Citizenship grants: Statelessness

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 granting citizenship to a person who is stateless due to the limitation of citizenship by descent to the first generation born outside Canada that came into force on April 17, 2009. Subsection 5(4) of the Citizenship Act states that despite any other provision of the Act, the Minister may, at his discretion, grant citizenship to any person to alleviate cases of statelessness or of special and unusual hardship or to reward services of an exceptional nature to Canada. For information about statelessness criteria please refer to Ministerial discretion to grant citizenship in special cases.

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General requirements

The applicant must:

  • be born outside Canada on or after April 17, 2009 (i.e., after the coming into force of subsection 5(5) of the Citizenship Act);
  • have a birth parent who was a Canadian citizen at the time of their birth,
  • be less than 23 years of age at the time of application;
  • meet the residence requirement (for applications received prior to June 11, 2015) or the physical presence requirement (for applications received on or after June 11, 2015);
  • have always been stateless; and
  • not have been convicted of any of the following offences:
    • a terrorism offence, as defined in section 2 of the Criminal Code,
    • an offence under section 47, 51 or 52 of the Criminal Code, or a conspiracy or an attempt to commit, being an accessory after the fact in relation to, or any counselling in relation to any of these offences,
    • an offence under subsection 5(1) or any of the sections 6 and 16 to 22 of the Security of Information Act; or a conspiracy or an attempt to commit, being an accessory after the fact in relation to, or any counselling in relation to any of these offences.

Required documents and fees

  • Each applicant must submit an Application for Grant of Citizenship for Stateless Persons Born to a Canadian Parent on or after April 17, 2009 – subsection 5(5) form [CIT 0497 (PDF, 2.45MB)] and all documents listed on the document checklist.
  • Signature
    • All applicants 18 years of age or older must sign the application.
    • The parent or legal guardian must sign the application of a child under the age of 18.
    • The minor applicant between 14 and 17 years of age inclusive must countersign the application
  • Each adult application must include the Right of Citizenship Fee, which is refunded if, for any reason, the applicant does not acquire citizenship (applicant withdraws the application, applicant does not meet requirements, etc.). There is no processing fee.

Other requirements

Residence for applications received before June 11, 2015

A citizenship applicant under subsection 5(5) must have resided in Canada for at least three years (1095 days) during the four years immediately before the date of the application.

It is the responsibility of the citizenship officer to determine if an applicant meets the residence requirement despite absences from Canada. However, if a citizenship officer is not satisfied that the applicant meets the residence requirement, the citizenship officer will refer the application to a citizenship judge. See the instructions on residence/physical presence.

Physical presence for applications received on or after June 11, 2015

A citizenship applicant under subsection 5(5) must have been physically present in Canada for at least 1095 days during the four years immediately before the date of the application.

It is the responsibility of the citizenship officer to determine if an applicant has been physically present despite absences from Canada. However, if a citizenship officer is not satisfied that the applicant has been physically present for 1095 days, the citizenship officer will refer the application to a citizenship judge. See the instructions on residence/physical presence.

Clearances

The applicant must not have been convicted

  • under sections, 47, 51 or 52 of the Criminal Code;
  • under subsection 5(1) or any of sections 6 and 16 to 22 of the Security of Information Act;
  • of a conspiracy or an attempt to commit, being an accessory after the fact in relation to, or any counselling in relation to, an offence referred to in the above offences; or
  • of a terrorism offence as described in section 2 of the Criminal Code.

Note: The prohibitions found in section 22 of the Citizenship Act do not apply to a grant of citizenship under subsection 5(5) of the Act.

Language

There are no language requirements for a grant of citizenship under subsection 5(5) of the Act.

Knowledge

There are no knowledge requirements for a grant of citizenship under subsection 5(5) of the Act.

Oath of Citizenship

An applicant for a grant of citizenship under subsection 5(5) is not required to take the Oath of Citizenship.

Effective date of citizenship

The effective date of citizenship is the date the citizenship officer grants citizenship.

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