If at least one of your parents was Canadian at the time of your birth, you could be eligible for Canadian citizenship.

Regardless of where you were born, if your parent was a first-generation Canadian at the time of your birth, you can apply for a proof of citizenship.

The proof of citizenship is a standardized document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that provides definitive proof that you are a Canadian citizen.

Eligibility Criteria

It is important to note that Canada only allows citizenship by descent for the first generation. If your parent was a citizen by birth or naturalization at the time of your birth you may be eligible. However, if your parent got citizenship by descent and you were born outside of Canada they cannot pass citizenship on to you.

You can apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate at any time of your life. You can also submit the application irrespective of whether your Canadian parent is alive or deceased.

Note that children adopted by a Canadian after they were born need to become a Canadian citizen. They are not eligible to apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate.

Canadian Citizenship Certificate Application Process

To apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate, you must download the application package available on IRCC’s website. IRCC requires applicants to demonstrate their biological or legal parent was a Canadian citizen when the applicant was born. IRCC accepts evidence such as the birth certificate, Canadian citizenship card or citizenship certificate of the Canadian parent.

IRCC will send an “acknowledgment of receipt” once it confirms the submitted application is complete. Upon the application being approved, IRCC will send a Canadian citizenship certificate.

You can check the processing status of your application online on IRCC’s website. Complex files sometimes have longer processing times. IRCC offers an urgent processing option in special cases. This option provides individuals with a facilitated and expedited route if they need to access benefits such as healthcare, a social insurance number, to start a job, or in case of emergency travel to or from Canada.

The Canadian government fee is $75 CAD to apply.

You are welcome to contact an experienced Canadian immigration lawyer to help you with the process. A lawyer can double check to ensure you meet all the eligibility criteria and correspond with the Canadian government to help you become a Canadian without delay.

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