Processing a grant or resumption of citizenship for registered Indians

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.

It is possible that a person may have Indian status but not be a Canadian citizen. For example, a person who was born outside Canada to a Canadian parent in the second or subsequent generation might not be a citizen due to the first-generation limit on citizenship.

If it is determined that a person is not a Canadian citizen and the person is a registered Indian under the Indian Act, the person may apply for a grant or resumption of citizenship. In these cases, when the person applies for citizenship, all regular grant and resumption requirements will apply to the individual; however, the process differs in respect to verifying and determining that the person meets the residence/physical presence and permanent residence requirements. The Citizenship Act includes a provision in paragraph 2(2)(b) that can be used in this situation to deem that the applicant meets the requirement to be a permanent resident.

For the purposes of assessing whether a registered Indian who is applying for a grant of citizenship meets the requirement to be a permanent resident as provided in paragraph 5(1)(c), 5(2) or 11(1)(d) of the Citizenship Act,

  • the date the applicant was admitted to Canada as a registered Indian should be used as the equivalent of the date the person became a permanent resident (landing date);
  • (if the applicant was registered as an Indian after their entry into Canada) the date of registration should be used as the equivalent of the date the person became a permanent resident.

Determine current citizenship status

Grant applications under subsection 5(1) or 11(1)

To assess whether an applicant meets the requirements of paragraph 5(1)(c) of the Citizenship Act, the citizenship official must

  • verify the date the applicant entered Canada; and
  • calculate the applicant’s residence/physical presence during the relevant period immediately before the application.

Step 1: Establish entry into Canada for purposes of living in Canada

The officer records the date the applicant was registered as an Indian under the Indian Act (i.e., the date the person acquired Indian status).

If the date of entry into Canada precedes the date of registration, the date of registration will be used for citizenship purposes as the equivalent of the date the person becomes a permanent resident (i.e., landing date). This means that some applicants may have the equivalent of non-permanent resident time in Canada (“NPR” time) for the time that they were a temporary resident in Canada, but not registered Indians.

Step 2: Calculate the applicant’s residence/physical presence

For applications received before June 11, 2015

Residence is assessed in the same way it is assessed for other 5(1) grant applications. Within the relevant four-year period immediately preceding the application date,

  • each day present in Canada following the date the person was registered as an Indian and that falls within the relevant four-year period will be counted as one day;
  • any day present in Canada that is prior to the date of registration as an Indian and that falls within the relevant four-year period will be counted as a half day. The applicant should provide proof of residence in Canada prior to being registered to obtain “NPR” days (e.g., lease, school records, employment records).

For 11(1) resumption cases, there is no “NPR” time. The residence requirement of one year immediately before the date of the application is met if the applicant was registered as an Indian for that full one-year period and was residing in Canada.

For applications received between June 11, 2015, and October 10, 2017

Physical presence is assessed in the same way it is assessed for other 5(1) grant applications. The applicant must be:

  • physically present in Canada as a registered Indian for at least 1460 days in the six-year period before application; and
  • physically present in Canada as a registered Indian for at least 183 days during each of four calendar years that are fully or partially within the six-year period.

Time before registering as an Indian cannot be counted.

For applications received on or after October 11, 2017

Physical presence is assessed in the same way it is assessed for other 5(1) grant applications. The applicant must be:

  • physically present in Canada as a registered Indian for at least 1095 days in the five-year period before application; and
  • any day physically present in Canada as a temporary resident, that is prior to the date of registration as an Indian, and that falls within the relevant five-year period will be counted as a half day. The applicant should provide proof of physical presence in Canada prior to being registered to obtain “NPR” days (e.g., lease, school records, employment records).

For 11(1) resumption cases, the applicant must be physically present in Canada as a registered Indian for at least 365 days in the two-year period immediately before application.

Required documentation

  • Proof that the person was registered as an Indian under the Indian Act (e.g., Certificate of Indian Status [CIS], also called a status card, or Secure Certificate of Indian Status [SCIS]).
  • Satisfactory evidence of entry into Canada. The applicant must clearly demonstrate the date (or approximate date) of entry. Where the citizenship official requires more evidence to be satisfied of the date of entry, additional documents could be requested, such as lease or rental agreements, school records, employment records, etc.

Note: The CPC-S should include a note to file advising the local office that paragraph 2(2)(b) should be considered and that the applicant has provided evidence of being registered as an Indian and evidence of entry to Canada. If the applicant has not provided satisfactory evidence of either fact, the referral to the local office should reflect this so that they can follow up with the applicant.

Grant applications under subsection 5(2)

To assess whether an applicant meets the requirements of subsection 5(2) of the Act, follow the procedure above (as for a 5(1) grant) to establish the date the person is deemed under paragraph 2(2)(b) to have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence for the purposes of applying for citizenship.

Applicants applying under 5(2) are not required to reside/be physically present in Canada for any length of time but must be lawfully present in Canada.

The citizenship officer must be satisfied that the applicant was registered as an Indian (i.e., CIS on file) and is lawfully present in Canada (i.e., satisfactory evidence that the minor is in Canada).

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