The Latest Canadian Citizenship Act Discussed

Canadian citizenship can now be awarded back to individuals who previously lost it. The change was brought by a new policy amendment that took place in April 17, 2009. This does not affect new citizenship grants as it retains the Canadian citizenship of those who have just newly acquired it.

On the revised act, certain requirements allow an individual to consequently obtain citizenship immediately upon birth or upon losing his citizenship due to various reasons. In such cases, an individual only needs to file for proof of citizenship such as citizenship cards. Those who are considered official Canadian citizens prior to the amendment will also retain their citizenship.

Canadian Citizenship Qualifications

The new policy awards back citizenship to individuals who acquired it when the first citizenship act was made effective in Jan. 1, 1947; to those who were born in Canada before 1947; to British individuals who resided in Canada for at least five years prior to 1947; to those who acquired their citizenship in Jan. 1, 1947 but later lost it; and to war brides who lost their citizenship when they left Canada for more than 10 years.

Furthermore, the new policy awards back citizenship to (1) individuals whose birth country is Canada or those who acquired their Canadian citizenship sometime from Jan. 1, 1947 onwards and lost it, and to (2) those whose birth country is outside Canada, born sometime from Jan. 1, 1947 onwards, and belongs to a first generation born by a Canadian citizen.

Lastly, the new policy awards back citizenship to certain individuals who have never been Canadian citizens, but: (1) who were born outside Canada sometime from Jan. 1, 1947 onwards, (2) were born abroad as part of a first generation of a Canadian citizen, and (3) whose parent is a Canadian citizen.

Canadian Citizenship Limitations

However, the new policy does not award back citizenship to certain individuals. These include those who: were not granted citizenship when the first act was made effective in Jan. 1, 1947; were born in Canada to parents who were foreign diplomats and did not permanently stay in the country; were born outside Canada by a parent who lost citizenship and are not part of the first generation born; decided to officially refuse Canadian citizenship by declaring it to the government; and acquired their citizenship via unlawful means and whose citizenship was therefore declared by the government as unofficial.

First Generation Policy In Canadian Citizenship

Prior to the amendment of the Citizenship Act, Canadian citizenship can be easily passed from parents to children even if these children are born outside Canada. This could continue for generations even if the parents are not anymore residing in Canada for a long time – this is seen to be lowering down the citizenship value. The amendment was made so that citizenship can only be passed to individuals who are born outside Canadian borders but who must – at the same time – also be first born generation.

The children of first generation Canadian children, and those who gave birth to them outside Canada, can only pass the citizenship to their children if the latter satisfy any of the following requirements: (1) either the mother, father, or both were born in Canada and/or (2) at least the mother or father acquired citizenship through naturalization, which means that the parent was previously an immigrant but was later awarded Canadian citizenship.

Canadian Citizenship for Adopted Children

Adopted children are also affected by these policies. If a child was adopted by Canadian citizens from outside Canadian borders, rules will be observed in granting citizenship to the adopted child in accordance with the adoption process.

Employees of the Canadian Government and Canadian Forces

All children by Canadian parents who are government employees or part of the Canadian forces, and who exercise their duties outside Canada, will automatically obtain Canadian citizenships. This will hold true even if the said children are not part of the first born generation.

Proof of Canadian Citizenship

Individuals born within Canadian borders usually present their birth certificate to confirm Canadian citizenship. The same can be done by those who are also born within Canadian borders but who lost their Canadian citizenship, or by those who previously reacquired their Canadian citizenship due to past changes in citizenship policies. However, any individual born outside Canada claiming to be a Canadian citizen should be able to provide a citizenship certificate to properly answer citizenship queries.


Disclaimer: The immigration article posted above does not substitute as a legal advice on immigration issues. Consult or get the services of a qualified Toronto or Alberta immigration attorney to look into your case or you may choose a qualified immigration professional in your city or country. Use due diligence in doing so.

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