Notice – New Citizenship Certificate

January 26, 2012 — The document which Citizenship and Immigration Canada issues to prove Canadian citizenship will be changing soon. As of February 1st, 2012, CIC will no longer produce the current plastic wallet-sized citizenship certificate. Instead of the wallet-sized card, new citizens and those applying for proof of citizenship will receive a letter-sized paper citizenship certificate, which will display information that can be validated through a new electronic validation system.

This certificate will also replace the commemorative certificate which is currently presented to new Canadians at citizenship ceremonies.

The new certificate will contain a unique number and basic information about its holder, such as names, date of birth and gender. This will allow other government departments to validate citizenship information via an electronic validation system, reducing the possibility of citizenship fraud.

The electronic validation system will be made available to Passport Canada, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Service Canada in February 2012.

Like the plastic card, the new certificate is a legal status document, not an identity document or a travel document. Unlike the plastic card, the new certificate will not contain a photo. The citizenship certificate’s sole purpose is to prove Canadian citizenship.

Recipients of the new certificate who are scheduled for a citizenship ceremony will need to wait at least two business days after their ceremony before they can apply for services such as a passport.

Citizenship certificates issued before February 1, 2012, remain valid. This means that any Canadian who currently holds a citizenship certificate does not need to apply for a replacement.

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