1. Who can apply
You should apply if you want to:
• Pass down your Canadian citizenship to your child who was born outside of Canada
• Provide a document that proves your Canadian citizenship (such as to apply for a passport, job, pension, social insurance number, etc.)
• Make sure that you’re a Canadian citizen
• Replace a lost, destroyed or stolen certificate
• Update your certificate, such as when you get a legal name change
Get a certificate for someone born outside Canada
❖ A person is likely a Canadian citizen if at least 1 parent (legal parent at birth or biological parent)
• was born in Canada, or
• became a naturalized Canadian citizen before the person was born
To find out for sure, apply for a citizenship certificate.
❖ Adopted children born outside Canada
If you’re a Canadian parent who adopted a child born outside Canada, your child
• is not automatically a Canadian citizen
• needs to become a Canadian citizen to get the citizenship certificate
❖ Minors who are permanent residents
If your minor child is a permanent resident, you need to apply for your child’s Canadian citizenship to get a citizenship certificate.
If you apply to become a Canadian citizen
If you apply for and receive Canadian citizenship, you will receive the certificate at a citizenship ceremony, you do not need to apply for a citizenship certificate separately.
2. Processing time
Your processing time starts the day Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) receives your complete application. It may vary depends on how many applications they receive, and where you are applying from:
• If you apply from inside Canada, the average processing time for citizenship certificate application is about 5 months.
• If you live outside Canada and the U.S and are applying through a Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate, add 3 to 4 months to the processing time to account for mailing time.