The final step in becoming a Canadian citizen is to take the Oath of Citizenship. Citizenship ceremonies take place around the country at all times of the year. Moreover, there are special ceremonies on Canada day and during Citizenship Week.
This article delves into:
- Who needs to take the oath
- How to determine the date of your citizenship ceremony
- Things you need to bring
- What happens in the ceremony
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Who must take the oath?
Adults and children aged 14 and above are required to attend the citizenship ceremony and swear the oath.
Parents will receive citizenship certificates for their children under the age of 14. Children under 14 are not required to attend but are welcome to do so.
How to determine the date of your Canadian citizenship ceremony?
Nearly one or two weeks before your ceremony, IRCC will notify you of the citizenship ceremony date, time and place. Generally, the ceremony takes place within three months after your test.
Ensure that you check your emails regularly, including your junk and spam folders, as IRCC will email you at the address in your application. Keep an eye out for email addresses ending in “@cic.gc.ca.”
If you cannot attend your ceremony on the scheduled day, email IRCC explaining why and requesting a new date. Any emails requesting to reschedule without any explanation or a reasonable explanation may stop processing your application and deny you citizenship.
To request a reschedule, you can either:
- Write or email the office that sent you the notice within 30 days of the appointment, or
- Utilize the online web form.
Once IRCC receives your request, they will reschedule your ceremony for a different day. They will inform you of the new date and other details via email if you provide them with your email address, or they will mail you the details if they do not have your email.
How to find the language your ceremony will be?
The IRCC’s notice you received will tell if your ceremony will be mainly in English, French or bilingual. Contact the office that sent the notice if you want to attend a bilingual ceremony.
What must you bring to your ceremony?
Bring the following when you come to the ceremony:
- ceremony notice
- Permission Release and Consent form signed copies
- Your permanent resident card, if you have one, even if it’s expired, or
- Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM5292 or IMM5688)
- If you became a permanent resident before June 28, 2002, bring a Record of Landing (IMM 1000)
- Two personal identification (ID), which should include
- At least one piece of ID with your photograph and signature, for example, a driver’s licence, health card or permanent resident card.
- Government-issued foreign ID document
- If your ID is not in English or French, provide a translation with an affidavit from the translator.
- Minors do not need to show identification with a signature.
- All passports and travel documents, including current and expired ones that you listed on the application
- Optional: any holy book of your choice to swear the Oath of Citizenship.
What happens during the Canadian citizenship ceremony?
In a nutshell, below are the four things that happen in a ceremony, you:
- Take the Oath of Citizenship
- Get your citizenship certificate.
- Sign the Oath or Affirmation of Citizenship form
- Sing Canada’s national anthem, O Canada
The ceremony will be presided over by a citizenship judge or official, who will administer the Oath of Citizenship. Many people will join you in taking the oath. The ceremony official will say the oath in English and French, and you will recite the words to the oath as a group.
You need to repeat the oath in at least one of the official languages, but you are free to do it in both languages. Next, you will be invited to sing the bilingual version of the national anthem.
Moreover, you can either swear or affirm the oath. Swearing is for those who wish to refer to religious beliefs, whereas affirming is for people who don’t want to refer to a religious text. Bring your holy book with you if you wish to swear the oath on it.
After you take the Oath of Citizenship, you will be a Canadian citizen! The officials will give you your citizenship certificate as evidence of being a Canadian citizen. The certificate will also show the date when you became a Canadian citizen. Ensure that you keep this certificate safe.