Births in Canada of Children of Foreign Representatives

Repealed on August 31, 2012

Circular Note No. XDC-0543 of March 22, 2010

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (Office of Protocol) presents its compliments to Their Excellencies the Heads of Diplomatic Missions and Chargés d'affaires, a.i., and Heads of International Organizations accredited to Canada, and has the honour to remind them of Canada's existing policy concerning the births of children of accredited foreign representatives on bilateral and multilateral postings in Canada. This Note supersedes all previous Circular Notes concerning this subject.

It would be greatly appreciated if the content of this note could be quickly brought to the attention of all personnel on assignment in Canada.

Mandatory Notification of Births

When a child of a foreign representative is born in Canada, the mission or international organization is required to notify his/her name 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.

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).

Are Children of Foreign Representatives, born in Canada, Canadian Citizens by Birth?

Children born in Canada of foreign representatives enjoying special status under theForeign Missions and International Organizations Act (FMIOA) and covered by section 3(2) of the Citizenship Act do not acquire citizenship by virtue of their birth and thus are not entitled to a Canadian Passport. The text of the above section is found in Appendix A of this Note. While such children would normally hold a provincial birth certificate, it is important to note that a birth certificate does not confer any rights of citizenship and does no more than provide evidence of the circumstances of birth in Canada.

The Department reminds Heads of Mission and International Organizations that, as citizenship is not accorded to children born in Canada falling under subsection 3(2) of theCitizenship Act, they and/or their parents acting on their behalf must not apply for a Canadian Passport or a Canadian Citizenship Card, which would be considered unacceptable conduct.

However, like with 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.

Contact Information

For inquiries about this Note, missions and international organizations can contact the Immigration and Citizenship Liaison Officer in the Department's Office of Protocol at 613-992-0889. Also, 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, missions and international organizations must contact the above liaison officer in order to discuss steps to surrender the Canadian Passport.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (Office of Protocol) avails itself of this opportunity to renew to Their Excellencies the Heads of Diplomatic Missions and Chargés d'affaires, a.i. accredited to Canada, and Heads of International Organizations accredited to Canada, the assurances of its highest consideration.

Ottawa, March 22, 2010

Part I of the Citizenship Act

The Right to Citizenship


  1. Subject to this Act, a person is a citizen if:
    • the person was born in Canada after February 14, 1977;
    • the person was born outside Canada after February 14, 1977 and at the time of his birth one of his parents, other than a parent who adopted him, was a citizen;
    • the person has been granted or acquired citizenship pursuant to section 5 or 11 and, in the case of a person who is fourteen years of age or over on the day that he is granted citizenship, he has taken the oath of citizenship;
    • the person was a citizen immediately before February 15, 1977; or
    • the person was entitled, immediately before February 15, 1977, to become a citizen under paragraph 5(1)(b) of the former Act.
  2. Paragraph (1)(a) does not apply to a person if, at the time of his birth, neither of his parents was a citizen or lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence and either of his parents was:
    • a diplomatic or consular officer or other representative or employee in Canada of a foreign government;
    • an employee in the service of a person referred to in paragraph (a); or
    • an officer or employee in Canada of a specialized agency of the United Nations or an officer or employee in Canada of any other international organization to whom there are granted, by or under any Act of Parliament, diplomatic privileges and immunities certified by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to be equivalent to those granted to a person or persons referred to in paragraph (a).