A citizenship certificate is a document that proves someone is a Canadian citizen. It is not a travel document. You need to get a Canadian passport to travel outside Canada.
If you are a Canadian citizen who was born outside Canada, you might want to apply for a citizenship certificate.
If you were born in Canada, you may also apply for a citizenship certificate. However, a Canadian provincial or territorial birth certificate should be enough to prove Canadian citizenship. See below for other documents we will accept as proof of citizenship.
We have stopped issuing citizenship cards
As of February 1, 2012, the citizenship certificate replaced the plastic wallet sized citizenship card as proof of citizenship. We no longer give out citizenship cards or the commemorative certificates that came with them. If you apply to update or replace your citizenship card, we will send you a citizenship certificate.
Determine your eligibility
Learn if you are eligible to apply for a citizenship certificate.
Apply for a citizenship certificate
Follow the steps to apply for a citizenship certificate. For minors (under 18 years old), their parent or legal guardian must apply for them. If you are applying for a minor, remember that the questions apply to the minor.
You can also find out how to apply for urgent processing.
Check processing times
Find out how long it will take CIC to process your application.
After you apply: get next steps
Learn what you should do after you apply.
Search citizenship records
Search citizenship records to see if we have ever issued you a citizenship certificate or not.
A Canadian citizenship certificate is an 8½ x 11-inch paper document. It has:
- the certificate number,
- your Unique Client Identifier,
- your name,
- your date of birth,
- your gender, and
- the date you became a Canadian citizen.
Example of the citizenship certificate
Older citizenship certificates
We gave out different certificates between February 2012 and March 2013 (below). These older citizenship certificates are still valid as proof of Canadian citizenship.
Citizenship cards and commemorative certificates
Before February 2012, we gave out plastic wallet sized cards (below) and commemorative certificates. These cards are still valid as proof of Canadian citizenship. Note that the date on your citizenship card is not the date you became a Canadian citizen. It is the date the card was issued.
The commemorative certificates are not proof of Canadian citizenship. However, commemorative certificates have the date you became a Canadian citizen on them.
Other documents accepted as proof of citizenship
Citizenship and Immigration Canada will accept these documents as proof of citizenship:
- Birth certificates from a Canadian province or territory, unless
- when you were born, neither of your parents was a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, and
- either of your parents was:
- a diplomat or a consular officer of a foreign government (or an employee of these persons);
- an employee or another representative of a foreign government (or an employee of these persons);
- an officer or an employee of a specialized agency of the United Nations; or
- an officer or an employee of any other international organization with diplomatic privileges and immunities.
- Naturalization certificates (issued before January 1, 1947).
- Registration of birth abroad certificates (issued between January 1, 1947, and February 14, 1977, inclusive).
- Certificates of retention (issued between January 1, 1947, and February 14, 1977, inclusive).
- What are the requirements for becoming a Canadian citizen?
- I already have a citizenship application in process. How will the 2015 changes to the citizenship legislation affect my application?
- Do I become a Canadian when I marry a Canadian?
- How much does it cost to apply for Canadian citizenship?
- I am a citizen of another country. Will I lose that citizenship if I become a Canadian?
Application formApply for a citizenship certificate
- Date Modified: