Cover Image for Updates to Status Cards

Updates to Status Cards

Avneet Takhar

5 min read

Modifications to status card applications are shifting towards greater accessibility and improvements, gearing towards a more positive “work in progress”. With these changes, we also identify the distinctions made between the Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) and Certificate of Indian Status (CIS); that are important for you to be up on! 👀

And so here’s everything you gotta know!

We’re going to break down this diagram for y’all
We’re going to break down this diagram for y’all

1. Simplifying the SCIS renewal application process

OneFeather’s online status card renewals will no longer require a guarantor if:

  • You already have a SCIS that is valid, and within 1 year of the renewal date on card.
  • The application is a renewal, not replacing a lost, damaged, or stolen card.
  • You were 16 years of age or older when you last applied for your SCIS.
  • There have been no changes to personal information from your current SCIS, including: name, date of birth, Nation, or status number.

If there are changes to:

  • How you identify
  • Home address

And the above criteria are met, you can still do the simplified application.

* A super-quick questionnaire on the application page will direct you accordingly.

These are the guidelines that have been initiated by Indigenous Services Canada for us to go forward with in this simplified process (which is just around the corner!) to make things a little speedier Gonzalez with your application 🏃🏽‍♂️.

*Please note this is for applicants that meet the requirements.

Creating a status card application online with OneFeather 🪶
Creating a status card application online with OneFeather 🪶

How to View Updates Upon Launch

The live changes will be available to view in the application, which you’ll be able to see by logging in or signing up to OneFeather. 

To learn more about status cards, check out our page and help guide.

Important: This update is due to be released end of February/ early March 2024.

2. Some First Nations communities have shared that the CIS is no longer being offered at their band offices

For quite some time, band offices across Canada have been offering the laminated CIS card in-person to members of their Nation. However, some First Nation folks have relayed that their band offices are no longer providing this service. 

Important: Because of this change, more people are applying for the SCIS, so the wait times are currently longer for Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) to mail out the new card.

3. SCIS application made easier via our online service

Simplifying the SCIS renewal application process at OneFeather which comes into effect end of February/early March 2024, *according to applicants that meet the requirements (see above in 1.). Our online application will save those applicants time, making the process quicker!

The live changes will be available to view in the application, which you’ll be able to see by logging in or signing up to OneFeather. 

To learn more about status cards, check out our page and help guide.

These awesome First Nations folks did a selfie and status card application with us 🤳🏽
These awesome First Nations folks did a selfie and status card application with us 🤳🏽

4. Nisga'a Nation citizens can now receive tax exemption with SCIS for on-reserve or former reserve purchases, which was previously unavailable with CIS

From January 1, 2024 the new SCIS cards offered to folks who belong to Nisga’a Nation will have tax exemption (as is offered to other First Nation members), according to the official Nisga’a Lisims Government’s communications. This means better access to rights and entitlements!

5. SCIS offers enhanced security features giving access to rights, benefits, programs and services

6. Including: 

  • Recognition as government ID.
  • Use at Canada-U.S. land/marine border crossings (at officer's discretion).
  • Tax exemptions, in specific situations.
  • Some non-insured health services.

Learn more about the benefits of a SCIS card, application FAQS and general information here. 

If you need a hand in starting an application, look no further! And you can also sign up here to get the ball rolling.

Read our investigative report revealing data of First Nations folks having a 98% success rate when choosing online over paper status card applications. 

There's more information on simplified renewals from Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) and get status card updates via our newsletter.