How to Prepare for Your Canadian Citizenship Ceremony
An overview of preparing for your Canadian Citizenship Ceremony. We covered the ceremony's significance and scheduling, including the shift to a virtual citizenship ceremony in 2023. Different types of ceremonies, such as standard, enhanced, private, and reaffirmation ceremonies, are explained. Ultimately, the Canadian Citizenship Ceremony marks the beginning of your life as a Canadian citizen.
What is the Canadian Citizenship Ceremony?The Canadian citizenship ceremony is the final milestone for all aspiring Canadian citizens. It is a mandatory step that applicants must complete to obtain Canadian citizenship. During this solemn event, participants undertake the Canadian Oath of Citizenship. This Canadian citizenship oath represents a profound commitment to Canada, symbolizing one's allegiance and loyalty. In addition to taking the Canadian citizenship oath, individuals will affix their signature to the Canadian citizenship Oath or Affirmation of Citizenship form. Furthermore, each participant will be presented with their official citizenship certificate as part of the ceremony. It's important to note that for individuals aged 14 and above who are on the path to Canadian citizenship, attending the ceremony and taking the Canadian citizenship oath are compulsory. However, attendance at the ceremony is optional for children under the age of 14.
Scheduling your Canadian Citizenship CeremonyIn most instances, the citizenship oath ceremony will be scheduled approximately 4 to 6 months after successfully passing the citizenship test. However, if you have passed the test and have not received your ceremony invitation within the specified 6-month period, several factors may be at play:
- Your application could be categorized as non-routine.
- Additional information, documents, or an extended review period may be required for your application.
- The specific time and date of the ceremony.
- The Zoom link for those participating in a Canadian citizenship oath ceremony virtual.
- The location details for those attending an in-person ceremony.
- Your ceremony has been scheduled.
- The invitation is en route to you, either by email or mail.
What will happen at the Canadian Citizenship Ceremony?
- Recite the Oath of Citizenship: You will solemnly recite the Oath of Citizenship, solidifying your commitment to Canada.
- Receive Your Citizenship Certificate: You will be presented with your citizenship certificate, a concrete testament to your Canadian citizenship.
- Affix Your Signature to the Oath or Affirmation of Citizenship Form: You will sign the Oath or Affirmation of Citizenship form, further confirming your pledge to uphold the values of Canada.
- Sing the National Anthem, "O Canada": Together with your fellow participants, you will have the opportunity to sing the national anthem, "O Canada," celebrating your new status as Canadian citizens.
Types of Canadian Citizenship Ceremonies
Standard ceremoniesA typical in-person ceremony takes place in a designated ceremony room at the local office, or alternatively, at an off-site location chosen when the local office's ceremony room is either unavailable or unsuitable. Conversely, a standard Canadian citizenship oath ceremony virtual is conducted through online platforms employing video conference meeting software.
Enhanced ceremoniesAn enhanced ceremony is conducted when it incorporates one or more of the following elements:
- Involvement of external partners or host organizations, including non-profit groups, educational institutions, or government entities.
- Special guest appearances, featuring figures like organizational presidents, school principals, or special performers, such as poets, singers, dancers, and Indigenous artists.
- The presence of high-ranking officials like the prime minister, the minister of IRCC, the governor-general, lieutenant governors, or commissioners of territories.
- The inclusion of a designated speaker, with the exclusion of elected officials, veterans, RCMP members, CAF members, and Indigenous speakers.
- A reception, exclusively applicable to in-person ceremonies, provides an additional celebratory aspect to the event.
Private ceremoniesPrivate ceremonies can be arranged under specific circumstances, which include:
- The issuance of a special grant under subsection 5(4) (special cases) of the Citizenship Act.
- Cases involving terminally ill candidates who are unable to travel.
- Other situations that are deemed urgent or involve extenuating circumstances.
Reaffirmation ceremoniesA reaffirmation ceremony is an official occasion where Canadian citizens reiterate the Canadian citizenship oath of citizenship, reaffirming their dedication to Canada. It's open to anyone who wishes to organize such an event in their community, workplace, or school. Importantly, the individual responsible for leading the group in reciting the citizenship oath does not need approval from the Registrar of Citizenship to fulfill this role. This individual can include a citizenship judge, a recipient of the Order of Canada, a school principal, or a community group leader.
Video oath ceremony (virtual Canadian citizenship ceremony)For successful Canadian citizenship applications, the majority of applicants will receive an invitation to participate in a video oath ceremony, often referred to as a virtual Canadian citizenship ceremony. The invitation will provide you with essential information, including:
- The scheduled date and time of your ceremony.
- Instructions on how to request a reschedule of the oath ceremony, if necessary.
- A list of items to bring with you to the ceremony.
- If you included an email address in your application, they will send the invitation to that email. Add email addresses ending in "@cic.gc.ca" to your email's list of safe senders to ensure you don't miss emails. Check your junk or spam folder if you do not find their message in your inbox.
- If they do not have your email address, their agent will attempt to contact you via phone. Please be aware that the call may appear as an "Unknown caller" in your caller ID or a number originating from outside of Canada. To ensure you don't miss the calls, answering your phone when you see these numbers is essential. After you've responded to the phone call, they will mail you the invitation.