If you are pregnant, you will want to sort out the logistics of your medical care as early as possible. That way, you can ensure that you are given the care you and your baby deserve throughout your pregnancy, and it gives you less to be worried about. Pregnancy can be overwhelming enough without administrative details making it more difficult.
One of things you may need is proof of your Canadian citizenship. With this in hand, you can make sure you have your provincial health insurance in place, which will give you access to prenatal checkups, ultrasounds, and blood tests, as well as labour and delivery facilities. Proof of legal status in Canada may also be needed if you are applying for a job or certain social assistance programs.
What Is A Canadian Citizenship Certificate?
A Canadian citizenship certificate is a document that you can present to anyone who requests proof of your citizenship. It replaces the wallet-sized citizenship cards and commemorative certificates that used to be issued to new Canadians at their citizenship ceremonies.
What Information Is On The Citizenship Certificate?
The Canadian citizenship certificate contains the following information:
- A certificate number
- Your legal first, middle and last name
- Your date of birth
- Your gender
- The date on which you acquired Canadian citizenship
Who Should Apply For A Canadian Citizenship Certificate?
Not all Canadians need a citizenship certificate. If you were born in Canada, the birth certificate issued by your province or territory of birth will generally be enough to prove your citizenship. If you have lost your birth certificate, you can apply for a replacement.
If you were born outside of Canada and you acquired Canadian citizenship, you will have received proof of citizenship at your ceremony. This may take the form of either a wallet-sized citizenship card or a certificate. Although the cards are no longer issued, they are still accepted as proof of citizenship. If you have lost your card or you need a document with updated information – for example, if you have changed your name through marriage – you may apply for a citizenship certificate.
If you were born outside of Canada, you may be a Canadian citizenship if:
- At least one of your biological parents was born in Canada, or
- At least one of your biological parents acquired Canadian citizenship prior to your birth
Even if you are uncertain of your citizenship, you can apply for the citizenship certificate. You will be notified of your citizenship status as your application is being processed.
What If I Am A Minor?
People of any age may apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate. Although you are encouraged to have a parent or guardian countersign the application if you are under 14 years of age, exceptions may be made in certain circumstances. It is the responsibility of the official processing your application to ensure that your parent or guardian has been notified if necessary.
How Do I Apply For A Canadian Citizenship Certificate?
Your first step in making your application is to download and print the forms and the document checklist. It is important that you read the checklist thoroughly, since the documents required will depend on your circumstances.
Having completed the forms, you can pay the $75 application fee online. Other payment methods may be available in some locations.
When you are ready to submit your application, answer the question: Who are you applying for? Follow the prompts on the next pages, and you will be given instructions as to where to send your application.
How Long Does It Take?
The current estimated turnaround time for applications is 15 months. This varies depending on what type of application it is, where it is complete, and how easy it is to verify the information you have provided.
15 months may seem like a lifetime, especially if you are already experiencing the ups and downs of pregnancy. The government does allow for urgent processing in certain circumstances, for example:
- You need to access health care or other benefits
- You need proof of citizenship in order to secure employment
- You need to travel to or from Canada because of a death or serious illness in the family
If you need urgent processing, your request should include a letter of explanation and supporting documentation such as a doctor’s letter or a letter from an employer or potential employer.
What Happens After I Have Submitted The Application?
It is important that you provide accurate contact information on your application form. If your application is complex, or if the official in charge of your file has questions, you may be contacted. Once your application has been processed, you will be mailed your Canadian citizenship certificate if you are a citizen. If you are not a citizen, you will be notified in writing.
What If I Am Not A Canadian Citizen?
If you are not a Canadian citizen, you may still be eligible for health care and other services. It is important that you know what your legal status in Canada is. Permanent residents and most foreign workers qualify for the health care programs offered by provinces and territories.
If you would like to become a Canadian citizen, do not apply for the citizenship certificate. You will need to first apply for Canadian citizenship. If you meet all eligibility requirements, you will be invited to write a citizenship test. If you are successful, you will be asked to present yourself at a ceremony, during which you will officially become a Canadian citizen. At this time, you will receive your citizenship certificate. There is no need to apply for one unless, at a later time, your legal name changes.
Contact Birthright Canada For Assistance
If you are unsure of the process of applying for a citizenship certificate, or if you have any questions about the process, contact us for support. We are here to provide non-judgmental support for anyone in Canada who is going through the stress of an unplanned pregnancy. You are not alone. Call us today. We are ready to help.