How to Get Proof of Canadian Citizenship

The obtainment of permanent residency status is usually where most immigrants to Canada halt their advance as lawful members of Canadian society. Though permanent residency status holders are entitled to the same government tax-funded benefits that Canadian citizens are entitled to, there is a significant amount of political and economic rights to that they’re not entitled to.

In the wake of these governmental benefit exclusions, there has been a significant rise in the number of Canadian permanent residency holders who have decided to decide to apply for Canadian Citizenship.

Canadian Citizenship


Canadian citizenship grants its recipients one of the most valuable legal statuses in the world. If you become a Canadian citizen, there are a host of lawful rights and privileges that you are entitled to receive that includes:

  • The political right to vote in municipal, provincial and federal/national elections
  • The political right to run for political office in municipal, provincial and federal/national elections
  • The grant of a Canadian passport, which ranks as one of the most valued passports in the world with many visa-free requirement benefits

Step 1: Become a Canadian Permanent Residency Holder

Becoming a permanent resident means you have the right to live, work and study in Canada indefinitely. You are treated as a member of the Canadian population and are afforded all of the rights and responsibilities of the Canadian people.

The most common methods of obtaining permanent residency status in Canada include Express Entry, Provincial Nominee programs and Family Sponsorship.

Express Entry

According to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website, Canadian immigrants issued 46,538 Invitations to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency via the Express Entry system. This makes Express Entry one of the biggest immigration drivers in Canada, as the total goal of immigrants welcomed for 2023 is approximately 485,000 newcomers.

Provincial Nominee Program

Among the best ways to get permanent residency in Canada is through the Provincial Nominee Program(PNP). PNPs are designed for skilled foreign workers with the skills, education, and work experience to contribute to a province's economy and who want to live in Canada permanently.

An agreement was made between the local provinces and the government that enables the provinces to nominate skilled foreign workers to become permanent residents. Based on your skills and the needs of a particular province, you can apply to these 11 provinces and territories.

Step 2: Apply, Write and Pass the Canadian Citizenship Test

Apply, write and take CC test

The next step in acquiring proof of citizenship is to apply for Canadian citizenship. First, you need to make sure that you are eligible to apply.

To become a Canadian citizen, most applicants must,

  • Be a permanent resident
  • Have lived in Canada for at least 3 out of the last five years (1,095 days)
  • Have filed their taxes
  • Pass a citizenship test.
  • Prove their language skills in English or French

We want to ensure that you note that other requirements may apply.

Once you have affirmed your eligibility to apply for Canadian citizenship, you may submit your application and take the Canadian citizenship test.

Taking the Test

The Canadian Citizenship test is primarily composed of the following:

  • In English or French
  • 30 minutes long
  • 20 questions
  • Multiple-choice and True or False questions

To pass the test, you must have at least 15 correct answers. Your test is usually written but may be oral. A citizenship official can decide on test day that you will have an oral test instead of a written one. The type of test is based on several things.

You'll have an oral test if you have trouble reading and writing in English or French. A citizenship official gives an oral test at a hearing. The hearing will take place on the original test date. Usually, it will take place 4 to 8 weeks after the original test date. A notice with the date, time, and location will be sent to you later.

After Taking the Test

After the test, you’ll meet with a citizenship official for an interview. During the interview, the citizenship official will:

  • Give you the results of your test, if you had one
  • Check your language skills, if you’re between 18 and 54 years of age
    • This test will not be like IELTS or CELPIP and cannot result in your citizenship being revoked.
  • Verify your application and original documents
  • Ask any questions we may have about your application
  • Make sure you meet all the requirements for citizenship

If you pass and meet the other requirements for citizenship, we may:

  • Give you a ceremony date at the same time we give you the test results or
  • Email or send you a letter with the date and time of your ceremony

Step 3: Obtain the Required Citizenship Certificates

You can now receive an electronic certificate (e-certificate) or a paper certificate.

Choose the certificate type you want in your:

  • Online account (if you can apply online) or
  • Application form (if applying on paper) and make sure you provide an email address in the form.

A citizenship certificate is a document that proves your Canadian citizenship.

  • You can access various services and benefits, such as a pension, or apply for a passport.
  • The certificate is not a travel document. If you’re traveling abroad, you must have a valid passport or travel document.

The IRCC no longer issues citizenship cards – archived or the commemorative certificates that came with them. We will send you a citizenship certificate if you apply to update or replace your citizenship card.

Paper Certificates

A paper certificate is an 8½ x 11-inch document that has

  • The certificate number (starts with “K”)
  • Your family name and given name(s)
  • Your date of birth
  • Your gender (male, female or another gender)
  • The effective date of citizenship

Electronic Certificates (e-certificates)

Since January 4, 2023, you can receive an e-certificate or a paper certificate.

  • Apply to Become a Canadian Citizen (grant of Canadian citizenship)
  • Apply for a citizenship certificate (proof of citizenship)
  • Apply to resume your Canadian citizenship (after giving it up)
  • Are a member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and apply to resume your Canadian citizenship (after giving it up)

New e-certificates are an electronic version of the current paper citizenship certificate. It’s valid proof of Canadian citizenship that has.

  • A certificate number (starts with “X”)
  • Your unique client identifier (UCI)
  • Your family name and given name(s)
  • Your date of birth
  • Your gender (male, female or another gender)
  • The effective date of citizenship

If you have an e-certificate, you can

  • Always access it online
  • Download and save it to any digital device, such as a mobile phone, laptop, desktop, or tablet.
  • Print it
  • Use it as you would use a paper certificate to access services and benefits, for example, when applying for a pension or Canadian passport.

Step 4: Acquire the Citizenship Cards

Citizenship cards and commemorative certificates are no longer issued as of February 2012.

  • The cards are still valid as proof of Canadian citizenship.
  • The date on your citizenship card is not when you became a Canadian citizen (it’s when we produced the card).
  • To update or replace your citizenship card, apply for a citizenship certificate.

Step 5: Gather Other Documents That can Serve as Valid Proof of Citizenship

There are other documents that you can use to serve as proof of your possession of Canadian Citizenship.

  • Birth certificates from a Canadian province or territory (there are exceptions)
  • Naturalization certificates issued before January 1, 1947
  • Registration of birth abroad certificates issued between January 1, 1947, and February 14, 1977
  • Certificates of retention issued between January 1, 1947, and February 14, 1977

Step 6: Documents That Will not be Accepted as Proof of Citizenship

You can’t use the following documents to prove your Canadian citizenship:

  • Citizenship record letters
  • Commemorative certificates
  • Some birth certificates

Citizenship Record Letters

If you apply for a search of citizenship records, the record letter you receive is not valid proof of Canadian citizenship.

Commemorative Certificates

The commemorative certificate with your citizenship card is not valid proof of Canadian citizenship (even though it has the date you became a Canadian citizen).

Some Birth Certificates

Your Canadian birth certificate doesn’t prove your citizenship if when you were born:

  • None of your parents were Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada and
  • At least 1 of your parents worked for a foreign government/international organization

We also don’t accept DND 419 birth certificates as proof of citizenship.

If you can’t use your birth certificate as proof of citizenship, apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate.

Why get Canadian Citizenship

Becoming a Canadian citizen brings you into a national community of people among the most admired and revered in the world. As aforementioned, becoming a Canadian permanent resident is a fine achievement that affords you many opportunities and benefits within Canadian society.

However, there are still political and economic lines of distinction between being a Canadian permanent resident and a citizen. If you want to integrate into Canadian society, becoming a Canadian citizen entirely is the way to go.

Besides housing, employment, education and healthcare benefits, you will also be afforded the right to run for and vote for political office in all governmental elections in Canada.

How We Can Help you get Proof of Canadian Citizenship

How we can help you move to Canada

Proving your Canadian citizenship can be very laborious and time-consuming, especially when you're the only person embroiled in gathering all the required documentation needed to do so.

To relieve you of the anxiety of going through this process alone, we recommend speaking to a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC). RCICs are immigration experts certified by the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC) and can fully evaluate you to find the program.

They can also fill out your application forms, set up your online profiles, help you gather and verify your required documentation, represent you with certain government authorities and provide you with the guidance and support you need for a successful application.


What is the Most Important Required Document Needed to Prove Your Canadian Citizenship?

A citizenship certificate is the most important document to prove your Canadian Citizenship.

Can you Get Canadian Citizenship Without Having to Become a Permanent Resident First?

Permanent residency status is a stage of progression toward obtaining Canadian citizenship. It is essential to ensure you are legally eligible to apply for and take the Canadian citizenship test.

What do you Need to Bring to Your Canadian Citizenship Test?

When you come for your test, bring the following:

  • The notice asking you to take the test (“Notice to Appear”)
  • Your permanent resident (PR) card (if you had one)
  • Two pieces of personal identification (ID)
  • All your passports and travel documents, current and expired, that you listed on the application form
  • A certificate, diploma, degree or transcript that proves your English or French language skills (if you were 18 to 54 years of age when you signed your application)
  • Other documents we may ask for in your “Notice to Appear” letter