Are you applying based on the 2017 changes to the Indian Act?

Find out how to apply for Indian status as a Bill S-3, An Act to amend the Indian Act in response to the Superior Court of Quebec decision in Descheneaux c. Canada (Procureur général) applicant. This act provides new entitlement to Indian status and came into force on December 22, 2017.

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Can you apply?

You can now apply to register as an Indian under the Indian Act and get a Secure Certificate of Indian Status (secure status card) at the same time.

You may be eligible if:

or

or

or

After reading this web page, if you still have questions, please contact Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) Public Enquiries:

  • by phone at 1-844-280-5011
  • by email
  • by mail

If you applied before Bill S-3 was passed into law and your application was refused, you need to re-apply.

If you applied before Bill-S3 was passed into law and your application is waiting to be processed, it will automatically be processed based on the 2017 Bill S-3 changes. You do not need to re-apply.

How to apply as an adult (16 or older)?

Before submitting your application, make sure to collect the following:

  1. original long-form birth certificate listing the names of your parents (INAC does not accept photocopies of birth certificates; originals will be returned to you.)
  2. original acceptable valid identification if you are applying in person or photocopies of the front and back of each document, each photocopy signed by your guarantor if you are applying by mail
  3. a guarantor declaration if you are applying by mail, or on behalf of someone else or if you do not have acceptable valid identification

If the name on the application form or on the identification is different from the name on the birth certificate, include:

  1. an original legal document, such as an official change-of-name certificate, a marriage certificate or a divorce order. A photocopy of an official change-of-name document is acceptable if you also provide acceptable valid identification with the name under which you are applying.

If you are also applying for a Secure Certificate of Indian Status, you need to provide:

  1. two Canadian passport-style photos

If you do not submit the photos with the application and are eligible, your name will be added on the Indian Register, but a secure status card will not be issued.

To avoid unnecessary delays, make sure you provide all required information and documents when applying.

INAC makes every possible effort to return original documents within one month after receiving an application.

Step 1: Fill out the application form

Get the Application for Registration on the Indian Register and for the Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) (for adults 16 years of age or older):

Remember to sign and date the form in section 7.

Step 2: Find out if you need a guarantor

To find out if you need a guarantor, visit About guarantors.

If you need a guarantor, they must:

If you are also applying for a Secure Certificate of Indian Status, the guarantor must:

  • sign and date the back of one of the two Canadian passport-style photos and clearly write "This is a true likeness of (name of adult applicant)"

If you need a guarantor and cannot find one, you must complete and submit the Registration and Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) Statutory Declaration in Lieu of Guarantor (PDF, 2 pages, 96 Kb).

Step 3: Submit the application

Once you have collected the required documents and completed all the steps, submit the application either by mail or in person.

How to apply for a child (15 or younger) or dependent adult?

A parent or legal guardian must have the authority to act for the child or dependent adult in legal and financial matters to apply on their behalf.

Before submitting the application, make sure that you collect the following:

  1. original long-form birth certificate of the child or dependent adult listing the names of the parents (INAC does not accept photocopies of birth certificates; originals will be returned to you.)
  2. original acceptable valid identification of the applying parent or guardian if you are applying in person or photocopies of both sides of each document, each photocopy signed by your guarantor if you are applying by mail
  3. a guarantor declaration if you are applying by mail, or on behalf of the parent or legal guardian or if you do not have acceptable valid identification
  4. for a child: all parents listed on the long-form birth certificate must sign the application form. If there is a court order granting sole custody, guardianship or trusteeship of the child to the applying parent or legal guardian, the legal documents must be provided. Also, everyone listed on the court order must sign the application form.
  5. for a dependent adult: the order of guardianship must be provided. Also, everyone listed on the order of guardianship must sign the application form.

If the name of the applying parent or legal guardian on the long-form birth certificate or custody documents is different from the name on the acceptable valid identification:

  1. a photocopy of a legal document, such as an official change-of-name certificate, a marriage certificate or a divorce order

If you are also applying for a Secure Certificate of Indian Status, you need to provide:

  1. two Canadian passport-style photos of the child or dependent adult

If you do not submit the photos with the application and the child or dependent adult is eligible, their name will be added on the Indian Register, but a secure status card will not be issued.

To avoid unnecessary delays, make sure you provide all required information and documents when applying.

INAC makes every possible effort to return original documents within one month after receiving an application.

Step 1: Fill out the application form

Get the Application for Registration on the Indian Register and for the Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) (for children 15 years of age or younger or dependent adults):

Remember to sign and date the form in section 9.

Step 2: Find out if you need a guarantor

To find out if you need a guarantor, visit About guarantors.

If you need a guarantor, they must:

If you are also applying for a Secure Certificate of Indian Status as well, the guarantor must:

  • sign and date the back of one of the two Canadian passport-style photos and clearly write "This is a true likeness of (name of child or dependent adult)"

If you need a guarantor and cannot find one, you must complete and submit the Registration and Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) Statutory Declaration in Lieu of Guarantor (PDF, 2 pages, 96 Kb).

Step 3: Submit the application

Once you have collected the required documents and completed all the steps, submit the application either by mail or in person.

Where to submit or send the application?

By mail

Print the completed application form and mail it with all necessary documents to:

Application Processing Unit
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
PO Box 6700
Winnipeg MB R3C 5R5

In person

You can also submit the application in person at one of the following locations:

  • Alberta
    • INAC Alberta Region Head Office in Edmonton
    • INAC Southern Alberta Field Office in Calgary (by appointment only)
    • Treaty 7 First Nations offices
  • Atlantic
    • INAC Atlantic Region Office in Amherst, Nova Scotia
  • British Columbia
    • INAC British Columbia Region Office in Vancouver
  • Manitoba
    • INAC Manitoba Region Office in Winnipeg (the office is temporarily closed to the public)
  • National Capital Region
    • INAC Headquarters in Gatineau, Quebec
  • Northwest Territories
    • INAC Northwest Territories Region Office in Yellowknife
  • Ontario
    • INAC Ontario Region Office in Toronto
    • Brantford Business Centre
    • Sudbury Business Centre
    • Thunder Bay Business Centre
  • Saskatchewan
    • INAC Saskatchewan Region Office in Regina
    • INAC North Central District office in Prince Albert
    • INAC South Budget Centre in Fort Qu'Appelle
  • Quebec
    • INAC Quebec Region Office in Quebec
    • Kahnawake Service Centre (for members of the Kahnawake and Kanesatake First Nations only)
  • Yukon
    • INAC Yukon Region Office in Whitehorse

Before you go to a regional office, it is best to call ahead and make an appointment. If you are travelling to INAC headquarters in Gatineau, Quebec, no appointment is necessary.

To find out more, contact INAC Public Enquiries.

How long does the process take?

If the application is complete and you or the person on whose behalf you are applying is eligible for Indian status, you will receive a letter with a registration number and a Temporary Confirmation of Registration Document within six to eight months. This confirms that you or the person on whose behalf you have applied is eligible for benefits and services under the Indian Act.

If you have also applied for a Secure Certificate of Indian Status and all the requirements have been met, you should receive it within 16 weeks of receiving the letter.

Complex situations, such as adoptions, may take longer to process.

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