Temporary Resident Permits (TRPs): Considerations specific to stateless children of Canadian citizens

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.

Children born on or after April 17, 2009 to a Canadian parent may be stateless. In order to provide an additional route to citizenship for the stateless children of Canadians, the Citizenship Act contains a new provision under subsection 5(5) of the Citizenship Act for a grant of citizenship for persons born outside Canada to a Canadian parent in the second or subsequent generation who are, and who have always been, stateless.

Children born outside Canada to a Canadian parent in the second or subsequent generation may be eligible to be sponsored for permanent residence in the family class.

For a stateless person, the issuance of a TRP may be an alternative option that will allow them to enter Canada in order to meet the residence requirements of the provision of subsection 5(5) of the Citizenship Act.

Overview of the process

Stage 1: In determining that the client may be able to access a subsection 5(5) grant, officers should take into consideration:

  • presenting evidence of statelessness;
  • presenting evidence of a Canadian citizen birth parent;
  • the residence requirement of the grant and the age of the applicant; and
  • reviewing the prohibitions to a grant under subsection 5(5) of the Citizenship Act.

Stage 2: TRP processing

  • Includes the collection of the cost-recovery fee.

Eligibility

The onus is on the client to provide sufficient evidence to satisfy the visa officer, on a balance of probabilities that they are, and have always been, stateless.

Statelessness refers to the status of an individual who is not recognized as a national by any state under its domestic law. Persons born to a Canadian parent may be stateless at birth because they were born outside of Canada on or after April 17, 2009 to a Canadian parent who was also born outside Canada and they do not acquire citizenship by descent due to the laws of other countries of which their parents are also citizens or they do not acquire citizenship of the country of their birth because of the laws of that country.

Examples of documentary evidence of statelessness may include:

  • travel documents issued to stateless persons by other countries or international organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross
  • a “No Record” letter or similar document issued by the appropriate authorities of the country of the applicant’s birth and other countries where the applicant has lived for more than five consecutive years.

A person born stateless to a Canadian parent may be in a vulnerable situation and may not have access to documentary evidence to demonstrate, on a balance of probabilities that they are, and have always been, stateless. In situations where the above documentary evidence is not available, secondary evidence may be acceptable. For example, legal statutes, case law, research from recognized academic authorities or other reliable and credible evidence.

For technical assistance and questions relating to relevant nationality laws, contact Citizenship Program Delivery.

Processing

Evidence of birth parent’s citizenship status

The onus is on the client to submit satisfactory evidence of their Canadian parent’s citizenship status, which is usually done by presenting acceptable documentary evidence.  If the client’s parent has no evidence of citizenship, the officer may suggest that the client’s parent be encouraged to file an application for proof of citizenship through the Consular office or, alternatively, that the client makes an application for a search of records under the Citizenship Act. A search of records can only confirm if a citizenship certificate was issued in the past to an individual; it is not proof of citizenship and a search that results in a “no record” does not mean that the individual is not a Canadian citizen.

These documents are recognized by CIC as acceptable evidence of the Canadian parent’s Canadian citizenship status.

Note: Individuals born in Canada who had at least one parent with diplomatic status in Canada, and neither parent is a citizen or permanent resident, are not citizens by birth. Individuals in this situation cannot use a birth certificate as proof of citizenship.

An applicant who presents a Canadian provincial or territorial birth certificate as proof of their Canadian parent’s citizenship would not be stateless; they are likely  a Canadian citizen by descent. In that case, the client’s parent should be encouraged to submit an application for a citizenship certificate (proof of citizenship) for their child through the Consular office.

If the citizenship document has been lost or destroyed other evidence of the parent's citizenship, such as a Canadian passport, may be accepted.  

To request a search, an officer can send an e-mail to CPC Sydney including the full name and date of birth of the Canadian parent(s) and the citizenship document type and number. If both parents are citizens, information and documents for both parents should be sent to CPC-Sydney.

CPC-Sydney will search for a record and will provide the following information, if available:

  • if the citizenship document is valid
  • where the Canadian citizen parent was born
  • if the parent is a citizen because they were granted Canadian citizenship, and the effective date of citizenship
  • whether the parent renounced citizenship or if it was revoked and, if so, the date
  • whether the parent was born outside Canada to a Canadian parent
  • if the parent retained citizenship, if necessary
  • the place and date of birth of child's the grandparents, if available.

Explanation of responses from CPC-Sydney:

  • If CPC-Sydney confirms at least one of the child's natural parents was born in Canada or was naturalized/granted citizenship, the child is likely a citizen. The visa section will refer the parent/applicant to the consular office to file an application for a citizenship certificate (proof of citizenship) for the child.
  • If CPC-Sydney confirms that the records indicate that the client's natural parent(s) is a citizen by descent or received a grant of citizenship under 5.1 (adoption provision), the visa officer will know that the client was not a Canadian citizen when the client was born (unless at least one of the client's natural parents is a Canadian who was working outside Canada as an employee of the Canadian government, other than as a locally-engaged employee, an employee of a Canadian province or territory, or was serving outside Canada with the Canadian Forces).
  • If CPC-Sydney confirms that the parent was not a citizen when the client was born (for example, if the parent lost citizenship because he/she failed to retain citizenship), the client is not eligible for the stateless grant.
  • If CPC-Sydney cannot confirm that the parent was a citizen when the client was born, the visa officer will direct the client’s parent to the consular office to file a proof application.

Residence requirement and age

In order to be eligible for a grant of citizenship under subsection 5(5) of the Citizenship Act, a client must:

  • be born outside Canada on or after April 17, 2009,
  • be less than 23 years of age at the time of application for the grant, and
  • have resided in Canada for at least three years during the four-year period immediately before the date of application for a grant.

Careful consideration should be given before issuing TRPs to clients who will not be able to meet the residence requirement prior to their 23rd birthday and each case must be assessed on its own merits to determine whether issuance of a TRP is justified in the circumstances.

Considerations related to a grant of citizenship under subsection 5(5) of the Citizenship Act

To be eligible for a grant of citizenship under subsection 5(5) of the Citizenship Act, applicants must not have been convicted of any of the following offences:

In addition, an applicant must not be the subject of a declaration by the Governor in Council in matters of security, under section 20 of the Citizenship Act.

TRP processing

The majority of stateless individuals will not meet the requirements of the IRPA to enter Canada which is why a TRP may be necessary. Some stateless persons may not have acceptable travel documents so they may not meet the requirements of subsection R179(c) of RIPR.

Negative decisions may result in a stateless client remaining stateless due to the inability to enter Canada to meet the requirements to obtain the 5(5) grant of citizenship. Negative decisions should be clear, well-founded and documented.

The onus is on the client to submit satisfactory evidence of their Canadian parent’s citizenship status, which is usually done by presenting acceptable documentary evidence.  If the client’s parent has no evidence of citizenship, the officer may suggest that the client’s parent be encouraged to file an application for proof of citizenship through the Consular office or, alternatively, that the client makes an application for a search of records under the Citizenship Act. It should be noted that a search of records can only confirm if a citizenship certificate was issued in the past to an individual; it is not proof of citizenship and a search that results in a “no record” does not mean that the individual is not a Canadian citizen.

The client may present to the officer documents which are recognized by CIC as acceptable evidence of the Canadian parent’s Canadian citizenship status.

Note: Individuals born in Canada who had at least one parent with diplomatic status in Canada, and neither parent is a citizen or permanent resident, are not citizens by birth. Individuals in this situation cannot use a birth certificate as proof of citizenship.

Travel document

It is possible that the stateless client may not have a travel document. In such cases clients may be issued a Single Journey Travel Document (SJTD – IMM 5565B) in addition to the TRP counterfoil to allow them to travel to Canada.

Applicants without travel documents should be counselled regarding the limitations on their ability to leave and re-enter Canada.

Permit validity

As section 5(5) of the Citizenship Act requires stateless persons to be residents for three years during the four-year period before applying for citizenship, issue the initial TRP for the three-year maximum validity period.

Counsel clients about applying inland for a subsequent TRP in order to cover the time required to complete the citizenship processing and, in some cases, meet the residence requirement.

Assessment of an application for a subsequent TRP

Assess the applicant for any new inadmissibility. If a new inadmissibility is discovered, the officer has the discretion to issue a new TRP or to refuse the application, depending on the circumstances.

Support negative decisions with documentary evidence as a stateless client may remain stateless due to the inability to obtain a 5(5) grant of citizenship. In addition, the client may not possess a travel document to leave Canada and refusal may result in an unenforceable removal order.

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: