Get Your First Canadian Citizenship Certificate
|Regular Processing||Urgent Processing|
|approximately 12 months||approximately 4 – 6 months|
If you were born outside Canada to a Canadian parent, you must have documentation to prove that you are a Canadian citizen and enter Canada.
Proof that you are a Canadian citizen will allow you to:
- Live in Canada
- Work in Canada
- Go to school in Canada
- Sponsor your relatives for PR in Canada
- Get a Canadian passport
- Vote in Canada
- Hold a job requiring security clearance
Inheriting Canadian Citizenship
Canadian citizenship can be passed down from biological and adoptive parents, as well as Legal Parents At Birth (a person named on the child’s original birth certificate as a parent who is not the child’s biological or legally adoptive parent, such as in same-sex couples).
A child born outside Canada to a Canadian parent can claim their Canadian citizenship at any time in their life – they are not required to make an application prior to any specific age. Applications can be made for minor children from the time they are born, and applicants can submit their own proof of Canadian citizenship application from the time they are 18 years old.
A child of a Canadian citizen can apply for proof of Canadian citizenship regardless of whether their Canadian parent is still living.
These rules apply to children of Canadian parents born anywhere in the world.
Proof of Canadian Citizenship Application Process
If a child has inherited Canadian citizenship from a parent, then they do not apply to naturalize as Canadian citizens in the same way as immigrants to Canada. This is because technically they are already Canadian citizens, and they simply need to apply for proof of this status.
The child of a Canadian parent has to submit an application to IRCC demonstrating two things:
- That their parent was a Canadian citizen at the time they were born
- That the Canadian citizen is indeed their parent
For children adopted by Canadian parents, the application process is slightly different and has an additional step. First, the applicant has to prove that their adoption was legal in the country where it took place, as well as in Canada if they came to Canada to live. Then, they have to prove that their parent was Canadian at the time of the adoption just as described above.
Applications submitted by applicants in Canada or the US will be processed entirely in Canada. Applications submitted by applicants living outside Canada or the US will first be processed by the Canadian Embassy where they reside, and will then be finalized in Canada.
Processing Times – Proof of Canadian Citizenship
The processing time for a first Canadian citizenship certificate is significantly longer than for a replacement.
A first Canadian citizenship certificate application submitted from an applicant in Canada or the US takes approximately one year to finalize and receive the certificate.
For applicants outside of Canada and the US, processing times are usually closer to one and a half years.
If an applicant has special circumstances which would warrant urgent processing of their application, then they may request expedited processing. Circumstances which may warrant urgent processing of your first citizenship application include:
- A Canadian job offer
- Acceptance to a Canadian school
These are some of the most common reasons for urgent processing, however other reasons are accepted.
If you or your child was born outside Canada and want to claim your Canadian citizenship, contact us or start your application below.