Laminating Your Canadian Citizenship Certificate Can Lead To Issues

22 Mar 2023

Came across this interesting story on CTV recently. Peter Jones of Fredriction, New Brunswick applied for a new Canadian passport in June of this year. He presented his Canadian citizenship certificate as part of the process, but because he laminated the old and weathered document, he was denied. Although Jones used the laminated certificate to obtain a new passport in 2008, he was told that it can no longer be used. Technically – laminating the document voids it. It was an inconvenient issue, made even more inconvenient because he had already booked his flight to England for a highly emotional reason.

“I’m taking my dad’s ashes back to Portsmouth,” he said. “My mom was from Horndean, Portsmouth. She passed away in 1992 and dad took her back two years later. So we decided to take my dad back and they’re going to be buried in the same church that they were married in.”

Halifax immigration lawyer Lee Cohen finds Mr. Jones’ situation peculiar, but not abnormal. He’s never had a client or potential client have an issue obtaining a passport or other government documentation because of lamination. His advice is to not tamper with your certificate in any way and to store it in a safe place, without any modification, until the government needs it. This includes bending it, folding it, or even creasing it. The citizenship certificate’s sole purpose is to prove Canadian citizenship, and any alteration can void it, at the discretion of the government agent reviewing it. It was an unfortunate situation for Mr. Jones, especially considering he’s been a citizen for 42 years.