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Apply for a Canadian Birth Certificate

Updated: February 12th, 2024

Suppose you're looking to emigrate to the Great White North. In that case, you must have a birth certificate in Canada for proof of identification, which will also allow access to various benefits and services such as pensions and to apply for a passport.

You must register the certificate for children in the province or territory where your child was born. Note that the criteria or processes when registering or applying for the certificate may vary, depending on the province or territory in which your child is born.

In this article, we will look closer at the processes involved when applying for a Canadian birth certificate, and what a Canadian Citizenship Certificate is. 

What is a Canadian Birth Certificate?

What is a Canadian Birth Certificate?

A Canadian birth certificate is an official document issued by the provincial or territorial government where you were born. It serves as a primary piece of identification throughout your life and verifies your:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Parentage (optional)

This critical document plays a crucial role in various situations, including:

  1. Establishing Identity:
    • Applying for a passport, social insurance number, driver's license, and other government-issued ID.
    • Accessing healthcare services.
    • Enrolling in school.
    • Opening a bank account.
  2. Proving Citizenship:
    • Applying for Canadian citizenship (for those born outside Canada).
    • Obtaining travel documents and visas.
  3. Legal Matters:
    • Claiming inheritance or other legal rights.
    • Resolving legal disputes related to your identity or parentage.

Types of Canadian Birth Certificates:

  1. Birth Certificate with Parental Information: Contains all the details mentioned above, including your parents' names and birthplaces. Often required for children under 16 for applications like passports.
  2. Birth Certificate without Parental Information: Omits parental details and might be needed for some legal matters.
  3. Photocopy of Registration of Birth: An informational document, not a legal substitute for a birth certificate.

Obtaining a Canadian Birth Certificate:

  • Each province and territory has its own application process and fees.
  • You can usually apply online, by mail, or in person.
  • Requirements vary, but generally need proof of identity and relationship to the applicant.

Benefits of a Canadian Birth Certificate for Children

Owning a Canadian birth certificate offers numerous benefits for your children, even if they weren't born in Canada. Here are some key advantages:

  1. Citizenship:
    • Eligibility: Possessing a Canadian birth certificate automatically entitles your child to Canadian citizenship if you are a Canadian citizen (conditions apply). This grants them the right to:
      • Live and work in Canada without restrictions.
      • Vote in federal elections.
      • Receive government benefits and social services.
      • Access free public healthcare (depending on province/territory).
      • Obtain a Canadian passport for travel internationally.
  2. Future Opportunities:
    • Education: Canadian citizenship can qualify your child for in-province tuition rates at Canadian universities and colleges, saving them significant sums compared to international student fees.
    • Employment: A Canadian birth certificate simplifies the process of obtaining a Social Insurance Number, crucial for many job applications in Canada.
    • Sponsorship: In the future, your child can sponsor you or other family members for Canadian immigration, facilitating family reunification.
  3. Additional Benefits:
    • Proof of Identity: The birth certificate serves as a primary ID throughout their life for opening bank accounts, applying for driver's licenses, and other essential services.
    • Security: It provides legal documentation of their identity, potentially safeguarding against identity theft or other legal issues.
    • Travel: While not a passport replacement, it can assist with visa applications for travel to certain countries.

Registering a Birth Certificate as Foreigners

The process for registering a foreign-born child as a Canadian citizen depends on your specific situation. Here are some key points:

  • Eligibility: If you are a Canadian citizen, your child may be eligible even if born outside Canada.
  • Contact: Reach out to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for guidance and application details.
  • Documents: You will likely need various documents like your own citizenship proof, marriage certificate, birth certificate translations, and proof of residence.
  • Processing Time: Expect processing times to vary depending on individual circumstances and the current IRCC workload.

What is a Canadian Citizenship Certificate?

While you cannot apply for a Canadian birth certificate, since this would be a document you already possess based in your home country, you can apply for a citizenship certificate. This document will prove your Canadian citizenship and allow you to access various services and benefits, or you can apply for a passport. However, remember that the certificate does not constitute a travel document, as you must still have a valid passport or travel document.

Eligibility Factors for Canadian Citizenship Certificate

You can apply for your Canadian citizenship certificate if you:

  • A Canadian citizen and want to pass it down to your child who was born outside Canada.
  • You must provide a document that proves your Canadian citizenship—for example, a Canadian passport, job, pension or social insurance number.
  • Want to replace a lost, damaged or a certificate that was.
  • Have any information that could affect the status of your certificate, and if such information will require you to update your certificate. For example, a legal name change.

Can I get a Certificate for Someone Born Outside Canada?

Can I get a Certificate for Someone Born Outside Canada?

You can get a citizenship certificate if you have one legal parent at birth, have a biological parent born in Canada, or a parent who became a naturalized Canadian citizen before the person was born. A naturalized Canadian citizen is a person who makes applications for permanent residence programs and after that, undergo a formal process to become a Canadian citizen.

If you want to know more about Canadian citizenship, feel free to explore our guide on Canadian citizenship requirements and who can apply. Furthermore, our knowledgeable Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) can guide you throughout the process.

How to Apply Online for a Canadian Birth Certificate

If you're residing in Canada and birthed a child within one of the Canadian provinces/territories, you must register your newborn's birth to receive a Canadian birth certificate.

Because the processes and requirements differ from one Canadian province to another for a Canadian birth certificate, we have listed the relevant Canadian provincial government websites below with their respective registration processes:

Apply for your Canadian Birth Certificate or Canadian Citizenship Certificate Today

We have taken you through the process of obtaining Canadian birth certificates and provided you with the necessary procedures for each province, potential immigration pathways, and the application process for permanent residence. If you are still uncertain about the way forward, contact our immigration experts, who are well-equipped with knowledge and experience in Canadian immigration.



Can you Apply for a Birth Certificate in Canada by Mail?

You can apply for a birth certificate in Canada by mail, but this can only be done after the registration of the birth certificate.

How Long Does Processing a Birth Certificate Take?

The processing times may differ from province to province, and the situation or circumstances may influence processing times. However, our immigration experts can assist with this process.

Do you Automatically get Canadian Citizenship by Birth?

If you birthed a child in Canada, you must register your child to receive a Canadian birth certificate, and your child will have citizenship since they were born in the country. However, if the parent does not have citizenship, they may still be subject to certain processes.

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