Acceptable documents to show identity for citizenship applications

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.

Applicants must be able to prove that they are who they say they are.

Among the documents required for an application, they must provide at least two documents to establish their identity. Both pieces of identification must show the applicant’s name and date of birth, and at least one document must have a photograph of the applicant.

Applicants residing outside Canada may not be able to provide Canadian identity documents. Applicants can provide foreign identity documents that are equivalent to Canadian identity documents, such as a passport or government-issued identification documents.

Children of preschool age may not be able to provide two identity documents or an identity document that includes their photo. In such cases, an explanation letter must accompany their application. Officers may use discretion for preschool age children.

Officers must consider what documents are available in the foreign country and, where possible, seek appropriate confirmation of the authenticity of the identity documents through the Canadian consular mission that has the local expertise in the foreign country.

The following are some, but not all, of the documents that can be used to establish identity. This is not a complete list and it is not in order of priority:

  • age of majority card;
  • Certificate of Indian Status card;
  • driver’s license;
  • passport;
  • health insurance identification card;
  • senior citizen’s card;
  • travel document.

Documents not accepted as a piece of identification:

  • Birth certificate: used to establish the person’s date and place of birth and can also be used to establish parentage between a child and their parent(s).
  • Document establishing Canadian citizenship status: citizenship or naturalization certificate, retention certificate and certificate of registration of birth abroad.

Documents issued by the registrar of civil Status in the Province of Quebec (Directeur de l’état civil)

Only documents issued by the Registrar of Civil Status after January 1, 1994, are acceptable to apply for a proof document, a replacement of a proof document or a grant of citizenship. Clients submitting documents issued before January 1, 1994, should be directed to contact the Quebec government.

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