Getting Canadian Citizenship For Minors

Living in Canada is a major goal for many foreigners. Among them, immigrant parents and guardians cherish the opportunity to provide their children with the best possible future, and obtaining Canadian citizenship is a pivotal step in that journey. From understanding eligibility criteria to going through the application process, we're here to empower you with the knowledge and resources needed to take this important milestone.

Ready to learn how to get Canadian citizenship for Minors? Then, join us as we guide you through getting Canadian citizenship for Minors.

Citizenship For Minors in Canada

Citizenship for Minors in Canada

Citizenship for Minors in Canada is vital to securing young individuals' bright and promising future. As part of Canada's commitment to inclusivity and diversity, minors can become Canadian citizens by birth or through naturalization. This citizenship grants them various benefits and rights, including access to:

By embracing Canadian citizenship, minors gain a sense of belonging and opportunity within the diverse Canadian society, setting the stage for personal and professional growth. There are primarily two pathways to citizenship for minors in Canada.

With a Canadian Parent (Subsection 5(2)

The Canadian Parent (Subsection 5(2) is the faster and simpler route. Minors can apply if they have at least one Canadian parent (biological or adoptive) already a citizen or applying concurrently.

Without a Canadian Parent (Subsection 5(1)

The Canadian Parent (Subsection 5(1) path requires meeting residency requirements (1095 days in Canada within the past five years) and potentially filing tax returns. It's suitable for minors without a Canadian parent applying alongside them.

Steps to Get Canadian Citizenship for Minors

Steps to Apply for Canadian Citizenship for Minors

From confirming eligibility to applying, many parents and guardians need a clear roadmap to apply for Canadian citizenship for their children. Here's a breakdown of the steps for minors to get Canadian citizenship.

Step 1: Research the Minors' Eligibility to Apply for Canadian Citizenship

The first step you must take in the process of getting citizenship for your minor is to determine if they qualify under Subsection 5(2) (having a Canadian parent applying concurrently) or Subsection 5(1) (no Canadian parent applying). Other eligibility criteria include:

  • Being under 18 years of age on the day you sign the application,
  • Being a permanent resident (landed immigrant) of Canada,
  • Being present in Canada for a minimum of 1,095 days in the five years immediately before you apply,
  • Filing a personal income taxes for at least three years within the five years, if required under the Income Tax Act.
  • Not having a Canadian parent,
  • Not being under a removal order, and
  • Not being inadmissible or prohibited on criminal or security grounds.

Note that the five-year eligibility period is only five years before the date you sign your application.

Citizenship by Birth Exception in Canada

A child born in Canada won’t receive Canadian citizenship at birth if they were born to:

  • A foreign diplomat,
  • A representative or employee in Canada of a foreign government,
  • An employee in the service of the person mentioned above,
  • An officer or employee of an agency of the United Nations or other international organization who is granted diplomatic privileges or immunities.

Note this doesn’t apply if one of the parents was a Canadian citizen or permanent resident when the child was born.

Individuals Who Can Submit The Application on Behalf of the Minor

A person with custody of the minor or empowered to act on the minor’s behalf can apply. This can be:

  • A Biological parent with legal custody of the minor
  • An Adoptive parent with legal custody of the minor,
  • A Person or agency that can provide court documents confirming custody of the minor, and
  • A Person or agency that can provide an order of permanent guardianship of the minor.

Learn more about the requirements for becoming a Canadian citizen.

Step 2: Calculate How Long the Minor Has Been in Canada

Use the online calculator to assess if a minor meets the criteria for Canadian citizenship, then print the result and submit it in your application.

When calculating your minor time spent in Canada, consider:

  • Only the five (5) years immediately before the date of your application is taken into account,
  • Each day you were in Canada as a protected person or temporary resident before gaining permanent residency (PR) is counted as half a day to a maximum of 365 days,
  • Each day you were in Canada after becoming a permanent resident counts as one day, and
  • Time spent serving a sentence for an offense in Canada (e.g., serving a term of imprisonment, probation, and parole) can’t be counted towards your physical presence.

To properly use the physical presence calculator, you must:

  • Fill in all the required information,
  • Enter all dates correctly,
  • List all time spent serving a sentence in Canada in the last five years, and
  • List all periods when you were away from Canada for work, travel, or vacation in the past five years.

Note If you can't use the calculator, fill out the How to Calculate Physical Presence form [CIT 0407].

Step 3: Gather The Required Documents

The following presents the required documentation you must gather and submit in your application for Canadian citizenship for minors.

Application for Canadian Citizenship

You must complete and submit a completed Minors Application for Canadian Citizenship – Minors (under 18 years of age) if you’re applying through subsection 5(1) [CIT 0403].

Online Physical Presence Calculation

You must provide an original printout of the minor’s How to Calculate Physical Presence form [CIT 0407].

Photocopy Proof of Your Custody of the Minor

Make sure you provide a photocopy proof of your custody of the minor. This includes a:

  • Birth certificate,
  • Adoption order,
  • Provincial/territorial court documents granting custodial guardianship, and
  • Permanent guardianship order.

Passports And Travel Documents

The passport and travel documents, you must submit color photocopies of all pages of the passport(s) and travel documents (valid and canceled) for the five-year eligibility period, including the biographical page, which includes the:

  • Name,
  • Photo,
  • Date and place of birth,
  • Document number, and
  • Issue date and expiration date.

Photocopy of Two Identification Documents

You must submit two pieces of identification, which can include the following documents:

  • Biographical page of the minor’s passport or travel document,
  • Permanent resident card (PR card),
  • Identity card issued by a provincial/territorial/federal government,
  • Social services card,
  • Canadian driver’s licence,
  • Canadian health insurance card,
  • School identification card,
  • Non-government issued identification, and
  • Foreign identity documents.

Identical Citizenship Photos

Make sure you print the Citizenship Photo Specifications page, then take it to a photographer to get the correct size photo for both of your identification photos.

Fee Receipt

You must submit a copy or copies (if applicable) of your application fee receipt. The application fee of 100.00 CAD per minor must be paid online.

Use of a Representative Form

You must submit a completed Use of Representative form (IMM 5476) and Guide IMM 5561 – Use of a Representative. Use the Document Checklist [CIT 0560] to ensure your application is complete.

Step 4: Complete the Application Form for Canadian Citizenship

While completing the application form, you must:

  • You must answer all the questions on this form unless instructed otherwise,
  • Download and fill out the form on a computer,
  • You also have the option to save your form and fill it out later.
  • Read and follow the questions below to help you complete the form.

Note that if you complete this application for a minor under 18, remember all questions are about the minor.

Translating Documents

Make sure you include an English or French translation and an affidavit obtained from the person who completed your application’s translation. Translations may be done by a person fluent in English and French or a Canadian-certified translator.

If a Canadian-certified translator doesn’t conduct your translation, whoever did your translation must offer an affidavit indicating their language proficiency and accuracy.

Certification of Copies

To have a photocopy of a certified document, an authorized person must compare the original document to the photocopy and see if it contains the following details:

  • Name and signature of the authorized person,
  • Official position or title,
  • Name of the original document,
  • Date they certified the document, and
  • Phrase “I certify that this is a true copy of the original document.”

Step 5: Pay the Required Application Fees

Make sure to pay your fees online. Should you forget your password for the online payment system, you can visit the Help Center’s How do I reset my password for the online payment system page. The fee is 100 CAD for each applicant under 18 years of age.

Calculating Your Fees

If more than one family member is applying for Canadian citizenship (for example, minor siblings applying together), please pay the fees altogether.

Process to Pay Your Fees for Your Application Fees

To pay your fees for your application, you’ll need:

Follow the instructions below to pay:

  • Go to Online Payment,
  • Follow the online instructions, and at the end, click on print the IRCC official receipt with a barcode. Print two copies, and
  • Attach a copy of this receipt to your completed application and keep the second copy of the receipt for your records.

Step 6: Submit Your Application

There are primarily two ways to submit your application for citizenship for a minor. This includes:

Regular Mail

If you’re going to send your application via the regular mail channel, you must mail it to the Case Processing Centre-Sydney, P.O. Box 700, Sydney, NS B1P 6V6.


If you are going to submit your application via courier services, you must send it to IRCC Digitization Centre - Citizenship, 3050 Wilson Ave, New Waterford, NS B1H 5V8.

Benefits of Citizenship for Minors in Canada

Benefits of Citizenship for Minors in Canada

Obtaining Canadian citizenship offers significant advantages for minors (individuals under 18 years old) residing in Canada. These benefits go beyond simply having a legal status and extend to shaping their future opportunities, sense of belonging, and ability to contribute to society.

Legal Status in Canada

Canadian citizenship provides a permanent legal status, eliminating the anxieties associated with temporary residency. This includes the right to live and work in Canada without restriction. Minors with citizenship won't face the risk of deportation due to changes in their parents' immigration status. This stability offers peace of mind for both the minors and their families.

Learn more about your legal rights and responsibilities as an immigrant citizen in Canada.

Access to Publicly-Funded Education in Canada

Canada boasts a world-class public education system. Canadian citizenship guarantees access to this high-quality education from elementary to secondary school, with minimal or no tuition fees. This translates to significant financial savings for families and ensures minors have the educational foundation for future success.

Learn more about Canada’s education system.

Healthcare Coverage in Canada

Canadian citizenship grants access to Canada's universal healthcare system, Medicare. This ensures minors receive necessary medical treatment without worrying about excessive costs. This comprehensive healthcare coverage fosters a sense of security and well-being for minors and their families.

Learn more about healthcare coverage in Canada.

Get Social Services in Canada

Canadian citizenship allows minors to benefit from various social services. This includes financial assistance programs for low-income families, child welfare services, and disability benefits. This provides a safety net for vulnerable families and supports minors in reaching their full potential.

Learn more about the social services you can receive in Canada as a citizen using a Social Insurance Number.

Employment Opportunities in Canada

Certain government jobs and scholarships in Canada are restricted to citizens. Citizenship opens doors to a wider range of career paths and potentially higher-paying job opportunities. Minors who become citizens will be more competitive in the Canadian workforce.

Learn more about employment opportunities in Canada through the National Employment Service.

Political Participation in Canada

Once they turn 18, Canadian citizens gain the right to vote and participate in shaping the country's future. This fosters a sense of civic engagement and empowers minors to have a say in the issues directly affecting them. Citizenship fosters a deeper connection to Canada and allows them to contribute actively to society.

Travel Benefits in Canada

A Canadian passport allows visa-free travel to many countries, access to travel insurance that simplifies travel plans and opens doors to international educational and career opportunities. This broadened range of travel options allows minors to experience new cultures and expand their horizons.

Learn how Canada facilitates more foreign youth employment and travel.

Protection Abroad in Canada

Canadian citizenship grants access to consular services abroad. While traveling or living outside Canada, minors with citizenship can receive assistance from Canadian embassies and consulates in an emergency. This ensures a level of support and protection for them while overseas.

Right to Sponsor Family Members in Canada

Once they reach adulthood, Canadian citizens can sponsor their parents, grandparents, and siblings to immigrate to Canada. This allows them to reunite with close family members and contribute to building a strong support system in Canada.

Learn more about Canada’s family sponsorship visa.

Cultural and Civic Integration in Canada

Citizenship fosters a sense of belonging and facilitates cultural and civic integration. Minors who are citizens are more likely to participate in community activities, engage with Canadian culture, and feel a stronger connection to their country. This promotes social cohesion and a sense of shared identity.

Learn more about Multiculturalism in Canada.


What Happens if a Minor's Citizenship Application is Refused?

If a minor's citizenship application is refused, they may have the option to appeal the decision or reapply after addressing any deficiencies identified by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

How Long Does it Take Minors to Get Canadian Citizenship?

The processing time for minors to obtain Canadian citizenship varies depending on factors such as the volume of applications, completeness of the application package, and individual circumstances. Generally, it can take several months to a year or more for a citizenship application to be processed.

Can Minors Hold Dual Citizenship in Canada?

Yes, minors can hold dual citizenship in Canada as long as they meet the eligibility requirements for citizenship of both countries.