If you are a Canadian citizen due to naturalization or birth, you have access to the rights and privileges of that citizenship, including access to Canadian social programs and the right to live, work, and study in Canada. To enjoy the privileges of being Canadian, you may need to prove your Canadian citizenship. Whether you are applying for a scholarship, entry into another country, a job, or any other reason where you need to prove your citizenship, there are a few documents you may be able to submit:
1) Your passport
If you are trying to enter or leave Canada, your passport may be enough to prove you are Canadian. While abroad, you can present your passport to Canadian embassies and consulates to show you are a citizen and eligible for their assistance.
2) Your Canadian Citizenship Card
Until February 2012, the Canadian government issued a wallet-sized plastic-laminated card containing a photo, date of birth, and other identifying information of each naturalized citizen. Although the card is no longer issued, if you have a Canadian citizenship card, you can use it as proof of your citizenship and it remains valid.
If your card was stolen or lost, you will want to report it to your local police. In some cases, Canadian citizenship cards were issued with a commemorative certificate. If you received such a certificate, it is not now and has never been a valid proof of citizenship and you cannot use it instead of your citizenship card.
If you lose your Canadian citizenship card, you will not lose your status as a citizen. However, you will need to apply to have a new Canadian citizenship certificate made, since new cards are not issued. To apply for a new certificate, fill out Form CIT 0001 (Application for a Citizenship Certificate―adults and minors).
3) Your birth certificate
If you have a birth certificate from a Canadian province or territory, you can use this as proof of your citizenship. You can also use registration of birth abroad certificates issued any time from January 1, 1947, to February 14, 1977, if you were not born in Canada but you still qualified for citizenship at birth.
You may not use a provincial or territory birth certificate as proof of citizenship if neither of your parents were Canadian citizens but instead worked for the United Nations, were diplomats or consular officials for other nations, or were in Canada with diplomatic privileges and immunities.
4) Your Canadian Citizenship certificate
The Canadian citizenship certificate is a paper measuring 8½ by 11 inches. This document proves you are a citizen of Canada and also contains information such as your name, sex, date of birth, a certificate number, your Unique Client Identifier, and the date of citizenship. Both current and past versions of a Canadian citizenship certificate can be used to prove your status.
5) Some older citizenship documents
Past versions of documents used to prove citizenship are still valid. If you have a citizenship card or older citizenship certificate, you can use that. If you have a naturalization certificates from before January 1, 1947 or a certificate of retention from January 1, 1947, through February 14, 1977, these are also valid forms of proof.
How Do I Prove my Citizenship if I Have Lost my Proof of Citizenship?
If you have lost your proof of citizenship or have had your proof stolen or damaged, you will need to apply for a new Canadian citizenship certificate by filling out Form CIT 0001 (Application for a Citizenship Certificate―adults and minors). Even if you have been using older proofs of citizenship, you will be issued a new Canadian citizenship certificate, since older forms of proof are no longer issued.
Sometimes, you may not have a record to prove your citizenship if you have lost your documentation. In these cases, you can apply for a search of citizenship records. For a fee, you can get documentation verifying your citizenship. The process time can be ten months, so plan ahead if you need proof of citizenship for a specific application.
Would You Like to Replace a Proof of Citizenship?
If you would like to apply for a new citizenship certificate because your old proof of citizenship has been lost, stolen, or damaged, Immigration Direct can help. We have resources to help you apply for a citizenship certificate and we provide clear instructions, email and phone support, and other help to ensure you apply correctly. We even offer free resources, such as our free blog, to help you.