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

Here are some basic instructions on how to change your gender or gender identifier in IRCC documents. (File Photo: Fleur Brebels / Unsplash)

The Immigration Service is modernizing its documents as part of the Canadian mandate to protect and promote the human rights of LGBTQ2 + people.

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

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

Those who wish to change their gender 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 can only be changed if there is a typing or management error.

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

If you wish to change your gender or gender on your IRCC documents, you will need to submit a Gender Change or Gender ID Application Form, which is available on the government website.

After submitting your request, IRCC can also contact you for further documents or to establish your identity.

What if i’m under 18?

If you are under 18 and want to change your gender or gender identifier, you will need a parent or legal guardian to sign the application form with you. You will also need to prove that you are actually your parent or legal guardian.

For which documents can I request the change?

You need to submit a request form to the IRCC. In the form you can indicate which document you want to change. This can be:

  • Your Certificate of Canadian Citizenship;
  • Your permanent resident card;
  • Your temporary residence document (e.g. a visitor visa or a study or work permit);
  • Your document issued to a protected person; or
  • Your Refugee Protection Claimant Document.

Successful refugee applicants and pre-removal risk assessment applicants may change their gender or gender identifier during the Status Review (VOS). This is a document that proves your status as a protected person. If you have already received a VOS document, you can request a new document with your correct gender or gender identifier.

The IRCC will continue to review your application even if your foreign passport and supporting documents indicate a different gender.

You cannot change your gender or gender identifier on an electronic travel authorization (eTA). This is because this document is electronically linked to your foreign passport. The IRCC does not provide a printed version of the eTA.

Find out if you are eligible for Canadian immigration

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