Canada Begins Offering Electronic Citizenship Certificates

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Electronic Canadian citizenship certificates are now available as an alternative to the paper versions for those who want them. 

“Starting January 4, 2023, you can choose to receive an e-certificate or a paper certificate if you: apply to become a Canadian citizen; apply for a citizenship certificate; apply to resume your Canadian citizenship, or; are a member of the Canadian Armed Forces and apply to resume your Canadian citizenship after giving it up,” states the federal government on its website.

Citizenship certificates are either paper or electronic documents which prove a person’s Canadian citizenship. They are not travel documents.

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Canada started offering the e-certificates, which are valid proofs of Canadian citizenship, on Jan. 4 this year. Each such electronic citizenship certificate has:

  • a certificate number which starts with an X;
  • the citizen’s unique client identifier (UCI);
  • their family name and given name;
  • the citizen’s date of birth;
  • the citizen’s gender, and;
  • the effective date of citizenship.

These e-certificates can always be accessed online by signing onto the Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees Canada (IRCC) portal.

When an applicant for citizenship is successful, he or she is sent a letter with download instructions either in an e-mail or through his or her IRCC secure account. When an e-mail is sent out, it is sent to the applicant’s e-mail or to his or her representative.

Downloading the e-certificate requires an IRCC account which can be created online by going here. 

Those who wish to print out their electronic citizenship certificates are advised by the federal government to print them on 8.5 by 11-inch white paper in both colour and black ink and to print on both sides of the page with the printer layout set for portrait orientation. 

“The information on the printed certificate must be legible (clear and easy to read) and fully visible (not cut-off),” notes Ottawa.

Anyone who has applied for an e-certificate and is facing technical issues is asked to contact the support personnel at [email protected]. 

When a foreign national becomes a Canadian citizen, he or she gets to enjoy many benefits – and assumes several obligations.

Canadian Citizens Can Vote In Elections And Travel With A Canadian Passport

Citizens can vote in federal, provincial and municipal elections, run for office and become involved in political activities, meaning they have a say in who runs the various levels of government that exist in Canada. That could be a town, city, school board, province, territory, or country.

Citizens can run as independent candidates, or by joining one of the established parties.

Since Canada does not make its citizens choose between being a Canadian citizen and being a citizen of another country, many Canadians enjoy dual citizenship. 

While permanent residents can apply for most jobs in Canada, there are some that require a high-level security clearance, which only citizens can have. This includes some jobs at the federal level. These jobs tend to pay well and have many benefits.

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Canadian citizens also get a passport, which is easier to renew and must be renewed less often than a permanent resident card. The passport allows Canadians to travel to many countries without the need for a visa and makes it easier to get a visa where one is required. 

During their travels, Canadians can also rely on the support of Canadian consulates and embassies, provided they travel using their Canadian passports, should they get into trouble while abroad.

Any and all children born of Canadian citizens in Canada automatically become Canadian citizens. They will not have to go through any application process. Some children born outside Canada are also citizens at birth if at least one parent was born or naturalized in Canada.

Canadian tax laws work on residency rather than citizenship. A Canadian citizen can choose not to live in Canada and not pay Canadian taxes. 

But Canadian citizens who do live in Canada must pay Canadian taxes on worldwide income and do so at the federal, provincial and municipal levels.

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