Identity management: Change of sex designation for reasons other than a clerical or administrative error

For guidance on applications from clients who wish to have a sex designation other than “F” or “M”, see “Unspecified sex “X” (interim measures)”.

Historical records, such as an immigration record of landing or a Confirmation of Permanent Residence, will not be amended unless a clerical or administrative error was made by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). In such instances, the officer should follow the instructions in “Change of sex designation due to a clerical or administrative error”.

For other records, below are the general documents that can be submitted to support a request to change the sex designation on IRCC documents.

In addition to the documentary evidence listed below, the applicant must still provide any documents requested as part of the application instruction guide and document checklist to establish identity.

Additional documentation may be requested during the processing of the application. If anything further is required, the officer should contact the applicant.

Acceptable documents

The following are the three options for documents that can be submitted in order to request a change of sex designation on IRCC documents.

Documents issued by Canadian provinces or territories

  • Legal document issued by provincial or territorial vital statistics organizations indicating a change in sex designation
  • Court order
  • Amended birth certificate indicating a change in sex designation

If the applicant appears to be eligible for the listed documents issued by Canadian provinces or territories and has not provided adequate reasoning for why a provincial or territorial document was not submitted in their statutory declaration, the application should be returned as incomplete and the applicant should be advised to reapply with the required documentation. See the section on the request form for a change of sex designation for acceptable reasons.

Proof of sex reassignment surgery

IRCC does not require proof of any sex reassignment surgery in order to amend the sex designation on documents.

Applicants unable to obtain documents issued by Canadian provinces or territories

If the applicant is unable to obtain or is ineligible for the provincial or territorial documents listed, they must submit a request form for a change of sex designation [CIT 0404] (in English or French) stating that the applicant’s gender identity corresponds with the requested change in sex designation and that they are living full time in the gender corresponding to the sex designation requested to appear on the IRCC document, along with a reason why a provincial or territorial document was not issued.

Additional requirements

Complete request form for a change of sex designation

On the request form, applicants are required to provide reasons why they are not providing an amended birth certificate or legal order issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics organization indicating a change in sex designation.

If the applicant has not provided a reason, the officer should return the entire application as incomplete.

Witnesses

In Canada, a request form attesting to the applicant’s gender identity must be sworn in the presence of one of the following:

  • a notary public;
  • a commissioner of taking oaths; or
  • a commissioner of taking affidavits.

Outside Canada, it must be sworn in the presence of a notary public.

Signature of a parent or legal guardian for minors

If a change of sex designation is being requested on an application for proof of citizenship, a grant of citizenship, permanent residency or a permanent resident card for an individual under 18 years of age, both the applicant and their parent or legal guardian will need to sign and provide proof of parentage or legal guardianship, as stipulated within the appropriate jurisdiction.

Further documentary evidence required by line of business

Applicants may be required to submit further documentary evidence, according to the line of business and where the documentation originated.

Where documentary evidence originates in Canada

Citizenship and permanent residence

For the citizenship and permanent residence lines of business, if the documentary evidence provided by the applicant originates in Canada, the applicant must submit

  • a document issued by a Canadian province or territory indicating the change of sex designation, or a request form; and
  • a signed copy of a “Request for permanent resident card indicating sex designation other than sex shown on foreign travel document” form [IMM 5543] if they are applying for changes to a permanent resident card but have not amended their foreign passport or travel document. It should be noted that this document need only be signed by the applicant and does not need to be co-signed by a witness.

See “Change of sex designation for reasons other than clerical or administrative error” for more information.

Temporary residence

For the temporary residence line of business, the sex designation indicated on the IRCC document must reflect what is indicated on the foreign passport.

If an applicant with a valid temporary resident document (such as a work permit, study permit, temporary resident permit, temporary resident visa or visitor record) has their foreign passport amended to reflect a change in sex designation, they will need to apply for a new document, along with all relevant application-related supporting documents, including a linking document for a change of sex designation.

Where documentary evidence originates outside Canada

Citizenship

For the citizenship line of business, if the documentary evidence provided originates outside Canada, the applicant must submit

  • a document indicating a change of sex designation, such as a legal order, court order or amended birth certificate, or a request form; and
  • photo identification issued by the national, state or provincial (or equivalent) authority where they reside that indicates the amended sex designation.

If the applicant is unable to obtain the supplementary photo identification in the requested sex designation, they must provide a reason (such as fear of persecution or inability to amend foreign documents prior to amending Canadian documents). If photo identification is not provided and the applicant fails to provide an adequate reason, the application must be returned as incomplete.

For applicants residing in Canada, supplementary photo identification can include the following documents issued by a Canadian province or territory:

  • a driver’s license;
  • a health card;
  • an age of majority card;
  • a social services card; or
  • a senior citizen identification card.

For applicants residing outside Canada, supplementary photo identification can include

  • an amended foreign passport, for dual Canadian citizens; or
  • a national or state identification card.

Note: Any copy of a foreign passport or national authoritative document should show the document type and number, issuance date and expiry date and the applicant’s full name, photo and date of birth.

Permanent residence and temporary residence

For permanent residence and temporary residence, if the documentary evidence provided originates outside Canada, the applicant’s foreign passport must first be amended to indicate the amended sex designation. The applicant must provide a linking document used as evidence of a change of sex designation that will be copied or scanned and kept in the applicant’s file.

For permanent residence and temporary residence lines of business, if the foreign passport has been amended to indicate the requested sex designation, the applicant must submit

  • a copy of their foreign passport or other national authoritative document amended to reflect the requested sex designation; and
  • a document indicating a change of sex designation, such as a legal order, court order or amended birth certificate, or a request form; and
  • photo identification issued by the national, state or provincial (or equivalent) authority where they reside that indicates the amended sex designation.

For applicants residing in Canada, supplementary photo identification can include the following documents issued by a Canadian province or territory:

  • a driver’s license;
  • a health card;
  • an age of majority card;
  • a social services card; or
  • a senior citizen identification card.

For applicants residing outside Canada, supplementary photo identification can include the following documents (with an official translation):

  • a national or state identification card; or
  • a foreign passport.

Note: Any copy of a foreign passport or national authoritative document should show the document type and number, issuance and expiry dates and the applicant’s full name, photo and date of birth.

Recording information regarding change of sex designation requests in GCMS

In all cases, a client note must be recorded to the applicant’s unique client identifier (UCI) in GCMS, and the applicant must be notified of the decision to grant or deny the change.

If the applicant’s request to change the sex designation on their document is granted, the amended sex designation will be recorded in the appropriate field for sex designation (typically “Sex” or “Gender”). Once the amended sex designation is recorded, the officer should ensure that the previous sex designation is indicated as the former sex designation.

If the applicant’s request to change the sex designation on their document is denied, the officer should ensure that notes on the applicant’s record indicate that a request was made as well as the reasons for denying it.

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