Canadian Birth Certificates

If you are from Canada and you are trying to get your green card you will need a specific copy of your birth certificate. You may be asking, “Which birth certificate will the USCIS accept for Canadian citizens?” or “Where to I get a copy of my Canadian birth certificate for a green card?” The following is a guide that will help you know which type of birth certificate is preferred by the USCIS and will be accepted with a green card, legal permanent residency application.

Every year tens of thousands of Canadian born immigrants go through the immigration process in the United States. At SimpleCitizen, we are proud of the fact that a large percentage of our customers are hail from the Maple Leaf. Our friends from Canada enjoy special rules when obtaining visas, green cards and citizenship. Although some of the special rules make it easier for Canadian citizens to come to the United States they can cause some confusion as Canadians try to submit green card or citizenship applications.
An essential and required piece of the green card application is a copy of the applicant’s birth certificate. This requirement is the source of a lot of confusion for Canadians trying to prepare an Adjustment of Status application for Legal Permanent Residency. Birth certificates in Canada are issued by the individual Province or Territory where the birth took place. There are basically three types of birth certificates that can be issued:

The Short Form or Small

USCIS Not Acceptable Birth Certificate Canada

This certificate is printed on a small card. It is usually the size of a standard driver’s license and small enough to fit in a wallet (9.5 x 6.4 cm / 2.5 x 3.75 in). These certificates are not accepted by the USCIS or the DHS because they do not have required information such as the names of parents.

The Long Form, Large or Full-size

Acceptable Birth Certificate Canada USCIS

This certificate is a printed copy from the records of the province. It is usually on “currency-style paper stock” with intaglio border (21.6 x 17.8 cm / 7 x 8.25 in). These certificates are accepted by the USCIS and the DHS.


Alberta

Alberta

If you were born in Alberta you need to attach a copy of your “large sized” certificate. If you don’t have a copy you can work with the Alberta Vital Statistics using a private Alberta Registry Agent. If you need information on official Registry Agents they are available online.

British Columbia

British-Columbia

If you were born in British Columbia you need to attach a copy of your “large” certificate. If you don’t have a copy you can request one from the Vital Statistics Agency. They have offices in Victoria and Vancouver. You can also access copies through British Columbia Government Agents throughout the province. If you need information on official Government Agents, locations of Vital Statistics offices or mail-order instructions they are available online.

Manitoba

Manitoba

If you were born in Manitoba you need to include a copy of your “large” certificate. If you don’t have a copy you can obtain one from the Vital Statistics Agency. They have offices in Winnipeg (254 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, 204-945-3701). If you need more information or mail-order instructions they are available online.

New Brunswick

New-Brunswick

If you were born in New Brunswick your immigration paperwork should include a copy of your “long-form certified copies” birth certificate. If you don’t have a copy you can obtain one from the Vital Statistics Office. Their office is located in Fredericton (435 King Street, Suite 203, tel: 506-453-2385). If you need more information or mail-order instructions they are available online.

Newfoundland and Labrador

New-Foundland-New

If you were born in Newfoundland and Labrador you need to attach a copy of your “long-form certificates” birth certificate. If you don’t have a copy you can obtain one from the Vital Statistics Division. Their office is located in St. John’s (5 Mews Place, tel: 709-729-3308). You can also request a copy via one of the Government Service Center locations around the province. If you need more information, locations or mail-order instructions they are available online.

Northwest Territories

New-Territories

If you were born in Northwest Territories you need to make a copy of your “restricted photocopy” or “framing” birth certificate. If you don’t have a copy you can obtain one from the Registrar General of Vital Statistics. Their office is the Registrar General of Vital Statistics in the Inuvik Office of the Department of Health and Social Services ( tel: 867-777-7420). You can also request a copy via mail written to:Registrar General of Vital Statistics, Government of the NWT, Bag 9 (107 MacKenzie Road/IDC Building, second floor), Inuvik, NT, X0A 0T0 (fax: 867-777-3197).

Nova Scotia

Nova-Scotia

If you were born in Nova Scotia your immigration paperwork should include a copy of your “large” birth certificate. If you don’t have a copy you can obtain one from the Vital Statistics Office. Their office is in Halifax (Joseph Howe Building, 1690 Hollis Street., ground floor, tel:902-424-4381). If you need more information or how to order via mail they are available online.

Nunavut

Nunavut

If you were born in Nunavut you need to attach a copy of your “large” birth certificate. If you don’t have a copy you can obtain a certified copy from the Vital Statistics Division. Their office is based out of the Kivalliq Regional Office of the Department of Health and Social Services (tel:867-645-2171). You can also request one via mail by writing to: Social Services, Bag 3 RSO Building, Rankin Inlet, NU, X0C 0G0 (fax: 867-645-2580).

  • Note: Before April 1, 1999 Nunavut was part of the Northwest Territories. So if you were born in the Nunavut region of Northwest Territories before 1999, you should request your birth certificate from the Northwest Territories Registrar General of Vital Statistics.

Ontario

Ontario

If you were born in Ontario you need to attach a copy of your “large” birth certificate. If you don’t have a copy you can obtain a certified one from the Office of the Registrar General. Their office is located in Toronto (Macdonald Block, 900 Bay Street, second floor, tel: 416-325-8305). You can also request a copy via one of the Ontario Land Registry Offices and Government Information Centers located throughout the province. If you need more information, locations or mail-order instructions they are available online.

Prince Edward Island

Prince-Edward-Island

If you were born in Prince Edward Island and are completing your immigration paperwork you need to attach a copy of your “framing size” birth certificate. If you don’t have a copy you can obtain a certified copy from the Office of Vital Statistics. Their office is located in Montague (126 Douses Road, tel:902-838-0080). There is also an office in Charlottetown (16 Garfield Street, tel:902-368-6185). If you need more information, locations or mail-order instructions they are available online.

Quebec

Quebec

If you were born in Quebec you should attach a copy of your “certified copies of an act” birth certificate. If you don’t have a copy you can obtain a certified copy from the Direction de l’ Etat Civil. Their office is located in Montreal (2050, rue de Bleury, sixth floor, tel:514-864-3900). There is also an office in Quebec City (2535, boulevard Laurier, Ground Floor, Sainte-Foy, tel:418-643-3900; fax:418-646-3255). If you need more information, locations or mail-order instructions they are available online.

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan

If you were born in Saskatchewan you should attach a certified copy of your “frame” birth certificate. If you don’t have a copy of this birth certificate you can request a copy of a registration from the Vital Statistics Office in Regina (1942 Hamilton Street, tel:306-787-3251).

Yukon Territory

Yukon-Territory

If you were born in the Yukon Territory you should obtain a copy of your “large” birth certificate. If you don’t have one you can request certified copies of a registration from the Vital Statistics Agency in Whitehorse (204 Lambert Street, fourth floor, tel: 867-667-5207) or a Yukon Territorial Agent. Further information, including mail-order instructions, is available online.

Hopefully this article has helped you understand exactly what Canadian documents you need to prepare and where you can find them when tackling immigration paperwork. Please share this article if you know someone from Canada that can use SimpleCitizen.