A Canadian citizenship certificate must be possessed by a Canadian citizen to prove that he is a citizen of the country. A Canadian citizenship certificate is issued to a person who is:
- born in Canada
- born outside Canada to Canadian parents, and
- a permanent resident who has been granted Canadian citizenship.
The Canadian citizenship certificate contains your family and given names, date of birth, gender, and date of citizenship. This citizenship certificate is not a travel document. A Canadian passport must be possessed by a Canadian citizen who wants to travel outside Canada.
Any Canadian citizen is eligible to apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate. A provincial or territorial birth certificate issued to a person born in Canada is enough to prove their Canadian citizenship, but they can also apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate, if they wish to get one. In order to demonstrate your legal status in Canada, you must update your Canadian Citizenship certificate. If you had lost your certificate or if it was stolen or destroyed then you must apply for a new certificate immediately.
If you were born outside Canada, you may get a citizenship certificate if you had completed all the steps to become a Canadian citizen. To do so, you must be eligible to become a Canadian citizen and you must apply for Canadian citizenship.
Proof of Canadian citizenship is required to:
- vote in the federal elections
- obtain a Canadian passport
- get a driver’s license
- get a job in Canada
- acquire the benefits rendered by the government such as health care and pension, and
- get a Social Insurance Number.
Certain documents are recognized by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) as proof of Canadian citizenship. Birth certificates are recognized as a proof of citizenship in Canada. Naturalization certificates that were issued before January 1, 1947, Registration of Birth Abroad certificates and Certificate of Retention that were issued between 1st January 1947 and 14th February, 1977, can also used to establish Canadian citizenship. But some government agencies do not accept all the above mentioned documents and they require additional documents as a proof of Canadian citizenship.
To apply for certificate of citizenship you must file an application. You must fill out the application form completely and submit it along with the required supporting documentation. If you already had a citizenship certificate in the past, you must submit the original copy of the previous certificate along with photocopies of the other required documents.
After the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) receives your application for a citizenship certificate, your application will be reviewed and processed. Your application may be processed within 6 months and you can check the status of your application online. The application processing time will be longer if the case is complex. If your application for Canadian citizenship certificate is approved, you will receive the certificate through mail. You will receive a written notice if your application is not approved.