Get proof of citizenship

You might need proof of Canadian citizenship to:

  • vote,
  • get a passport,
  • get a driver’s licence or other identity card,
  • get a job,
  • get government services, such as health care or a pension, or
  • get a Social Insurance Number so you can work.

Citizenship certificate

A Canadian citizenship certificate is an 8½ x 11-inch paper document that proves you are a Canadian citizen. 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.

It is not a travel document. You need to get a Canadian passport to travel outside Canada.

Determine your eligibility

Learn if you are eligible to apply.

Apply for a citizenship certificate

Follow the steps to apply. 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

A search of records can confirm if we issued you a citizenship certificate or not.

Example of citizenship certificate

Example of the new citizenship certificate, available as of March 31, 2013, or when old stock is gone:

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

Citizenship certificates issued before March 31, 2013, are still valid.

Examples of the older citizenship certificates:

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

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, your parents were not Canadian citizens or permanent residents, 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).

If the proof of citizenship listed above is not accepted by another government department or agency, a Canadian passport can be used to support that you have Canadian citizenship. However, just having a passport is not enough to prove you have Canadian citizenship.

Application form

Travelling abroad

Information for Canadians travelling or living abroad
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