Prepare for the citizenship ceremony

Taking the Oath of Citizenship at a citizenship ceremony is your final step to become a Canadian citizen. Citizenship ceremonies take place across the country and at all times of the year. There are special ceremonies on Canada Day and during Citizenship Week.

Video: The Canadian Citizenship Ceremony: What you need to know

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Who has to take the oath

Adults and children aged 14 or over must go to the citizenship ceremony and take the oath.

Parents will get certificates of citizenship for their children under age 14. Children under age 14 don’t have to go, but are welcome to.

Get your citizenship ceremony date

About 4 weeks before the ceremony, we’ll send you a notice with the date, time and location. The ceremony will usually take place within three months after your test.

If you’re not available on the day of your ceremony, send us a message to explain why and get a new date. If you don’t give an explanation or your explanation isn’t reasonable, we may stop processing your application and not grant you citizenship. You can either:

  • email or write to the office that sent you the notice (within 30 days of the appointment) or
  • use the online web form

Generally, once we receive your message, we’ll schedule your ceremony on a different day. We’ll let you know by email if you gave us your email address or letter mail if we don’t have your email address.

You need to stay in the room for the entire ceremony. If you’re bringing a young child, also bring a guest who can take them out of the room if they get restless and need to leave the ceremony room. If you can’t arrange child care, let us know and we’ll reschedule your ceremony date.

Language of your ceremony

Your notice tells you if your ceremony will be mostly in English, mostly in French, or bilingual. If you want to attend a bilingual ceremony, contact the office that sent you the notice.

What to bring

When you come to the ceremony, bring:

  • your ceremony notice
  • a signed copy of the Permission Release and Consent form (included with the notice)
  • permanent resident card if you have one (even if it’s expired) or Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM5292 or IMM5688)
  • Record of Landing (IMM 1000) if you became a permanent resident before June 28, 2002
  • 2 pieces of personal identification (ID)
    • one piece of ID must have your photograph and signature, for example: driver’s licence, health card or permanent resident card
    • foreign ID documents must be government-issued, Canadian ones don’t need to be government-issued
    • if they’re not in English or French, you must provide a translation with an affidavit from the translator
    • minors are not required to show identification with a signature
  • all your passports and travel documents, current and expired, that you listed on the application form
  • optional: a holy book, of your choice, if you want to use one to swear the Oath of Citizenship

What happens at the ceremony

During your ceremony, you will:

  • take the Oath of Citizenship
  • get your citizenship certificate
  • sign the Oath or Affirmation of Citizenship form
  • sing the national anthem, O Canada

A citizenship judge or official will preside over the ceremony and lead the Oath of Citizenship. Many people will take the oath with you. The ceremony official will say the oath in English and in French. As a group, you’ll repeat the words to the oath after the official. You must repeat the oath in at least one of the official languages, but we encourage you to say them in both. You’ll also be invited to sing the bilingual version of the national anthem.

You can swear or affirm the oath. Swearing is for people who want to refer to their religious beliefs and affirming is for people who don’t want to refer to religious text. If you want to swear the oath on your holy book, bring it with you.

Once you take the Oath of Citizenship, you’ll be a Canadian citizen. We’ll give you your citizenship certificate as proof that you’re a Canadian citizen. It will show the date that you became a citizen. Keep it in a safe place.

Prepare to say the oath and sing the anthem

We’ll give you the words to the oath and the anthem at the ceremony, but you can practice to prepare for the ceremony.

Video: The Oath of Citizenship

Oath of Citizenship

You can:

National anthem: O Canada

In all provinces and territories, except Quebec, we use the bilingual, English first version (PDF, 824 KB):

O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all of us command.
Car ton bras sait porter l’épée,
Il sait porter la croix!
Ton histoire est une épopée
Des plus brillants exploits.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Listen to a bilingual, English first recording performed by our choir and musicians:

In Quebec, we use the bilingual, French first version (PDF, 817 KB):

Ô Canada! Terre de nos aïeux,
Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux!
Car ton bras sait porter l’épée,
Il sait porter la croix!
Ton histoire est une épopée
Des plus brillants exploits.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Listen to a bilingual, French first recording performed by our choir and musicians:

Listen to an instrumental recording performed by our musicians:

After the ceremony: services and travel documents

Find out what services and information we offer for Canadians.

As a new citizen, you can apply for a Canadian passport. A valid Canadian passport is the only accepted travel document that proves you have the right to enter Canada. Your citizenship certificate is not a travel document.

You must wait at least two business days after your ceremony before you can apply for a passport.

Apply for a passport

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