Frequently Asked Questions

Dealing with the government

How to contact the government (IRCC)?
What are the processing times?

Application Questions/Solutions

Paper or Online Application form – cit0001
Tracking your application status
What documents do I need to send? Supporting Document checklist

Replacing your citizenship certificate

How to replace a Canadian Citizenship 
Can I get my citizenship certificate urgently?
How do I replace my lost, stolen, or damaged citizenship card?

Applying for your first citizenship certificate (born to a Canadian parent)

Born outside of Canada to Canadian Parents – What to do
How do I know if I’m a Canadian Citizen?
How do I prove my Canadian citizenship if I wasn’t born in Canada?
How do I prove my Canadian citizenship if I landed as a child on my parent’s passport and I’ve lost my old citizenship certificate or card?

Amending Your Citizenship Card/Certificate

How do I change my name on my citizenship certificate (marriage or divorce)?
Can I fix a mistake on my citizenship card/certificate?

General Questions

How much does a citizenship certificate cost?
Why can’t I get a Citizenship Card instead of a large piece of paper?
I don’t have any photo ID, how do I apply for my citizenship certificate?
What is a citizenship certificate number?
Where to mail your citizenship application? 
History of the citizenship certificate (card)

FAQs for citizenship certificate

We’ve gathered the most common frequently asked questions on citizenship certificates here so you can get a quick answer to many of your questions.

Citizenship certificate after oath/ after ceremony – how does it work?

After signing your oath of citizenship, you send a digital copy by email to IRCC and within 2 to 4 weeks you should get your citizenship certificate in the mail.

Can I use my citizenship certificate as an ID?

No, you should not. It is not an ID you carry around with you, but rather the ultimate authoritative proof of your Canadian citizenship. Keep it in a safe place and only use for things like passport applications.

Can I renounce my Canadian citizenship?

Yes, you will have to file application CIT 5476, to learn more about this, click the link above.

What is the Citizenship certificate mailing time?

The overall processing time is around 17 months, but once you sign your oath of citizenship then it normally takes around 2 to 4 weeks after that.

How do I know if a citizenship certificate (card) is really or fake?

Your certificate should have the following information:

  • The certificate number
  • Your family and given names
  • Your date of birth
  • Your gender
  • Your effective date of citizenship

Furthermore, there are security features embedded in your paper certificate which make fake certificates detectable (something like features in paper currency).

Can I copy my citizenship certificate and use that instead?

No. Only an original copy of your certificate is acceptable.

Can I notarize a copy of a citizenship certificate and use that instead?

No. Only the original certificate will be accepted.

How to get a Canadian citizenship certificate in India?

As with any other overseas application, you can apply on paper, and depending on your situation you can sometimes have the choice of applying online. You will submit your application through the nearest embassy, consulate, or high commission, which is where your certificate will be sent once it is printed. The swearing ceremony, however, has to take place in Canada.

How to get a Canadian citizenship from outside of Canada?

See the instructions in the above question.

Can I get a second copy of my citizenship certificate?

No. You can only get replacement copies for lost, stolen, or damaged certificates.

I have a Canadian birth certificate; can I also get a citizenship certificate?

Unless you were born in Canada to foreign diplomats, you should be a Canadian citizen and you can apply for your certificate.

Do I need a photo for my Canadian citizenship certificate?

Yes. If you’re applying online, you only need to provide 1 digital photograph (done according to IRCC’s specifications). If you’re applying on paper, you need to provide 2 identical, printed photographs to specification.

Does my citizenship certificate come in English or French?

It is written in both English (on the left side) and French (on the right side).

My citizenship certificate card is old (photo), do I need to update it?

No, not unless it is damaged. As well, do NOT laminate your citizenship card again.

What is the difference between Canadian Passport vs citizenship certificate?

A Canadian Passport is a travel document as well as also providing proof of citizenship. A citizenship certificate is the authoritative proof of your Canadian citizenship and cannot be used as a travel document nor should it be used as an ID document.

What is the difference between a Canadian birth certificate vs a citizenship certificate?

Your Canadian birth certificate is a record of where and when you were born as well as your parents’ information (a long form birth certificate). It may be used to prove your citizenship, but the best proof is a certificate of citizenship which you should apply for (unless your parents were foreign diplomats at the time of your birth in which case you are not a Canadian citizen).