The Canadian Citizenship Ceremony: What you need to know
This video is also available in HD on YouTube where you can leave a comment, share it on your social network or embed it into your site.
Transcript: “The Canadian Citizenship Ceremony: What you need to know”
Video length: 10:42 minutes
Date: March 5, 2015[music intro]
Canadian flag waves in the background.
The text “The Canadian Citizenship Ceremony – What You Need to Know – Information for candidates for citizenship” is shown on screen.
A woman sits at a kitchen table with paperwork and a laptop. She scrolls through the Citizenship and Immigration website.
Narrator: Your big day is fast approaching. Soon, you will become a Canadian citizen. Like thousands of others who now call Canada “home,” you will officially be Canadian when you attend your citizenship ceremony and take your oath of citizenship.
Video cuts to a room full of seated people ready to take the oath of citizenship.
Video displays a few shots of the citizenship candidates. Some of whom are holding Canadian flags. A judge seated at a desk at the head of the room presides over the ceremony.
Video cuts back to the room full of standing people taking the oath of citizenship.
Narrator: This video will tell you all about the Canadian citizenship ceremony. You will learn how to prepare for the ceremony, what happens at the ceremony, how to take the oath of citizenship and what you need to do after you become a citizen.
Several candidates are seen participating in the ceremony and receiving their paperwork.
Narrator: One important note: ceremonies are not all the same. This video gives you a good overview, but keep in mind that your ceremony may be slightly different.
A screen shot of this video being played on the Citizenship and Immigration web site is displayed.
Narrator: It will take about 10 minutes to watch the video. Remember that you can press pause if you want to take notes and play to continue viewing.
Video cuts to a Canadian flag waving in the background. The text: “What is a Citizenship Ceremony?” is displayed.
A citizenship ceremony is shown. People of diverse backgrounds interact with Citizenship and Immigration staff and participate in the ceremony. Some are holding Canadian flags, passports and other identification.
Narrator: Let’s get started. Citizenship and Immigration Canada or CIC organizes every citizenship ceremony. The ceremony is your formal entry into the Canadian family. This is when you accept the responsibilities and privileges that come with being a Canadian citizen.
Wide shots of the citizenship ceremony are shown.
Narrator: The citizenship ceremony is legally and symbolically important. Applicants like you officially become a citizen after taking and signing the oath of citizenship.
Video cuts to shots of families, teenagers and children. Some are waving Canadian flags.
The text “Candidates aged 14 or older must, attend the ceremony and take the oath of citizenship” is displayed on the screen.
Several video shots of children waving flags are displayed.
Narrator: Every person who is 14 years of age or older, and who has met the requirements of citizenship, must attend the ceremony and take the oath of citizenship. The Citizenship Act does not require new citizens under the age of 14 to take the oath, but they are welcome to attend the ceremony and receive their certificates.
Video cuts to a Canadian flag waving in the background.
Text: “Invitation and Notice to Appear” is displayed.
An image of the Notice to Appear document is shown.
Narrator: Here’s what will happen:
CIC will officially invite you to your citizenship ceremony. This invitation is a Notice to Appear to take the Oath of Citizenship.
A woman seated at a table with a laptop in front of her, examines the Notice to Appear document.
Narrator: You should receive it from CIC generally one week before the ceremony.
Close ups of the Notice to Appear document showing various fields of the document.
Narrator: The notice tells you where and when the ceremony will be held. It also tells you what records or documents you need to bring.
A woman prepares a package containing the paperwork requested by the Notice to Appear document.
The text: “Prepare your documents and records in advance” is displayed on screen.
Narrator: Be sure to prepare them in advance and have them ready to bring with you on the day.
A Canadian flag waves in the background. Images of an information sheet are shown.
Narrator: The notice may include an information sheet that provides information about the ceremony. In some locations, the number of guests could be limited.
Video cuts to a Canadian flag waving in the background.
The text: “The Big Day: Getting Ready” is displayed on the screen.
Citizenship candidates and witnesses are shown at the ceremony. They are dressed in office appropriate attire. A couple of candidates are wearing their cultural and ceremonial outfits.
Narrator: Next, it’s time to plan what you will wear to the ceremony. This is a special day, so choose something special but also suitable. Most candidates dress as they would for business or a special occasion. Some wear their ceremonial outfits.
Narrator: You may also invite family and friends to join you for the ceremony. Keep in mind that space may be limited.
A man holds a holy book.
Narrator: Some choose to bring their holy book with them to the ceremony. You can use it to take the citizenship oath.
A woman in a kitchen packs a camera into a bag.
Narrator: Many people choose to bring a camera. Be sure to pack yours if you want to capture the memories of the day.
Background changes to people taking videos and photos of the ceremony.
Narrator: Photographs can be taken during the ceremony, and there are usually opportunities for pictures with the presiding official after the ceremony too.
Narrator: Sometimes, the media as well as members of the public attend the ceremony and may take pictures or video.
A man signs a release form at a table in front of a Citizenship and Immigration official.
Narrator: CIC staff will ask you to sign a permission release form. If you do not want to be photographed by the media, please inform CIC.
Video cuts to a Canadian flag waving in the background.
The text: “The Big Day: The Ceremony” is displayed on the screen.
A woman and her children get ready to leave their home.
The text “Remember to bring your documents, your camera and your holy book (if you wish to use it for the oath)” is displayed on the screen.
Citizenship candidates exit a building in front of a man dressed in historical military attire playing a drum.
Narrator: The day of your citizenship ceremony has finally arrived. You’re dressed, you have your documents, your camera and your loved ones with you. Be sure to allow plenty of time to get to the ceremony location.
Citizenship candidates enter a hall.
Narrator: You should arrive at the time listed on your notice. There is no need to be there before that time.
Narrator: Most ceremonies are held in special rooms in CIC offices across Canada. Sometimes, they are held at a different location such as a school, a community centre or a museum.
Video pans a room full of empty chairs with booklets and small Canadian flags on the seats.
Video cuts to several dozen people seated in an ornate hall.
Narrator: The location is listed on your Notice to Appear.
The text: “Plan to spend two to three hours at the ceremony” is displayed on the screen.
People arrive at the hall, followed by various shots of applicants registering, sitting at the ceremony, taking pictures and at a reception.
Narrator: Plan to spend between two to three hours at the ceremony. This includes registration, the ceremony, time for pictures and sometimes a reception.
Video cuts to the ceremony, a close up of a judge on the podium then to several guest speakers.
Narrator: Usually, the ceremony lasts about 45 minutes to one hour. The length of time depends on the number of new citizens, guest speakers or special activities taking place.
Candidates line up at a registration desk and present their notices to appear and other requested documentation.
Narrator: When you arrive at the ceremony: Go to the registration desk with your Notice to Appear and other documents listed on the notice.
Candidates arrive at their chairs and review the pamphlets that were left for them on the seats.
Narrator: Now it’s time to take your seat. You will be seated in a reserved section with other citizenship candidates. Children are welcome at the ceremony.
Video displays several shots of families and children.
Narrator: Please note that, in most cases, they can only sit with their parents if they are becoming citizens. Other children must be seated with an adult in the guest seating area.
The text: “Bring a friend or family member to help with small children” is displayed on the screen.
Narrator: Also, if you have small children, plan to have a family member or friend available to take them out of the room for you if they get restless. Remember that you will need to stay in the room for the full length of the ceremony.
Narrator: Your family and friends will be seated separately. The aisles should stay clear at all times.
Shot from the back of the room show a clear aisle.
Narrator: This is to avoid disrupting the flow of the ceremony. Your guests can take photos from their seats.
People take pictures during the ceremony from their seats. The Clerk of the ceremony is shown.
Narrator: The ceremony is about to begin. This is how it will proceed. First, the clerk of the ceremony explains what will happen during the ceremony.
Platform party enters the room.
Narrator: Next, the platform party enters the room.
This group includes the presiding official, usually a citizenship judge, and any special guests.
The judge is shown making her opening remarks.
Narrator: The presiding official welcomes everyone and says a few words about the importance of the day. Special guests may also make opening remarks.
Close up shots of various candidates seated in the room during the ceremony.
Narrator: Now, it’s time for you and the other candidates to stand for the oath of citizenship.
This is the last step you will take before becoming a Canadian citizen. It’s an important moment for you and for all citizenship candidates.
Candidates are shown taking the citizenship oath holding their right hand up. Some are holding the “Becoming a Canadian Citizen” leaflet in their hands and others are holding their holy books”.
Narrator: You will take the oath from your seat. CIC officials will give you the wording to the oath. You can also practice reciting it in advance because it is printed on your notice.
Close up of the presiding judge leading the oath.
Narrator: Next, you will be asked to raise your right hand and repeat the oath in English or French and encouraged to try in both languages. This symbolic gesture shows that you are committed to respecting Canada’s two official languages: English and French.
Narrator: As you repeat the words of the oath, speak loudly and clearly.
Candidates are shown taking the oath.
Narrator: The presiding official starts the oath by saying “I swear.” You may choose to repeat the words, “I swear” or you may say, “I affirm” instead.
Candidates approach the stage at the front of the room, receive their citizenship certificates, shake hands with officials and return to their seats.
Video shows a young boy high-fiving the official after receiving his certificate then returns to his seat.
Narrator: After you have taken the oath, the clerk calls your name and you will come forward to receive your citizenship certificate. If there is any doubt that you have taken the oath, you will NOT be called forward to receive your certificate during the ceremony.
Several shots of smiles and reactions by the candidates and speakers are shown at the front of the hall.
Narrator: Now you are a Canadian citizen. Once everyone has returned to their seat, the presiding official, and special invited guests, will say a few words to congratulate you and welcome you into the Canadian family.
Narrator: We’ve now come to the final part of the ceremony.
Candidates are shown standing and singing the Canadian National Anthem. Many of them are holding Canadian flags.
Narrator: It’s time to stand up for the singing of the national anthem. This is a memorable moment. You will sing the anthem for the first time as a Canadian citizen. Sing it loudly and proudly. You may choose to sing in either official language or bilingually.
Shots of the ceremony ending and the platform party leaves.
Narrator: The ceremony ends with the departure of the presiding official.
Video changes to a Canadian flag waving in the background.
The text: “The Big Day: After the Ceremony” is displayed on the screen.
A family holds their certificates and poses for photos with the presiding official and special guests.
Narrator: After the ceremony, you will have an opportunity to take photographs with the presiding official and special guests. Some ceremonies may include a reception and you will be encouraged to stay and celebrate with other new Canadians.
Candidates mingle at a reception as they have snacks and beverages.
The text: “If your citizenship certificate has an error, tell the clerk or CIC staff” is displayed on the screen.
Narrator: Before you leave the ceremony, make sure the information on the front and back of your citizenship certificate is accurate.
The new citizens review the information on their citizenship certificates.
A close up of a sample Certificate of Citizenship is shown.
The text: “Your citizenship certificate is not an identity or a travel document” is displayed on the screen.
Narrator: Your citizenship certificate is a document that declares your legal status as a Canadian. It is not an identity or a travel document. Its only purpose is to prove that you are a Canadian citizen.
Close up of a presiding official addressing the crowd many of whom are holding and waving Canadian flags. The camera pans through the crowd.
Narrator: You will certainly be excited to get a passport. Please wait two business days after the ceremony before applying for a passport or other government services.
Man shakes hands with the presiding official.
Narrator: This will give CIC time to confirm, in our system, that you are now a Canadian citizen.
New citizens are shown shaking hands with the presiding officials, hugging each other and then leaving the hall.
Narrator: Congratulations! As a new citizen, you share the same rights and responsibilities as all Canadians. Take advantage of all that Canada has to offer.
A young boy proudly waves a Canadian flag.
Narrator: Welcome to the Canadian family.
The Citizenship and Immigration Canada corporate signature and the copyright message “Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2014” are displayed followed by the Canada wordmark.