Apply for citizenship: How to apply

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You need to choose the online or paper application. Do not apply both ways.

Apply online, if you can

Starting January 4, 2023, you can choose to receive an electronic citizenship certificate (e-certificate) or a paper certificate if you apply online.

  • In your online account, choose the certificate type you want.
  • If your application is successful, the certificate proves that you’re a Canadian citizen.
Applications submitted before January 4

We’re offering the e-certificate option to some applicants who submitted their applications before January 4, 2023.

If we offer you the e-certificate option, you

  • will receive an invitation by email
  • may accept or decline the invitation
    • If you accept the invitation, follow the email’s instructions for your next steps.
    • If you decline the invitation, you’ll get a paper certificate (opens in a new tab)  (if we approve your application).

You’ll only receive an e-certificate if

We cannot guarantee that we’ll approve your application or process it faster.

Learn more about the e-certificate

Some applicants can now apply online to become a Canadian citizen.

We

If you’re applying as a family or a group

Who can apply online as a group

 Adults (18 or older) can now apply online together as a family or a group.

 If you want to apply with a minor (under 18), you can only apply on paper for now.

Starting a group application

  1. Make sure you are eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship. (opens in a new tab) 
  2. Check if you can apply online. (opens in a new tab) 
    • If you can apply online, you’ll be able to create an account.
  3. After you sign in to your account, you can invite other adults to join your application.
  4. The person you invite can choose to accept or decline your invitation.

Joining a group application

To join a group application, you must

  • be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship (opens in a new tab) 
  • be eligible to apply online (opens in a new tab) 
  • not be part of another group application
  • wait until you receive an email invitation to join a group application
    • If you’re already applying online, you’ll also get a message in your online account if someone invited you.
  • accept the invitation

If you can apply online, you may create an account before or after you get your email invitation.

Switching to a different group

If you’re already in a group application and want to join a different group, you must leave your current group before joining a new one.

Your new group can invite you only after you leave your current group.

How the online group application works

Everyone in your group

  • will have their own individual online accounts that are linked together
  • can only view limited information about each other’s applications, to protect each applicant’s privacy
    • For example, you can see if your co-applicant’s application is in progress or already signed.
  • must not share their account passwords with other members of the group
  • cannot access each other’s applications
  • must sign and date their own application
Paying the fee

Your group can

  • have 1 person pay and upload 1 receipt for everyone or
  • pay separately and upload each individual receipt

Check the instructions in the payment section of the online account for more details.

Submitting the application

After everyone signs their individual applications, 1 person in your group will submit all of the applications together.

Leaving a group application

You may leave your group application if you wish.

To leave your group, click the “Leave group” button in the “Your account” section of your online account.

After leaving your group, you may choose to

  • continue applying online by yourself
  • join a different group application (if another group invites you) or
  • start a new group application
    • There is an option to invite co-applicants in your online account.

Removing someone from your group application

To remove someone from your group application, click the “Remove this person” button in the “Your co-applicants” section of your online account.

If you leave a group or remove someone from your group

The online account will tell you your next steps based on your progress with the application. For example:

  • You may have to upload the receipts again.
  • If you’ve already signed your application before leaving a group, you’ll have to sign it again.

If you have a representative

A representative (opens in a new tab) 

  • is someone you choose to help you complete your application
  • can be paid (authorized) (opens in a new tab)  or unpaid
  • may be a family member, friend, lawyer or consultant
  • communicates and does business with us for you after you submit the application

If you apply online with the help of a representative, you must

  • create your own account to apply online with your email address
  • not share your account or password with anyone (including your representative)
  • sign, date and submit your online application

Your representative may

  • help you to answer the questions in the online application
  • communicate with us for you after you submit your application
  • provide other assistance, information and advice

If you want your representative to complete and submit your application for you, apply on paper (opens in a new tab) . We’re working so a representative can apply online for an applicant in the future.

You don’t need to use a representative

It’s your choice. Using one will not

  • draw special attention to your application
  • guarantee the approval of your application

Check if you can apply online (opens in a new tab) 

Apply on paper

Starting January 4, 2023, you can choose to receive an electronic citizenship certificate (e-certificate) or a paper certificate for most citizenship applications.

In your application form

  • choose the certificate type you want
  • make sure you provide an email address if you want an e-certificate

If your application is successful, the certificate proves that you’re a Canadian citizen.

Applications submitted before January 4

We’re offering the e-certificate option to some applicants who submitted their applications before January 4, 2023.

If we offer you the e-certificate option, you

  • will receive an invitation by email
  • may accept or decline the invitation
    • If you accept the invitation, follow the email’s instructions for your next steps.
    • If you decline the invitation, you’ll get a paper certificate (opens in a new tab)  (if we approve your application).

You’ll only receive an e-certificate if

  •   you accept the invitation
  •   you’re eligible to become a Canadian citizen (opens in a new tab) 
  •   we approve your application
  •   you take the Oath of Citizenship
  •   you provide us with the signed Oath or Affirmation of Citizenship form
    • We’ll give you the form in the ceremony invitation or at the ceremony.

We cannot guarantee that we’ll approve your application or process it faster.

Learn more about the e-certificate

Get an application package

The application package includes the instruction guide and all the forms you need to fill out. Use the instruction guide and the document checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Choose the application package for your situation:

Pay the application fees

Your fees depend on whether you’re an adult (age 18 and over) or minor (under age 18). Your fees may include:

  • the processing fee
  • the right of citizenship fee

If you’re submitting more than one application at the same time, you can pay all the fees together.

You have to pay your fees online. Only pay your fees once you’re ready to submit your application. Make sure to include the fee receipt with your application.

Pay your fees online (opens in a new tab)

Submit your application

You must be eligible for Canadian citizenship the day before you sign the application form.

Make sure you

You don’t have to sign or date your physical presence calculation (your printout of the Online Physical Presence Calculator or form CIT 0407).

Send your completed application form and all the documents on the checklist

  • by mail or courier
  • as soon as possible after you sign and date the application form
    • If it’s dated more than 90 days before we get it, we’ll send it back to you.

Sending more than one application

If you apply for more than one person and want us to process your applications at the same time, put all applications in the same envelope. Otherwise, we process them separately.

Find out what happens if there’s a problem with one of the applications

Address for regular mail

Case Processing Centre—Sydney
Citizenship Grants
P.O. Box 7000
Sydney, Nova Scotia  B1P 6V6
Canada

Address for courier mail

Case Processing Centre—Sydney
Citizenship Grants
47–49 Dorchester Street
Sydney, Nova Scotia  B1P 5Z2

Apply for citizenship urgently

Processing times show how long it takes us to process applications for citizenship. We can process applications faster in special cases.

When and how to apply for citizenship urgently.

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