Working with the Governor General and lieutenant governors

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

If the Governor General and/or a lieutenant governor accept an invitation to attend, the ceremony—including the number of candidates—is planned in consultation with federal or provincial Government House officials.

The Governor General’s flag must fly when he/she is on the grounds.

When attending ceremonies, the Governor General is usually the only person, other than the citizenship judge or volunteer presiding official, who speaks at the ceremony; as such other special guests will not be making welcoming or congratulatory remarks at the podium.

As special guests, the Governor General and the lieutenant governor do not present certificates to the new citizens, but do congratulate them upon their receiving citizenship. The Governor General and the lieutenant governor will present certificates only when he/she is presiding over a citizenship ceremony.

Spouses of the Governor General and lieutenant governors

Spouses of the Governor General and lieutenant governors have official status and hold the same rank. The courtesies extended to the Governor General and a lieutenant governor is also extended to their spouses.

For instance, the spouse of the Governor General is addressed as “Your Excellency,” and the spouse of a lieutenant governor is addressed as “Your Honour.”

If he or she wishes, the spouse of the Governor General or of a lieutenant governor is included in the procession entering the room where the ceremony is held. He or she is seated next to the Governor General or lieutenant governor during the ceremony, and is included in the procession at the end.

The spouse can greet and congratulate new citizens upon their receiving citizenship. If there is a reception following the ceremony, these spouses are invited to participate.

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