Get proof of citizenship (adults and minors)

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.

The citizenship certificate

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

Example of the new citizenship certificate (front)Example of the new citizenship certificate (back)

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.

Example of an older certificate (front) Example of an older citizenship certificate (back)

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.

Example of an older citizenship card

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
    • you were born in Canada after February 14, 1977, and
    • when you were born, neither of your parents was a Canadian citizens or permanent resident, and
    • at least one parent had status as a diplomat in Canada
    If you were born in Canada before February 15, 1977, to a parent with diplomatic status, contact us to find out if your birth certificate is valid proof of citizenship.
  • naturalization certificates (issued before January 1, 1947),
  • registration of birth abroad certificates (issued between January 1, 1947, and February 14, 1977, inclusive), and
  • certificates of retention (issued between January 1, 1947, and February 14, 1977, inclusive).

Application form

Travelling abroad

Information for Canadians travelling or living abroad
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