Citizenship: Parental consent

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

This section is about obtaining parental consent for minors applying for proofs, retention, and grants of citizenship.

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Minor applying for proof

Minors of any age may apply for proof of their citizenship.

As a cautionary measure, however, where a child is under 14 years of age, a parent should be encouraged to make or countersign the application or, alternatively, be advised that the child has made an application.

The responsibility for ensuring this action occurs rests with the official processing the application.

Minor applying for grant

An application under subsection 5(2) of the Citizenship Act made on behalf of a minor must be signed by either the parent or the legal guardian. Minors between the ages of 14 and 17 must also co-sign the application. For additional information, see Minors applying under subsection 5(2).

An application under subsection 5(1) of the Citizenship Act for a minor (under 18) must be made by a person who has custody of the minor or who is empowered to act on their behalf by virtue of a court order or written agreement or by operation of law. The authorized person applying on behalf of the minor does not have to be a Canadian citizen.

Minors who do not have an authorized person to apply on their behalf can request a waiver of this requirement on the application form. For additional information, see Minor applying under subsection 5(1).

Custodial parent(s) must consent to citizenship applications

The citizenship application for minors applying under subsection 5(2) of the Citizenship Act requires only one parental signature. In the event that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) becomes aware that there is a custody issue, IRCC will request the custody agreement to ensure that the parent applying is the custodial parent. Consent from the custodial parent(s) would be required if an application is submitted by a non-custodial parent. Additionally, IRCC will cancel a certificate of citizenship where it comes to the Department’s attention that a non-custodial parent refuses to forward a certificate of citizenship to the custodial parent(s).

Applications for minors applying under subsection 5(1) of the Citizenship Act must be submitted by a person who has custody of the minor or who is empowered to act on the minor’s behalf. The application form requires that documentation be provided with the application that demonstrates that the person making the application meets the above criteria; therefore this information should be on file in all cases of minors applying under subsection 5(1) of the Citizenship Act. The only exception is in cases where the minor sought a waiver of this requirement and the waiver request was approved.

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