According to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website, the CIC has launched new protocols that remove the requirement for proof of sex reassignment surgery (SRS) to support an applicant’s request to change the sex designation on a citizenship certificate, such as a passport. (Note: While the CIC website says these new protocols are currently in development, a spokesperson from the CIC confirmed via email that the protocols are already in place.)
Previously, it was necessary to submit proof of sex-reassignment surgery, typically involving both “top” (chest) and “bottom” (genital) surgery. Two other identity documents and a statement from a third-person guarantor who knew the person before and after surgery were also required. Under the new protocols, applicants wishing to change their gender on the certificate need only now submit provincially or territorially-issued documentation such as amended birth certificate.
“This change will give persons who identify themselves as another gender, but have not undergone surgery (or do not plan to), access to an accurate citizenship certificate,” said Citizenship and Immigration Canada spokesperson Bill Brown in an email to National Post.
“The right to self-identify is paramount.” – Ryan Dyck, the director of research, policy and development at Egale Canada.
The move puts the federal requirements more in line with provinces: Ontario, B.C., Alberta and Manitoba have removed sex reassignment surgery as a requirement for changing gender on provincial documents like birth certificates. Other provinces and territories, like Nova Scotia, have introduced legislation to change their requirements as well.