Temporary residents can now change their sex identifiers on Canadian immigration documents


Published on March 30th, 2021 at 12:06pm EDT

The immigration department is modernizing its documents as part of Canada’s mandate to protect and promote the human rights of LGBTQ2+ persons.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) now allows temporary residents to change their sex or gender identifier on their immigration documents, according to the government website.

Canada recognizes three sex identifiers on travel documents for foreigners: “x”, “f”, and “m”.

Those who wish to change their sex on their immigration documents can only do so as long as their papers are not historical records. These records include immigration records and Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) documents. These cannot be changed unless a clerical or administrative error was made.

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How can I request a change of my sex or gender identifier?

If you would like to change your sex or gender on your IRCC documents, you need to submit a Request Form for a Change of Sex or Gender Identifier, which is available on the government website.

After you send in your request, IRCC may also contact you for additional documents, or to establish your identity.

What if I am under 18?

If you are under 18 and would like to change your sex or gender identifier, you will need a parent or legal guardian to sign the request form with you. They will also be required to prove that they are indeed your parent or legal guardian.

What documents can I request the change for?

You will be required to submit a request form to IRCC. In the form, you can indicate which document you would like to change, which can be:

  • your Certificate of Canadian Citizenship;
  • your Permanent Resident Card;
  • your Temporary Resident Document (such as a visitor visa or study or work permit);
  • your document issued to a Protected Person; or
  • your Refugee Protection Claimant Document.

Successful refugee claimants and pre-removal risk assessment applicants may choose to change their sex or gender identifier on their verification of status (VOS). This is a document that proves your status as a protected person. If you have already received a VOS document, you can ask for a new one containing your correct sex or gender identifier.

IRCC will still consider your application, even if your foreign passport and supporting documents indicate a different gender.

You will not be able to change your sex or gender identifier on an electronic travel authorization (eTA). This is because this document is electronically linked with your foreign passport. IRCC does not provide a hard copy of the eTA.

Find Out if You’re Eligible for Canadian Immigration

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