Citizenship grants: Minor applying under subsection 5(1)

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.

Any application made under subsection 5(1) of the Citizenship Act on behalf of a minor 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, unless otherwise ordered by a Court.

It is only in cases where the Minister waives this requirement that the minor can apply on their own behalf. The authorized person applying on behalf of the minor does not have to be a Canadian citizen.

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General requirements

All persons authorized to make a 5(1) application on behalf of a minor must submit an “Application for Canadian Citizenship – MINORS (under 18 years of age) Under Subsection 5(1)” form [CIT 0403 (PDF, 2.22MB)]. When a minor is 14 to 17 years of age, the application must also be countersigned by the minor.

In cases where a minor does not have access to an individual empowered to act on their behalf to submit the application, they can request a waiver of this requirement by checking the waiver box in the signature section on the application form.

The minor must meet the residence requirements which include physical presence and income tax filing (see the instructions on residence). The minor must also

  • take the oath of citizenship if 14 years of age or older at positive decision;
  • be a permanent resident, not have lost that status and have no unfulfilled conditions relating to that status;
  • meet the requirements until the taking of the oath;
  • not be prohibited under section 21 or 22 of the Citizenship Act; and
  • not be under a removal order nor the subject of a declaration by the Governor in Council made pursuant to section 20 of the Citizenship Act.

Required documents and application fee

A minor applying under subsection 5(1) must pay the non-refundable minor (under age 18) processing fee.

Required documents are generally listed in the document checklist that is part of the application form for Canadian citizenship [CIT 0403 (PDF, 2.22MB)]. The form must be

  • signed by the person with custody of or empowered to act on behalf of the minor; and
  • countersigned by the minor applicant, if 14 to 17 years of age.

If the minor does not have an authorized person who can apply on their behalf, they can request a waiver of this requirement in the signature section on the application form.

Note: Minors who applied under subsection 5(1) of the Citizenship Act between June 19, 2017, and February 13 2018 and who paid the processing fee of $530 are entitled to a refund of $430. For additional information, see Remission of Citizenship fee.

Waivers

The Case Management Branch (CMB) is the delegated decision maker on all waiver requests made by a minor applying under subsection 5(1).

Requirements that can be waived

  • To have the person who has custody of the minor or is empowered to act on the minor’s behalf submit an application on behalf of a minor [new subparagraph 5(3)(b)(v)].
  • Residency.
  • The taking of the oath of citizenship (minors 14 to 17 years of age) due to mental disability.

If the applicant makes a request to waive residency/physical presence or the taking of the oath requirements, the citizenship officer will create the waiver activity in the Global Case Management System (GCMS) and transfer the application to the CMB in GCMS for waiver consideration and decision.

If the minor makes a request to waive the requirement to have a person applying on their behalf, the Case Processing Centre in Sydney (CPC-S) will create the waiver activity in GCMS and transfer the application to the CMB in GCMS for waiver consideration and decision.

Procedure at the CPC-S

For applications made by a person with custody of the minor or person empowered to act on the minor’s behalf

Normal intake and referral procedures apply.

For applications received for minors under 14 years of age (where no waiver request has been made), normal processing procedures apply.

In the event that a request is made for a minor under 14 years of age to participate in a citizenship ceremony, the file will be referred to the local office for scheduling.

For applications made by the minor where they will be seeking a waiver of the requirement to have an eligible person apply on their behalf

Normal intake procedures apply (including completeness check, returns for incompleteness, level one review, etc.).

File is forwarded to the CMB for consideration of the waiver request. The CMB will initiate further correspondence and actions in GCMS during waiver consideration. If a negative decision is taken on the waiver request, the file will be returned to the CPC-S after waiver activities are completed (i.e., documenting negative waiver decision).

Returned files should be held for 30 days to allow for the possibility of client application for leave of judicial review. After this 30-day period has passed, the CPC-S will initiate the issuance of a refund of the application fee and close the file.

Procedure at the CMB

Upon receipt of files from the CPC-S where the applicant is seeking a waiver of the requirement that a person with custody of the minor or empowered to act on the minor’s behalf make the application, the CMB will

  • correspond with the applicant to request additional information in support of the waiver request, if required, and will initiate further correspondence, actions in GCMS during waiver consideration;
  • in the event of a positive decision on the waiver request, document the decision in GCMS and forward the file to the local office for continued processing;
  • in addition to considering waiver requests made with respect to whom can apply on behalf of a minor applying under subsection 5(1), assess if consideration should be given to waiving other requirements where a waiver on compassionate grounds may be possible;
  • in the event of a negative decision, draft and send correspondence citing reasons for the decision and advising the applicant that the application cannot be accepted for processing along with options for the applicant, and administratively close the file in GCMS and return the file to the CPC-S for initiation of refund and file closure procedures.

Once the CMB renders a decision on requests to waive the taking of the oath or residency requirements, the application will be transferred to the local office for processing, including decision by the appropriate decision-makers (citizenship officer or citizenship judge).

Note: In all cases where adverse issues related to the residency requirements are identified, no matter the age of the minor, the application will be forwarded to the local office for processing.

Procedure at local offices

Clearances

  • All minors must not be subject to the prohibitions contained in sections 21 and 22 of the Act or the subject of a declaration by the Governor-in-Council made under section 20 of the Act.
  • Permanent resident status is verified for all minor applicants and that status must have been maintained and there must be no unfulfilled conditions under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act related to their permanent resident status.
  • Criminality and security clearances are generally not requested for minors under 15 and a half years of age, although a citizenship officer may request such clearances if adverse information is received.
  • Criminality and security clearances are required for minors 15 and a half years of age or older.

Local offices must verify clearances for applicants who are close to 15 and a half years of age. This is to be prepared to request their criminality (including foreign criminality, if applicable), and security clearances and have results from partners in a timely manner to avoid unnecessary processing delays.

Program integrity (PI) interviews

All applicants aged 14 to 17 must be scheduled for a PI interview. It is recommended that the PI interview be conducted prior to the ceremony check-in. If this is not operationally feasible, PI interviews may be scheduled on a different date.

In cases where officers have specific concerns, they have the discretion to schedule a program integrity interview at any time.

Requirements maintained until the oath of citizenship

Subsection 22(6) of the Citizenship Act prohibits a person from taking the oath of Citizenship if they never met or no longer meet the requirements of the Act. Minor applicants must continue to meet all the requirements for the grant of citizenship until the taking of the oath, in the case where the oath is required (for applicants aged 14 years or older at time of the oath).

Citizenship officers may close an application for grant of citizenship after the applicant has already been granted if it has been determined that all of the requirements for the grant of citizenship have not been maintained at the time the oath is to be taken. In these cases, the minor will not be permitted to take the oath.

Residence

The Citizenship Act requires that applicants under subsection 5(1)

  • be physically present in Canada for at least 1095 days during the five years immediately before the date of application [subparagraph 5(1)(c)(i)]. Physical presence is calculated in the following manner:
    • each day of physical presence in Canada as a permanent resident counts as one day; and
    • each day of physical presence in Canada as an authorized temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident counts as one half day, with a maximum of 365 days counting towards physical presence.
  • meet any applicable requirement under the Income Tax Act to file a return of income for the three taxation years that are fully or partially within the five years immediately before the date of application [subparagraph 5(1)(c)(iii)].

If a delegated citizenship officer is unable to make a determination if the minor applicant meets the requirements of subparagraphs 5(1)(c)(i) noted above, the application is referred to a citizenship judge for a decision.

If indicated on the application form that the minor applicant was required to meet tax filing obligations under the Income Tax Act, guidance for income tax filing should be followed.

Applications referred to citizenship judges

Citizenship judges review applications of minors applying under subsection 5(1) per the procedures noted in the guidance for referring applications to a citizenship judge.

If an officer refers the application to a citizenship judge because they are not satisfied that an applicant meets the physical presence requirement(s), the citizenship judge may consider referring the application to the CMB for consideration of a waiver of the physical presence requirement(s). Referral for a waiver consideration should be done prior to scheduling the applicant for an in-person hearing. If the waiver is approved, a hearing on residence is not necessary.

If the waiver is refused by the CMB, the application would continue to proceed through processing.

Learn more about residence requirements.

Language and knowledge requirements

Minors applying under subsection 5(1) do not need to meet the language and knowledge requirement.

Effective date of citizenship

The effective date of citizenship is the date the oath is taken and signed.

If the requirement to take the oath is either waived due to the minor’s mental disability or not required due to the age of the minor (under 14 years of age at decision date), the effective date of citizenship is the date citizenship is granted.

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