Title and statement of responsibility area
Registration and identification certificates
General material designation
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
- Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the series.
Level of description
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
2020 - Dec. 2022 (Collection)
1893-1955 (predominantly 1912-1924) (Creation)
Physical description area
537 textual records : raster images
0.5 cm of textual records
Publisher's series area
Title proper of publisher's series
Parallel titles of publisher's series
Other title information of publisher's series
Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series
Numbering within publisher's series
Note on publisher's series
Archival description area
Name of creator
Scope and content
Series consists of Chinese Immigration (C.I.) registration and identification certificates related to implementing Canada’s Chinese Immigration Act that was law from 1885 to 1947, with amendments made in 1887, 1892, 1900, 1903, and 1923. Certificates were first issued to register and identify Chinese persons entering Canada. This function was expanded with the 1923 amendment requiring registration and identification of all Chinese persons residing in the country, immigrant and Canadian-born.
The series includes the most common C.I. certificates issued before the 1923 Chinese Immigration Act banned practically all further Chinese entry, therefore commonly known as the Chinese Exclusion Act:
-The C.I.5 certificate issued in relation to the head tax payment required for Chinese entry to Canada, commonly known as the head tax certificate. Early versions of the certificate in use before 1912 are present.
-C.I.36 certificate issued in exchange for a C.I.5 certificate issued before 1912 that had no photograph.
-C.I.30 certificate issued to a Chinese person entering Canada belonging to a class with exemption from paying the head tax.
-C.I.28 certificate issued to replace a lost or destroyed C.I.5 or C.I.30 certificate.
The series includes a large number of C.I.45 certificates created in 1923 and 1924. The certificate was used to implement Section 18 of the 1923 Chinese Immigration Act that required the registration of all Chinese residing in Canada within twelve months. It was issued as proof of registration of a Canadian-born Chinese who did not possess an entry certificate for the registration stamp.
Also included in the series are samples of lesser-known C.I. certificates and records, including the C.I.4, C.I.10, C.I.18 and C.I.18a, C.I.46, and C.I.50.
The series includes a small number of N.F.63 certificates related to Chinese entry to the Dominion of Newfoundland. Newfoundland’s Act Respecting the Immigration of Chinese Persons (commonly known as the Newfoundland Chinese Immigration Act) was in force from 1906 until Newfoundland and Laborador joined Confederation in 1949.
A small number of certificates relates to birth in Canada, travel documentation, registration as overseas Chinese with the Chinese government, and Canadian citizenship received following the repeal of the Chinese Immigration Act in 1947.
Immediate source of acquisition
Series follows collector/curator's arrangement. Original order was maintained as the order in which items were contributed by families and organizations.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script note
Some certificates include annotations in Chinese and/or English.
Location of originals
Original record remains with the family or organization that contributed the digital image.
Original records located in RBSC are assigned identifiers with the code TX (ex. RBSC-ARC-1838-TX-0078). Digitized records are assigned identifiers with the code DO (ex. RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0078).
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Use of certificates in this series is restricted to research, private study and educational purposes based on donor agreement. Reproduction for exhibition, publication or commercial use requires permission from the family or organization that donated the certificate. Please see archivist for details.
Each item in the series is associated with a name access point that reflects the person to whom the certificate was issued. A biographical sketch is included where it was made available. Other actors in the life of the certificate may also be listed.
Names of certificate subjects were romanized from a 四邑 seiyap / sze yup dialect of Cantonese Chinese that was spoken in the major counties and districts of origin of early Chinese migrants. Romanization from Chinese to English was not standardized and largely phonetic, and therefore varied widely. Many errors were also made around transcription, and misidentification of surnames. Where possible working with families, names have been corrected and Chinese names have been recovered.
Digital materials: raster images
527 certificates (including 23 envelopes)
Standard number area
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
- The Paper Trail to the 1923 Chinese Exclusion Act (Collector)
- Dominion of Canada. Department of Immigration and Colonization. Chinese Immigration Service. (Subject)
- Dominion of Canada. Department of the Interior. Immigration Branch. (Subject)
- Dominion of Newfoundland (Subject)
- Government of Canada (Subject)
- Province of British Columbia (Subject)
- Republic of China. Consular Service. (Subject)
- Canadian Pacific Steamships Ocean Services Limited. Trans-Pacific Service (Subject)
Genre access points
Description record identifier
Rules or conventions
Level of detail
Dates of creation, revision and deletion
Description created by June Chow in February 2023.