Citizenship: Taking affidavits or declarations

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 a written statement made under the Canada Evidence Act and taking oaths, affirmations and declarations.

Who is authorized to administer oaths?

In Canada, an authorized person is the Registrar, a citizenship judge, a citizenship officer, a commissioner for taking oaths, a notary public or a justice of the peace. Outside Canada, an authorized person is a foreign-service officer, a judge, a magistrate, an officer of a court of justice or a commissioner, authorized to administer oaths in the country in which the person is living.

Administering an oath

The person making the affidavit signs the document and hands it to the person who has the authority to administer an oath.

The authorized official hands the person a copy of the sacred scriptures of his or her faith. The official then asks:

You have read over this affidavit and are aware of its contents?

The person making the affidavit says:

Yes.

The official then asks:

Do you swear that this is your signature, and that the contents of your affidavit are true, so help you God?

The person making the affidavit may kiss the sacred scripture or hold it in the right hand, and say at the same time:

I do.

Taking an affirmation

Use an affirmation for someone who wants to make an affidavit without an oath, for religious or conscientious reasons.

The person's statement that he or she does not want to take an oath is enough reason to take an affirmation.

The person making the affirmation must sign the document being affirmed.

The official then asks:

Do you solemnly, sincerely and truly affirm and declare that this is your signature and that the contents of this, your affirmation, are the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

The person taking the affirmation says:

I do.

Taking a declaration

A declaration does not require an oath.

The person making the declaration signs it and then hands it to the official, who asks:

You have read over this declaration and are aware of its contents?

The person making the declaration says:

Yes.

The official then asks:

Do you declare that this is your signature and that you make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing it to be true and knowing that it is of the same force and effect as if made under oath and by virtue of the Canada Evidence Act?

The person making the declaration says:

I do.

Visually impaired or literacy issues

It is the policy of the Government of Canada to employ a variety of ways to communicate and to provide information in multiple formats to accommodate diverse needs. See: Communications Policy of the Government of Canada – Policy Statement.

If the person taking the oath or making an affidavit or declaration is visually impaired, they should be offered the document in either large print or Braille, or be given the option to have it read to them.

If the person taking the oath or making the affidavit or declaration has literacy issues, the official reads the affidavit or declaration to the person.

The official must be sure that the person understands the affidavit or declaration.

The person then signs or makes his or her mark. Continue in the same way as with other affidavits and declarations.

If person does not understand English or French

Use an interpreter with applicants who do not speak either French or English. These applicants should only be those who have been waived from meeting the language requirement.

The citizenship official must first swear in or affirm the interpreter, saying:

Do you swear (or affirm) that you understand (the language of the person making the affidavit or declaration) and that you will truly, distinctly and audibly interpret the contents of this (affidavit or declaration) to the deponent and that you will truly and faithfully interpret (to him or her) the oath about to be administered (to him or her), so help you God?

The interpreter then swears or affirms the Interpreter's Oath, and signs the Interpreter’s Oath form (CIT 1-0117B).

The interpreter must then interpret the affidavit or declaration to the person making the affidavit or declaration.

See: Using interpreters.

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