Prove Your Citizenship if You Naturalized as a Child

I Came to Canada as a Child, How do I Prove My Citizenship?

If you came to Canada as a child decades ago and landed on your parent’s passport, you will need to demonstrate both that you landed in Canada and you became a Canadian citizen. In order to prove you are a citizen, you will need to provide your citizenship card or certificate. If, however, you do not have your certificate, you will have to apply for a Search of Citizenship Records to prove you became a citizen.

If you “landed” (became permanent resident) in Canada on your mother’s passport it can make it difficult to replace your landing paper, a document that can be used to prove your Canada citizenship. However, even if you have the old Landing Paper, that is only proof you landed in Canada. It is not proof you are a citizen.

 

Search of Citizenship Records

If you became a citizen decades ago, as a child, or if you were so young you do not know if you became a citizen because you were so young, and you do not have proof of citizenship (a citizenship card or certificate), you can apply for a citizenship certificate. But what happens if IRCC rejects your application because they don’t know if you’re a citizen?

In that case, you need to file a Search of Citizenship Records application. When you file this application, a search will be made of all citizenship ceremonies. You will receive one of two documents:

 

Record Letter

This letter will state the date you became a Canadian citizen and will give you further details. You can submit this letter with a new application for a citizenship certificate, so that you can prove your Canadian citizenship to IRCC.

 

No Record Letter

The other possible result is that they are unable to find a record of you becoming a Canadian citizen. What that means is that you are still a permanent resident in the eyes of the Canadian government, no matter what you remember, no matter what your parents told you about becoming a citizen. You will have to apply for citizenship.

 

Verification of Status (VOS)

If you have a Verification of Status, which replaces an original landing paper (not the original landing paper), the VOS should indicate your citizenship status on the front under “Current Status.” If it says “citizen,” then you can use this document to prove your citizenship within Canada, and to apply for a new citizenship certificate.

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