Due to COVID-19, IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) cancelled all in-person citizenship ceremonies, inviting applicants to video Oath ceremonies instead.
This article presents the detailed steps regarding the Virtual Canadian Citizenship Ceremony (Video Oath Ceremony). Be prepared!
The virtual Oath ceremony will take about one hour, including registration, the ceremony itself and post-ceremony instructions.
An official and a clerk from IRCC will oversee the video ceremony and administer the oath.
How IRCC invites you for your ceremony
IRCC will contact the email address or phone number you gave in your application. If your contact information changed, tell them using their web form.
You need to be in Canada to take the Oath of Citizenship. If you get your invitation while you’re outside Canada, reply to the invitation email to explain your situation in detail.
In your email:
– Put “Outside Canada – Oath of Citizenship” in the subject line
– In the body of your message, include: your full name, your application number, a detailed explanation of your situation.
IRCC will contact you with your next steps after they receive your email.
Language of your ceremony
IRCC will tell you if your ceremony will be mostly in English, mostly in French, or bilingual.
IRCC doesn’t state any strict dress code but you should dress respectfully.
You can wear traditional or religious clothing, but you might need to remove any face coverings if they need to identify you at some point during your virtual ceremony.
IRCC asks for you to be in a quiet room for the Zoom call, free of noise and/or distractions.
Your head and shoulders should be visible.
If you use a hand-held device, it should be stable.
How to attend the video oath ceremony
You’ll attend the video oath ceremony via a Zoom videoconference call.
IRCC will provide all the details of the citizenship ceremony in an invitation letter. It will include the date, time, Zoom link and log-in instructions.
IRCC will also send you a form to sign after you have taken the oath.
What to bring
You’ll need a number of documents such as:
● Your permanent residence card, whether it’s expired or not.
● Your landing papers or Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR).
● Two pieces of ID, unless you’re under 18:
– one piece of ID must have your photograph and signature (minors are not required to show identification with a signature).
– foreign ID documents must be government-issued, Canadian ones don’t need to be government-issued.
– if they’re not in English or French, you must provide a translation with an affidavit from the translator.
● A signed copy of the Permission Release and Consent form (included with the notice).
● Optional: a holy book, of your choice, if you want to use one to swear the Oath of Citizenship.
● Scissors to cut up your permanent residence card on-screen in front of the clerk.
● A printed, unsigned copy of the Oath or Affirmation of Citizenship form and a pen, if you wish to sign the oath on paper.
Get ready before your ceremony Zoom time
✔ Close all other applications.
✔ Make sure your Wi-Fi is correctly working.
✔ Check your computer camera and microphone.
✔ Have the Zoom application open.
Login into your Zoom ceremony
► Type in the meeting ID and the password and wait for the host to start the meeting.
► The administrator will ask for your last name, and will give you a seat number which is the Zoom Breakout Room number that you will be put in (a Breakout Room in Zoom is simply a sub-room, a session that is split off from the main Zoom meeting to allow the participants to meet in smaller groups).
Breakout Room: before the oath
An IRCC clerk will join you in your breakout room, and ask for your full name.
You will need to confirm that you are physically present in Canada, and whether you will be signing the oath form on paper or electronically.
The clerk will ask you a few questions, for example if they are any situations that may prevent you from becoming a citizen today or if you have been in trouble with the law or immigration in the past 5 years.
You will be asked for your pieces of ID and Permanent Resident card.
The clerk will provide some instructions, and ask if you have any questions.
The clerk will leave the Breakout Room and you will have to wait in that room until connected to the main room when the oath ceremony begins.
• If you get disconnected, you can re-join using the same link / meeting ID and password.
• If your video freezes before or after the oath, try to click on “Stop Video” and then “Start Video”.
• If your video freezes while taking the oath, the officer will send you a direct message on Zoom and ask you to restart the video.
Oath Ceremony : main session
A clerk will provide instructions again:
– Keep phone volume low or in silent mode.
– You don’t have to stand during the ceremony.
– You cannot take any pictures of the ceremony or record it
– Pictures will be allowed with the judge after the oath ceremony in your breakout room.
The clerk will announce that the citizenship ceremony is now in session and read a standard opening line.
The judge will then take over and welcome the group to the ceremony and make a little opening speech.
The clerk will read some instructions and will ask everyone to unmute their microphones, raise their right hand and repeat the oath after the clerk.
Many people will take the oath with you. The ceremony official will say the oath in English and in French, and as a group, you will all repeat the words after the official. You must repeat the oath in at least one of the official languages.
You can swear or affirm the oath. Swearing is for people who want to refer to their religious beliefs, so if you want to swear the oath on your holy book, bring it with you. Affirming is for people who don’t want to refer to religious text.
Prepare to say the oath and sing the anthem
They will give you the words to the oath and the anthem at the ceremony, but you can practice beforehand to prepare for the ceremony.
Oath of Citizenship – English
I swear (or affirm)
That I will be faithful
And bear true allegiance
To Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth the Second
Queen of Canada
Her Heirs and Successors
And that I will faithfully observe
The laws of Canada
Including the Constitution
Which recognizes and affirms
The Aboriginal and treaty rights of
First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples
And fulfil my duties
As a Canadian citizen.
Oath of Citizenship – French: Le serment de citoyenneté
Je jure (ou j’affirme solennellement)
Que je serai fidèle
Et porterai sincère allégeance
À Sa Majesté
La reine Elizabeth Deux
Reine du Canada
À ses héritiers et successeurs
Que j’observerai fidèlement
Les lois du Canada
Y compris la Constitution
Qui reconnaît et confirme les droits
Ancestraux ou issus de traités
Des Premières Nations, des Inuits et des Métis
Et que je remplirai loyalement
De citoyen canadien.
National Anthem – “O Canada” – Bilingual English first version
O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all of us command.
Car ton bras sait porter l’épée,
Il sait porter la croix!
Ton histoire est une épopée
Des plus brillants exploits.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
At the end, the judge will give his closing remark, the clerk will declare the citizenship ceremony officially over and you will have to wait in your Breakout Room for further administrative instructions.
Breakout Room: after the oath
The clerk will ask you to cut your Permanent Resident card in 4 pieces in front of your camera.
The clerk will confirm your address and postal code, so that they can send you your citizenship certificate.
The clerk will ask you if you have your landing papers or COPR, and ask you to write “holder is no longer a permanent resident” on it.
You might be asked whether you want to take a photo with the judge.
After the Ceremony
Once you have signed the Oath or Affirmation of Citizenship form (on paper or electronically), you must e-mail it to IRCC immediately (within 2 days). If you printed and signed the form, you will need to scan the signed copy and email it in.
Once they have received your signed Oath or Affirmation of Citizenship form, you will be sent your paper citizenship certificate by regular mail within 2 to 4 weeks. It will show the date that you became a citizen.
Keep it in a safe place!
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