Order of precedence at a citizenship ceremony

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.

The order of precedence relates to a special guest’s entry into a citizenship ceremony, seating, speaking order and place in a receiving line. It should be noted that neither the citizenship judge nor the clerk of the ceremony has the discretion to change the established protocol.

Note: If a piper, drummer, flag party or honour guard is included in the opening of the ceremony, the RCMP officer asks everyone in the ceremony room to rise. He returns to the procession and, following the piper, drummer or flag party, leads the platform party into the room and to the stage area.

The order of precedence is as follows: 

  • RCMP Officer
  • The Citizenship Judge (or volunteer presiding official)
  • The Governor General
  • The Prime Minister of Canada
  • The Chief Justice of Canada
  • Former governors general, with relative precedence among them governed by the date of their leaving office
  • Former prime ministers of Canada, with relative precedence governed by the date of their first assumption of office
  • The Speaker of the Senate
  • The Speaker of the House of Commons
  • Ambassadors, high commissioners, ministers plenipotentiary, with precedence for ambassadors and high commissioners determined by the date of presentation of their credentials
  • The members of the Cabinet, Department ministers and secretaries of State with relative precedence governed by the date of their appointment to the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada
  • The Leader of the Opposition
  • Members of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada who are not members of the current federal cabinet, in accordance with the date of their appointment to the Privy Council
  • The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, a prelate of the Roman Catholic Church having high relative precedence in that Church in Canada, the Moderator of the United Church of Canada, the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, the President of the Baptist Federation of Canada, or their representatives; and a representative of the Jewish faith in Canada. The precedence of Canadian ecclesiastical dignitaries or their representatives is governed by the date of their assumption of their present office.
  • Puisne judges of the Supreme Court of Canada
  • The Chief Justice and the Associate Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Canada
  • The chief justices of the highest court of each province and territory with precedence governed by the date of appointment; and the chief justices of the other superior courts of the provinces and territories, including the Associate Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Quebec, with precedence governed by the date of appointment
  • Judges of the Federal Court of Canada, with precedence governed by the date of appointment; puisne judges of the superior courts of the provinces and territories, with precedence governed by the date of appointment
  • Senators of Canada
  • Members of the House of Commons
  • Consuls-general of countries without diplomatic representation
  • Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to Cabinet
  • The Chief of the Defence Staff and the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • Speakers of legislative assemblies, within their province and territory
  • Members of executive councils, within their province and territory
  • Judges of provincial and territorial courts, within their province and territory
  • Members of legislative assemblies, within their province and territory
  • Chairperson of the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians
  • Elected municipal leaders
  • Civic and community leaders
  • Representative of the host group or organization

The speaking order for Members of Parliament when more than one MP is in attendance is:

  • MP who is responsible for the riding where the ceremony is taking place, speaks first,
  • Neighbouring MPs speak next. Order is determined by the proximity of their respective riding to the location of the ceremony.

The entrance for the clerk of the ceremony of a standard ceremony and an enhanced ceremony differs.

  • In a standard ceremony with the presence of an RCMP officer, the clerk follows the citizenship judge into the ceremony room.
  • In a standard ceremony without the presence of an RCMP officer, the clerk stands at the podium, asks the audience to rise for the entrance of the citizenship judge.
  • In an enhanced ceremony with the presence of an RCMP officer, the clerk stands at the podium and signals the RCMP. The RCMP officer asks the audience to rise and escorts the citizenship judge and special guests into the ceremony room.
  • In an enhanced ceremony without the presence of an RCMP officer, the clerk stands at the podium and asks the audience to rise for the entrance of the citizenship judge and special guests.

Questions related to the protocol should be directed to Nat-Cit-Operations.

See also:

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: