The birth in Canada of children of foreign representatives

Know about citizenship rules

This webpage, which supersedes the Department's Circular Note XDC-0543 of March 22, 2010, was created as a result of Canadian law.

Are children of foreign representatives, born in Canada, Canadian citizens, simply by birth?

1. Mandatory notification of births by bilateral missions and international organizations

When a child of a foreign representative is born in Canada, the mission or international organization is required to notify his/her name in writing to the Office of Protocol, along with a copy of the Live Statement of Birth or other relevant documentation. This should be done within thirty (30) days of the birth. It is not necessary to notify the birth when the father or mother is a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada at moment of birth as the child is himself or herself Canadian.

Missions and international organizations should also submit a request for the accreditation of the newborn as soon as possible, along with a copy of the Long Form Birth Certificate (Certified).

Why is it important to notify the birth so quickly?

  • The notification of birth to the Office of Protocol is essential in order to avoid complications and practical concerns regarding the beginning of entitlement of status under the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act and to ensure that corresponding privileges and immunities, and provincial benefits where applicable, can be administered appropriately.

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2. Applying for a Canadian passport for a child born in Canada who did not acquire Canadian citizenship: The role of Heads of Mission and international organizations

The Department reminds Heads of Diplomatic Missions and Heads of International Organizations that, as citizenship is not accorded to children born in Canada covered by subsection 3(2) of the Citizenship Act, they and/or their accredited parents acting on their behalf must not apply for a Canadian Passport or a Canadian Citizenship Card. As such application may be regarded by the Department as misconduct, if not an act of fraud, it is important that all foreign representatives be properly informed of the above prior to their posting or during their first installation in Canada.

What should a parent do if he/she obtained a Canadian passport for a child born in Canada who did not acquire Canadian citizenship?

  • In the case of any child who has previously been issued a Canadian Passport and who is not a Canadian citizen by birth or was erroneously advised that he/she is a Canadian citizen by birth, Diplomatic Missions and International Organizations should not be afraid to report it to, and seek help from, the Office of Protocol. Such office will clarify the steps required to surrender the Canadian Passport.

Does a birth certificate confer the right of citizenship?

  • While children born in Canada of foreign representatives would normally obtain a provincial birth certificate, such birth certificate does not confer any rights of citizenship and does no more than provide evidence of the circumstances of birth in Canada.

Can children born of foreign representatives be naturalized Canadian citizens?

  • As in the case of other foreign nationals not holding Canadian citizenship, children born in Canada of foreign representatives who are not Canadians by birth and no longer accredited may eventually be naturalized Canadian citizens, subject to relevant provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and once the residency obligations as set out in section 5 of the Citizenship Act are met.

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3. Contact information

The Office of Protocol is committed to providing excellent client support in the manner that is most convenient to diplomatic missions and international organizations, including in person.

For inquiries about Canada’s policy on the births in Canada of children born in Canada of foreign representatives, Diplomatic Missions and International Organizations can contact the Office of Protocol by way of: