that you are a Canadian citizen.

As an example of what a Canadian citizenship certificate does for individuals already having one – this document is one of only two pieces – the other one being the Canadian birth certificate – accepted by the Canadian Passport as proof of citizenship of the country. On the other hand, it is significant to understand that proof of citizenship cannot be considered a travel document.

Who Needs Proof of Citizenship?

Any citizen of the country can obtain a Canadian citizenship certificate desiring to have one. However, such a document is mandatory for:

  • People who were born outside of Canada to at least one parent, being a Canadian citizen
  • Naturalized citizens of Canada

Born Outside Canada:

Citizenship proof is required to enjoy the benefits as well as opportunities afforded to natural-born citizens. Some of them include advantages such as the ability to attain a driver’s license and access to universal healthcare.

Naturalized Citizens of Canada

Naturalized Canadians are those citizens who applied for citizenship, and completed the test followed by taking the oath. To enjoy the benefits of being a citizen in this country, they will need a Canadian citizenship certificate. However, that document is something they will have received once they complete their naturalization process.
The citizens of Canada born inside the country will be able to use their birth certificates as citizenship proof across the country.

Proof of Citizenship Eligibility

As mentioned earlier, individuals born outside the country to no less than one parent who was a citizen of Canada before their birth are eligible for proof of citizenship, as are naturalized Canadians.

The following are some vital notes you need to keep in mind with respect to Canadian citizenship certificates:

  • Canada restricts citizenship by descent to the first generation born outside the country to a Canadian parent i.e. only the child, not the grandchild, of a parent born in Canada who is deemed eligible for citizenship of Canada by descent.
  • As the child of a parent born in Canada, you are eligible for proof of Canada irrespective of your parent being alive or deceased.


Children adopted by Canadian citizens after they are born will need to first become citizens of the country before being eligible for a Canadian citizenship certificate.

Proof of Citizenship Application Process

Here are the steps one is required to take to apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate:

  1. To begin with, make sure you download the application package, which is available on IRCC’s website.
    It will require proving that one of the parents of the applicant was a citizen of Canada
  2. Pay the application fee. Now submit the application online on the IRCC’s website
  3. Wait for an “acknowledgment of receipt” when your application is received by the IRCC
  4. Wait while your file is evaluated and processed
    Applicants can check the processing status – times differ based on individual file complexity. It is likely to require IRCC for requesting additional information/documents – of their application online.

Urgent processing is available in special cases for applicants looking to; access benefits including healthcare, start a job, obtain a social insurance number, or travel to or from Canada due to an emergency

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