How to apply for an Indian Status in Canada
Canada has the Indian Act, a law that is made to respect the right of the Indian (First Nation) people. What’s the Indian status, who’s entitled to it, and how can one apply for an Indian status card? Read more to find out!
- What is Indian status in Canada?
- How do you know if you’re entitled to Indian status?
- How to apply for an Indian status
- Documents needed to apply for Indian status
- Indian secure status card photo requirements
- Get Indian secure status card application photo online
What is Indian status in Canada?
If someone holds Indian status, they are legally registered under the Indian Act. This grants the person certain benefits and rights and access to programs and services from the government and certain NGOs.
How do you know if you’re entitled to Indian status?
Whether you’re entitled to be Indian status ultimately comes to your lineage: your parents, grandparents, and immediate or extended family.
You may also research your genealogy to confirm and strengthen your argument.
How to apply for an Indian status
Here are the steps of an Indian status application:
1. Get an application form
You can get it online, by mail by calling Public inquiries, or in person at any regional office or First Nation office.
2. If necessary, find a guarantor
Not all applicants need guarantors. You may need one if you are:
- applying by mail;
- submitting identification that doesn't fully meet the requirements for valid, acceptable identification;
- submitting an application in person on behalf of an adult or behalf of a parent or legal guardian applying for a child or dependent adult;
- submitting a photo using the SCIS Photo App.
The guarantor must be at least 18 years old, have known you for at least two years, can answer questions about you, and be registered with Indian status or employed in an eligible occupation.
3. Fill out the application
Besides answering questions about yourself and your identity, you will also need to answer questions about your ancestry (parents or grandparents) and their identity. The latter proves whether you’re entitled to be registered.
If your First Nation controls its own membership or citizenship, you may have to apply for a membership in your First Nation separately.
Fill out all the questions as needed, including whether you wish to receive a secure status card, for which you will also need to submit a photo.
4. Review, sign, and date your application
Make sure you have filled out all the columns and attached the needed documents, including guarantor declaration if necessary.
Then, sign and date your form
5. Submit your application
And that’s done! Make sure your application package is complete, including the checklist, to make sure your application is processed as quickly as possible.
Documents needed to apply for Indian status
The list of documents generally depend on your age.
For adults (aged 16 and over)
- Completed application form for adults;
- Original proof of birth document with parental information, which you can get on the Vital Statistics website;
- Original or copy of both sides of valid, acceptable identification. If submitting copies, each copy must be signed and dated by a guarantor;
- A guarantor declaration, if necessary;
- If you’re also applying for a secure status card, submit a digital photo using the SCIS Photo App or two printed photographs that meet the SCIS photo requirements.
If the name on the application is different from other documents, submit an original legal name-linking document. You may also provide a copy of it and a copy of valid, acceptable identification with the name on the application form.
For children (15 years and younger) and dependent adults
The list is the same as the list for adults, with the addition (and substitution, in case of the application form) of the following documents:
- Completed application form for children or dependent adults
- Original valid acceptable identification of the applying parent, custodial parent or legal guardian or a copy of the front and of the back of the identification, each copy signed and dated by a guarantor
- For children: any legal documents granting custody or guardianship of the child to the applying parent or legal guardian, if applicable;
- For a dependent adult: the guardianship order;
The same rules apply if the name on application is different from other documents.
Indian secure status card photo requirements
Whether you are submitting your photo by the SCIS photo app or printed with the paper application, it must fulfill the following requirements:
- The image must be in colour;
- The picture must be sharp, clear, in focus, not pixelated or distorted in any way;
- It must have a plain white or light background;
- The lighting and contrast must be even;
- Eyes must be open and look straight into the camera;
- Facial expression must be neutral;
- Your natural skin and eye color must be represented;
- Your face must be straight on at the centre of the photo;
- The photo must not be older than 12 months;
- The photo must be original, not taken from another existing photo.
If you are submitting printed photos, they must fulfill the following requirements:
- The India status photo size must be 50 mm in width and 70 mm in height;
- The height of the face must be between 31 mm and 36 mm from the chin to the crown;
- The photo must be printed on plain, high-quality photo paper.
Here is an example:
Get Indian secure status card application photo online
Indian secure status card application photos have specific formatting requirements, which may be a hassle for applicants. However, you may trust this task to online professionals.
Visafoto has been helping people get their photos fit for passports and various national documents worldwide since 2013, and it can help you save time. Just take a picture of yourself following the guidance above, under good, preferably daylight, lighting. There is no need to worry about the technicalities such as background, size, and proportions, as Visafoto will care for them for you.
Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport, or ID.
Besides a digital file containing one photo, you will also get a template ready for printing. Just remember to print it according to the guidelines so your printed photo will fully fit the requirements.