Born in Madinah โ€“ Part 2: Canadian Citizenship & Passport

The information in this section is specific to babies born in Saudi Arabia with at least one Canadian parent. If you are from another country, the passport application will be completely different. You can skip ahead to the next section: Part 3: Getting Baby’s Iqamah though ๐Ÿ™‚

(I have put together all the information that I gathered as I went though the process in Spring, 2017. If you now of any changes, please feel free to give e a heads up in the comments section.)


Having received your child’s birth certificate, you have gotten all the necessary birth-related documents. Now it is time to get your child’s citizenship and travel documents. In the case of a newborn, you will be applying for the citizenship certificate and passport simultaneously, although you will receive them separately.

The consulate is located in Jeddah and the embassy is located in Riyadh. So at least one parent will have to travel to either of these cities to submit the application and then again to pick it up.

Your child will also be issued a Canadian citizenship certificate, but this will take up to a year to process. When it has been issued, you will be contacted again to go to Jeddah/ Riyadh and pick it up.

Either of the baby’s parents can apply for the citizenship certificate and passport. Whichever parent is the applicant on behalf of the baby must go to Jeddah/ Riyadh to apply. The other parent and the baby do not have to go too.

Citizenship Certificate

The application for the citizenship certificate is a necessary step to getting your baby’s passport. A prerequisite of the passport is having Canadian citizenship…that is what this step satisfies. The embassy will take 10+ business days (2 weeks) to verify the child’s eligibility for citizenship.

Application Form

The application form for the citizenship certificate is a 7-page document. You will be completing it on behalf of your child although all the information will be about your child and not you.

Application form: CIT 0001 – Proof of Citizenship Form

Guide to filling out the Application: Guide CIT 0001

Photographs

You are going to need 2 photographs that meet the Canadian citizenship requirements. The details are very exact and it is absolutely necessary that you follow them to the point.

  • no Photoshop in anyway
  • white or light-coloured background
  • 70mm x 50mm picture frame
  • 31mm -36 mm face height
  • head and shoulder picture
  • taken within the last 6 months

There are many places that take baby pictures,but you might be better off choosing a more upscale professional studio that is familiar with the international picture specifications. We first went to a regular studio…they didn’t follow the guidelines and insisted that the measurements they had were correct (versus what we printed off the government website). In the end, we paid a second time to have it done at a well-known and recommended studio. The people there were very helpful and understood how crucial it was to have a non-photo shopped picture that met the exact measurements.

As you will no doubt find out, gettingย  a baby to take a neutral picture is rocket science. Please don’t stress it too much…the Canadian embassy understands that babies are not going to listen to their instructions ;P Once your child’s face is in the pic, then you are good to go. It might be a crying/ sleeping/ smiling/ pooping face but that’s OK.

The guidelines allow for the child to be laying on a white blanket in their car seat ๐Ÿ™‚ This makes things a lot easier!

Fees

There is a $75 fee for the processing of the citizenship application. You can pay by cash (Canadian dollars only) or by credit card at the embassy if you prefer.

Identification Documents

You will need to submit the following documents as well:

  • the baby’s birth certificate and the translation to English
  • proof that one of the parents was Canadian-born or naturalized
    • one parent’s Canadian birth certificate
    • or one parent’s Canadian citizenship card/ certificate

For more information on the required documents: CIT Documents Checklist

Passport Application

The passport application is the lengthiest part of the process, taking a minimum of 4 weeks (ours took 2 months). It is dependent on the application for your child’s proof of citizenship (previous section above). Once your child’s eligibility for Canadian citizenship is confirmed, the passport process will begin. It will take 20+ days (4 weeks) to process and issue the passport.

Application Form

You will need to fill out the 2-page passport application form. It is specific to an application on behalf of a child submitted abroad. Please note it also includes a detailed guide which is very helpful to read before filling out the form…it outlines lots of little details and nuances.

Canadian Passport Application: PPTC 042: Child Abroad General Passport Application

The application formmust be completed within a year of when you submit it.

Note about Baby’s Name

When filling out the form, you will see that you can choose to give your child a middle name. However, you may have also noted that the birth certificate, as per Saudi custom, does not have that option. It only has one space for a name and the child’s last name is automatically the father’s last name.

Please note that the embassy wants exactly what’s on the birth certificate. Meaning that because of Saudi customs, there is no middle name. If you fill out the middle name option, you will in effect be applying for a name amendment which will add additional time to your passport processing time. If time is not a factor here, go ahead and do this by all means if you want your child to have aย  middle name. However, if you are looking at the time, then just go with what’s on the birth certificate.

Photographs

You will need 2 professionally taken photographs of your baby. The specifications are very exact so please check and double check that the photography studio follows the guidelines. If you have to take a ruler to check, then don’t be shy to do so ๐Ÿ™‚

  • no Photoshop in anyway
  • white or light-coloured background
  • 70mm x 50mm picture frame
  • 31mm -36 mm face height
  • head and shoulder picture
  • taken within the last 6 months
  • back of one picture must have:
    • guarantor’s signature
    • date
    • name & address of the studio

See above information on photographs in the citizenship certificate section for some tips.

Guarantor

So who exactly is the guarantor? For a newborn’s application, the guarantor can be the other parent. One parent as the applicant the other as the guarantor.

The guarantor can also be someone else you know like a friend or family member. Or if this doesn’t work for you, the guarantor can be any Canadian citizen above 18 years. And lastly, the guarantor can be anyone from a specific list of professions such as a doctor or lawyer (check the Passport Application form for the full list).

Pretty much the only other criteria is that this person knows you for 2+ years.

Fee

There is a fee of $100 for the passport application process. You can pay it in cash (Canadian dollars) or by credit card at the embassy.

Proof of Parentage

Crucial to submitting this application if showing proof that you are in fact the mother/ father of this child. The birth certificate fulfills this requirement. Please make sure that you have the translation and the original with you.

Note that this two documents are also used for the proof of citizenship application.

Proof of Citizenship

Since your child is a newborn, you probably realize that he/ she has no proof of citizenship at all. Don’t worry…the above application for proof of citizenship fulfills this requirement for the passport application. That is why the proof of citizenship application is such a crucial factor in applying for the passport.

 

Documents Checklist

  • CIT 0001 application form; completed
  • PPTC 042 application form; completed
  • 4 photographs
  • birth certificate
  • translation of birth certificate
  • fees
  • proof of citizenship for parent

 

Click here for Born in Madinah Part 1 – Birth Notification & Birth Certificate

 

 

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