Citizenship grants: Minors applying under subsection5(2)

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 applications for a grant of Canadian citizenship filed on behalf of a minor (person under 18 years of age), under subsection 5(2) of the Citizenship Act.

A legal guardian who is not a Canadian citizen may apply for citizenship on behalf of the minor child but Canadian citizenship can only be granted if one of the parents (natural or adoptive) is already a Canadian citizen.

Note: On June 19, 2017, An Act to Amend the Citizenship Act and Make Consequential Amendments to Another Act repealed the age requirement for applications made under subsection 5(1) of the Act thereby allowing applications to be made for minors under this subsection of the Act.

Minors making an application under subsection 5(1) must meet those requirements in order to be considered for a grant of citizenship. They must submit an “Application for Canadian Citizenship – Minors (under 18 years of age) applying under subsection 5(1)” form [CIT 0403].

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General requirements

  • All persons authorized to make an application on behalf of a minor must submit an Application for Canadian Citizenship – Minors form [CIT 0003 (PDF, 2.32MB)]. The application must be signed by the person authorized to make the application. The application must be also be countersigned by the minor between 14 and 17 years of age inclusive.
  • The application must include clear and legible copies of the documents required in the document checklist.
  • The minor must be a permanent resident of Canada, not have lost that status and have no unfulfilled conditions relating to that status.
  • Timing of the application for a minor: the application can be made simultaneously (concurrent) with one or both parents or after one or both parents have become a Canadian citizen (non-concurrent).
  • The minor must have a living Canadian parent (including adoptive parent) and parentage must be established. If parentage has been assessed and accepted for immigration purposes, parentage will be presumed to be established for citizenship purposes as well. Where possible, citizenship processes will not duplicate work previously conducted during an immigration process.
  • Minors are not subject to the language, residence and knowledge requirements that adults are subject to under the Citizenship Act. However, citizenship officers need to check whether the minors still have permanent resident status, i.e., they have maintained their permanent resident status. Identification, documents and prohibitions will be verified prior to the Oath taking, usually at the citizenship ceremony.
  • Applications must include the current non-refundable processing fee.
  • To apply, a minor must be less than 18 years old on the day the application is signed. If an applicant turns 18 during the processing of the application, the applicant is still assessed against the requirements for a grant of citizenship as a minor.
  • A citizenship officer must refer a file to the Case Management Branch (CMB) when a request to waive the requirement to take the Oath of Citizenship under subsection 5(3) for a minor 14 to 17 years of age inclusive is made. See the instructions on waivers.
  • A citizenship officer must refer a file to the CMB when a request that citizenship be granted for special cases under subsection 5(4) of the Act is made.

Note: With amendments to the Citizenship Act in 2017, the age range to meet language and knowledge requirements was amended from 14-64 to 18-54. This provision is retroactive, therefore, minor applicants who were 14 to 17 years of age on the date they signed their application and who have not yet been assessed, or are in the process of being assessed for knowledge and language requirements will no longer be required to meet these requirements as of the date the amendments of the act are brought into force.

Clearances

  • Minors must not be prohibited under 22 of the Act and must not be 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.
  • Criminal and security clearances are generally not requested for minors under 16, although an official may request such clearances, if adverse information is received.
  • Criminal and security clearances are required for minors 16 years of age and older.
  • Local offices must verify minor children clearances in situations where they are close to 15 and a half years of age. This is to be prepared to request their criminal and security clearance and have results in time in order to avoid delays in the process.

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 14 years and over at time of the Oath).Citizenship officers may prohibit an applicant from taking the oath 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.

Procedures for applications submitted by adopted children who are permanent residents

Signature on application

The application form for an adopted minor under 14 years of age must be signed and dated by the adoptive parent, a legal or de facto guardian (on behalf of the adoptive Canadian parent), or any other person having legal custody of the minor (adoptive parent must be Canadian).

The application form for an adopted minor between 14 and 17 years of age inclusive must be signed by the adoptive Canadian parent, a legal or de facto guardian, or any other person having legal custody of the adopted minor and be countersigned by the adopted minor between 14 and 17 years of age inclusive.

Oath of Citizenship

If the adopted minor is under 14 years of age when the application processing is complete, the CPC-S may grant citizenship and send the certificate to the applicant's last known address.

If the adopted minor is 14 years of age or older, when the application processing is completed, the minor must take the Oath. The file is forwarded to the local citizenship office. A citizenship officer will grant citizenship and schedule the minor to take the Oath at a citizenship ceremony. The effective date of citizenship for these applications is the day the Oath of Citizenship is taken.

Note: An adopted minor is not required to take the Oath at a ceremony or within Canada. The Oath can be administered privately or at a mission abroad.

A citizenship officer must, however, refer a file to the CMB when a request to waive the requirement to take the Oath of Citizenship under paragraph 5(3) for a minor 14 to 17 years of age inclusively is made. See the instructions on waivers.

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