Can I Have My Canadian Citizenship Ceremony in My City or Town? A Guide to Eligibility, Location Options, and Planning Tips.

Can I Have My Canadian Citizenship Ceremony in My City or Town? A Guide to Eligibility, Location Options, and Planning Tips.

1. The Importance of Canadian Citizenship Ceremonies

Canadian Citizenship Ceremonies are a significant milestone for newcomers as they officially become Canadian citizens. These ceremonies celebrate the unity of Canada’s diverse cultural landscape, and they are a momentous occasion for those who have chosen to call Canada their new home. As the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, has stated, “Canadian citizenship is more than just a legal status, it is the final step in the immigration journey and a celebration of the values, rights and responsibilities that unite us all as Canadians.”

The Purpose of this Article

The aim of this article is to provide a comprehensive and easy-to-read guide for individuals who are curious about whether they can have their Canadian citizenship ceremony in their city or town. We will delve into the details of the citizenship ceremony process and explore the different factors that determine the location of these ceremonies.

2. Understanding Citizenship Ceremonies

What is a Citizenship Ceremony?

A Citizenship Ceremony is a formal event where eligible permanent residents of Canada take the Oath of Citizenship and receive their Certificate of Canadian Citizenship. During the ceremony, new citizens pledge their allegiance to Canada and its values, thereby officially becoming Canadian citizens. Citizenship ceremonies are organized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and are presided over by a citizenship judge or a designated official.

The Role of Citizenship Ceremonies in the Naturalization Process

The Citizenship Ceremony is the final step in the naturalization process, which involves meeting eligibility requirements, submitting a citizenship application, and successfully completing a citizenship test or interview. After completing all these steps, a prospective citizen is invited to attend a citizenship ceremony where they take the Oath of Citizenship and receive their Certificate of Canadian Citizenship, signifying their official status as a Canadian citizen. The ceremony is an important rite of passage and serves to welcome new citizens into the Canadian family.


  1. Government of Canada. “Minister Mendicino Announces More Canadians to be Reunited with their New Citizen Family Members.”
  2. Government of Canada. “Prepare for the Citizenship Ceremony.”
  3. Government of Canada. “Apply for Citizenship.”

3. Eligibility for a Citizenship Ceremony

Requirements to Attend a Citizenship Ceremony

In order to attend a Citizenship Ceremony, an individual must first meet the eligibility requirements for Canadian citizenship. These requirements include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Permanent resident status: The applicant must have permanent resident status in Canada and must not be under review for immigration or fraud reasons.
  2. Time spent in Canada: The applicant must have been physically present in Canada for at least 1,095 days within the 5 years prior to submitting the application.
  3. Language proficiency: The applicant must demonstrate proficiency in either English or French, the official languages of Canada.
  4. Knowledge of Canada: The applicant must pass a citizenship test or interview, which assesses their knowledge of Canada’s history, values, institutions, and symbols, as well as their rights and responsibilities as citizens.
  5. Income tax filing: The applicant must have filed income taxes (if required) for at least 3 years within the 5-year period before applying for citizenship.

Once the applicant has met all the eligibility requirements and their application has been approved, they will be invited to attend a Citizenship Ceremony.

Receiving an Invitation to a Ceremony

After the successful completion of the citizenship application process, including passing the citizenship test or interview, the candidate will receive a Notice to Appear. This notice will provide the date, time, and location of the Citizenship Ceremony they are required to attend. It is important to carefully review the notice and follow the instructions provided. If there are any conflicts or issues with attending the scheduled ceremony, the applicant must contact the IRCC as soon as possible to discuss their situation and explore alternative options.

It is essential to respond to the Notice to Appear promptly, as failure to attend the ceremony without a valid reason may result in a delay or denial of Canadian citizenship.


  1. Government of Canada. “Eligibility for Citizenship.”
  2. Government of Canada. “Prepare for the Citizenship Ceremony.”

4. Citizenship Ceremony Locations

Types of Citizenship Ceremony Locations

Citizenship ceremonies in Canada can take place in various locations, depending on factors such as the size of the ceremony, the availability of facilities, and the current public health guidelines. There are two main types of citizenship ceremony locations:

  • In-Person Ceremonies

In-person ceremonies are traditional events that take place in various locations across Canada, such as government buildings, community centers, schools, or other public spaces. These ceremonies are organized by the IRCC and are presided over by a citizenship judge or a designated official. Participants attend the ceremony with their families and friends, and they may be joined by other new citizens, local dignitaries, or community representatives.

  • Virtual Ceremonies

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRCC introduced virtual citizenship ceremonies as an alternative to in-person events. These ceremonies are conducted through video conferencing platforms and allow participants to take the Oath of Citizenship from the comfort of their homes. Virtual ceremonies are an accessible option for those who may have difficulty attending an in-person event due to health concerns, travel restrictions, or other personal circumstances.

Factors Affecting Ceremony Locations

Several factors influence the location of a citizenship ceremony. These factors help the IRCC determine the most suitable and accessible venue for each event:

  • Population Density

Areas with higher concentrations of new citizens may have more frequent ceremonies, which could increase the likelihood of having a ceremony in a specific city or town. Conversely, rural areas with fewer new citizens may have less frequent ceremonies, which could require participants to travel to a nearby city or town to attend an event.

  • Accessibility

The IRCC aims to ensure that citizenship ceremonies are accessible to all new citizens, regardless of their physical abilities or location. As a result, ceremony locations are often chosen based on their proximity to public transportation, availability of parking, and wheelchair accessibility.

  • Availability of Government Facilities

The availability of suitable government facilities, such as town halls, community centers, or schools, plays a significant role in determining the location of citizenship ceremonies. The IRCC collaborates with local government authorities to secure appropriate venues for these events.

  • Special Circumstances

In some cases, special circumstances may warrant the organization of a citizenship ceremony in a specific city or town. These could include a large influx of new citizens in a particular area or a unique event that celebrates the local community’s diversity and cultural heritage.


  1. Government of Canada. “Prepare for the Citizenship Ceremony.”
  2. Government of Canada. “Citizenship: COVID-19 program delivery.”

5. Requesting a Ceremony in Your City or Town

If you would like to request a citizenship ceremony in your city or town, there are several steps you can take to explore this possibility:

Contacting the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

The first step in requesting a citizenship ceremony in your city or town is to contact the IRCC. You can do this by reaching out to their Client Support Centre via phone or email. When contacting the IRCC, be prepared to provide information about your citizenship application, such as your application number, as well as details about your preferred ceremony location.

Submitting a Request for a Local Ceremony

After contacting the IRCC, you may be asked to submit a formal request for a local citizenship ceremony. This request should include your reasons for wanting a ceremony in your city or town and any relevant information about the community or facilities that could accommodate the event. Be sure to include your contact information so that the IRCC can follow up with you regarding your request.

Evaluating the Feasibility of Your Request

The IRCC will evaluate your request for a local citizenship ceremony based on several factors, such as the number of new citizens in your area, the availability of suitable facilities, and the existing schedule of ceremonies in nearby locations. It is important to keep in mind that the IRCC may not be able to accommodate all requests for local ceremonies, especially in areas with lower populations of new citizens or limited access to appropriate venues. However, the IRCC will strive to make the citizenship ceremony experience as accessible and inclusive as possible for all new Canadians.

Remember that while it is not guaranteed that the IRCC will be able to organize a citizenship ceremony in your city or town, submitting a request and providing relevant information can help the department assess the need for ceremonies in different locations and potentially influence future decisions.

6. Planning for Your Citizenship Ceremony

Preparing for the Ceremony

As you approach the date of your citizenship ceremony, it’s essential to prepare adequately to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some key steps to consider:

  1. Review the Notice to Appear: Carefully read the information provided in your Notice to Appear, including the date, time, and location of your ceremony. Ensure you understand any additional instructions, such as what documents to bring or how to dress.
  2. Gather required documents: Bring your permanent resident card, Notice to Appear, and any other required identification or documents to the ceremony.
  3. Plan your transportation: Determine how you will get to the ceremony location, whether by public transportation, driving, or arranging a ride with friends or family.
  4. Dress appropriately: Citizenship ceremonies are formal events, so dress in business or business casual attire.

What to Expect at the Ceremony

Upon arrival at your citizenship ceremony, you can expect the following:

  1. Registration: You will be required to register and submit your required documents for verification.
  2. Ceremony proceedings: The ceremony will typically begin with the singing of the national anthem, followed by speeches from the presiding official and other special guests.
  3. Taking the Oath of Citizenship: You will be asked to stand and recite the Oath of Citizenship, either in English or French, along with the other new citizens.
  4. Receiving your Certificate of Canadian Citizenship: After taking the Oath, you will receive your Certificate of Canadian Citizenship from the presiding official.
  5. Closing remarks: The ceremony may conclude with closing remarks and additional speeches, followed by a reception or celebration.

Tips for a Smooth and Enjoyable Experience

To make the most of your citizenship ceremony, consider the following tips:

  1. Arrive early: Give yourself plenty of time to arrive, register, and get settled before the ceremony begins.
  2. Bring family and friends: Share this special occasion with your loved ones, as their support and presence will make the experience even more memorable.
  3. Take photos: Capture the moment with photos of yourself, your family, and other new citizens to commemorate the event.
  4. Network with other new citizens: Use this opportunity to meet other new Canadians and share your experiences and stories.

7. Alternative Options for Citizenship Ceremonies

If you cannot attend a citizenship ceremony in your city or town, there are alternative options to consider:

Participating in a Group Ceremony

Group ceremonies bring together multiple new citizens and their families for a joint celebration. These events are often held in larger cities or metropolitan areas and can accommodate a greater number of participants. The IRCC organizes these ceremonies to provide an inclusive and celebratory experience for new Canadians.

Attending a Ceremony in a Neighboring City or Town

If there are no citizenship ceremonies scheduled in your city or town, consider attending a ceremony in a neighboring city or town. This may require additional travel, but it can still provide you with the opportunity to participate in a traditional, in-person event. Reach out to the IRCC to inquire about ceremonies in nearby locations and any available accommodations that might be necessary for your attendance.

Virtual Citizenship Ceremonies

As mentioned earlier, virtual citizenship ceremonies were introduced as an alternative to in-person events during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you cannot attend an in-person ceremony due to health concerns, travel restrictions, or other personal circumstances, a virtual ceremony offers a flexible and accessible option. These ceremonies are conducted through video conferencing platforms, allowing participants to take the Oath of Citizenship from the comfort of their homes. To participate in a virtual ceremony, you will need to contact the IRCC to express your interest and verify your eligibility.


  1. Government of Canada. “Prepare for the Citizenship Ceremony.”
  2. Government of Canada. “Citizenship: COVID-19 program delivery.”

8. Embracing Your New Canadian Citizenship

As you prepare to become a Canadian citizen, it’s essential to recognize and embrace the values and responsibilities that come with your new status. Canadian citizenship signifies a commitment to upholding democratic principles, respecting the rights and freedoms of all individuals, and contributing positively to your community and the country as a whole. By participating in a citizenship ceremony, you are taking a meaningful step toward fully integrating into Canadian society and celebrating the diverse and inclusive nation that Canada represents.

The Significance of the Citizenship Ceremony Experience

The citizenship ceremony is a significant milestone in your journey to becoming a Canadian citizen. It serves as a formal recognition of your new status and offers an opportunity to publicly commit to your new country and its values. Whether you attend a ceremony in your city or town, participate in a group event, or take part in a virtual ceremony, the experience is a powerful and memorable moment in your life.

Remember that the location of your citizenship ceremony, while important, is ultimately secondary to the greater significance of the event. Regardless of where your ceremony takes place, the most important aspect is the commitment you make to your new country and the pride you take in becoming a Canadian citizen.


  1. Government of Canada. “Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship.”