Canadian nationality law, Talk:Canadian nationality law
, History of Canadian nationality law
, Talk:History of Canadian nationality law
is obtained by birth in Canada
(other than as a child of a foreign diplomat), by birth abroad, when at least one parent is a Canadian citizen, or can be granted to a permanent resident
who lives in Canada for three out of four years before applying for citizenship
and is able to speak English
. Time spent as a temporary resident before permanent residence is granted counts as half. Under special circumstances, the law allows for some requirements to be waived.
History of Canadian Citizenship
main|History of Canadian
The Canadian Citizenship Act of 1946 took effect on 1 January 1947. Prior to that date, Canadians were British subject
s and Canada's nationality law closely mirrored that of the United Kingdom
. As Canadian independence was obtained incrementally over the course of many years since the formation of the Canadian Confederation
in 1867, the Second World War
in particular gave rise to a desire amongst Canadians to have their country recognized as a fully-fledged sovereign state with a distinct citizenship
[http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/legacy/chap-5.html#chap5-2 Forging Our Legacy: Canadian Citizenship And Immigration, 1900-1977 - The growth of Canadian nationalism]
. Prior to the conferring of legal status on Canadian citizenship, Canada's naturalization laws consisted of a hodgepodge of confusing Acts
[http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/legacy/chap-5.html#chap5-2 Forging Our Legacy: Canadian Citizenship And Immigration, 1900-1977]
which may have provided additional impetus for the creation of Canadian citizenship.
On 1 January 1947, Canadian citizenship was conferred on most British subjects connected with Canada. Subsequently, on 1 April 1949, Canadian nationality law was extended to Newfoundland
upon that country's admission to Confederation.
Canadian nationality law was substantially revised on 15 February 1977. Notably, from that date Canada fully accepts multiple citizenship
. However those who lost Canadian citizenship before that date did not automatically have it restored.
Birth in Canada
In general, anyone born in Canada from 1947 onwards acquired Canadian citizenship at birth. The only exceptions concern children born to diplomats, where additional requirements apply.
Most persons born in Canada before 1947 acquired Canadian citizenship on 1 January 1947 if still living at that date.
Canadian citizenship by descent
Any person born outside Canada from 15 February 1977, who has a Canadian parent at the time of birth, is automatically a Canadian citizen by descent
If the Canadian parent is also Canadian by descent
and the other parent is not born or naturalized in Canada, then Canadian citizenship will be lost on that person's 28th birthday unless the person successfully applies to retain Canadian citizenship.
Those born outside Canada between 1 January 1947 and 15 February 1977 are generally not Canadian citizens unless their birth was registered with the Canadian government before they were two years of age (and neither they nor their responsible parent subsequently lost Canadian citizenship by becoming citizens of another country before 1977) OR they applied for Canadian citizenship by descent before 14 August 2004. Applications for citizenship by descent fell into two categories: 1) delayed registration of birth abroad, which, when granted, made the person a citizen from birth (as if the birth had been registered with the Canadian government within two years as required by the 1947 Citizenship Act), and 2) a facilitated
grant, in cases where the Canadian parent was the mother, not the father. The latter was not retroactive, so does not make children of the grantee born before the grant, Canadian citizens.
One class of Canadian citizens by descent who can still claim citizenship are those whose births were registered as required by the 1947 Act, but who then lost their Canadian citizenship when their responsible parent (normally the father) became a naturalized citizen of another country. In 2005, the Canadian Parliament passed a law allowing such persons who lost citizenship as minors to apply to resume Canadian citizenship without a residency or background-check requirement.
[http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/applications/resume.html CIC: Application to Resume Canadian Citizenship Under Subsection 11(1) and for Persons Who Lost Citizenship as Minors Under Subsection 11(1.1)]
Naturalization as a Canadian citizen
A person who is a permanent resident
may apply for Canadian citizenship by naturalization (grant) after three years resident in Canada.
The requirements in full are that the person:
* is aged 18 years or over
* is a permanent resident
* has lived in Canada for a total of three years out of the four years preceding the application for citizenship
* knows about Canada (a test is required as part of the application process, but only if the applicant is between 18 and 54 years of age)
* knows the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship
Children aged under 18
The naturalization requirements for children under 18 are different to those for adults.
* the child should be a permanent resident
* a parent of the child should be a Canadian citizen or in the process of applying for Canadian citizenship
The residence and other requirements do not normally apply to those aged under 18.
main|Oath of citizenship
All applicants for Canadian citizenship aged 14 or over must attend a citizenship ceremony as the final stage of their application.
Canadian citizenship by adoption
There is no provision in the Citizenship Act for automatic conferral of Canadian citizenship upon those adopted by Canadian citizens, whether in Canada or overseas. It is necessary for the child to be granted Canadian citizenship by naturalization. Although the child usually needs to be a permanent resident, the three year residence term is not required where an adoptive parent is a Canadian citizen.
Effective 16 July 2001, adults who were adopted as children may be able to apply for a special grant of Canadian citizenship under section 5(4) of the Citizenship Act without requiring permanent resident status or residence in Canada. http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/201/301/guides_citoyennete_immigration/2002-10/english/om-nso/cp/2001/cp01-05.htm Details - Policy CP 01-05
This is in response to the McKenna case
, a 1993 Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling http://www.chrt-tcdp.gc.ca/search/view_html.asp?doid=205&lg=_e&isruling=0
in which the Canadian government sought a judicial review before the Federal Court in 1995 http://reports.fja.gc.ca/fc/1995/pub/v1/1995fca0216.html
and which was subsequently taken before the Federal Court of Appeal in 1999 http://reports.fja.gc.ca/fc/1999/pub/v1/1999fc23364.html
In May 2006 the Canadian government introduced draft legislation, Bill C-14: An Act to Amend the Citizenship Act (Adoption) to place this policy into law http://www.parl.gc.ca/LEGISINFO/index.asp?List=ls&Query=4678&Session=14&Language=e
On September 22, 1988 the Prime Minister agreed a redress package for Japanese Canadians deported from Canada between 1941 and 1946 (about 4000 in total) and their descendants.
The package authorizes a special grant of Canadian citizenship for any such person. All descendants of deported persons are also eligible for grant of citizenship provided they were living on September 22, 1988, regardless of whether the person actually deported from Canada is still alive.
Loss of Canadian citizenship
Under current law there is no provision for involuntary loss of Canadian citizenship except:
* naturalized Canadians can be deprived of citizenship if convicted of fraud in relation to their citizenship application, or their original admission to Canada as an immigrant
* second-generation Canadians by descent may lose Canadian citizenship automatically on their 28th birthday if they do not meet the requirements for retention
Many Canadians lost Canadian citizenship prior to 15 February 1977 through:
* naturalization in another country
* long residence overseas (prior to 1967)
* if a child, based on a parent's loss of Canadian citizenship
See History of Canadian citizenship
A Canadian citizen who holds another nationality may in some cases renounce Canadian citizenship voluntarily.
Resumption of Canadian citizenship
Former Canadian citizens who lost their citizenship as adults are generally required to obtain landed immigrant (permanent resident) status under normal rules and live in Canada for one year in order to resume Canadian citizenship.
As of 5 May 2005, a special concession has been made to those who lost Canadian citizenship as minors between 1 January 1947 and 14 February 1977 based on a parent's loss of Canadian citizenship. These persons now have an unqualified right to resume Canadian citizenship without actually residing in Canada. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/applications/resume.html
Former Canadians who lost British subject status before 1947 have no specific rights to Canadian citizenship, except in the case of women who lost British subject status on marriage to a foreign man.
Judicial review of provisions of current and previous citizenship acts
There have been a number of court decisions dealing with the subject of Canadian citizenship. A few of the major decisions are:
Glynos v. Canada (1992). The federal court ruled that the child of a Canadian mother had the right to be granted Canadian citizenship, despite the fact that the responsible parent of the child (i.e. the father) had naturalized as a U.S. citizen before 15 February 1977 and had thus lost his Canadian citizenship. http://www.cic.gc.ca/cic-index/english/g.html
Benner v. Canada (1997). The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that children born abroad before 15 February 1977 of Canadian mothers were to be treated the same as those of Canadian fathers (i.e. granted citizenship upon application without the requirements of a security check or taking a citizenship oath). http://csc.lexum.umontreal.ca/en/1997/1997rcs3-389/1997rcs3-389.html
Canada (Attorney General) v. McKenna (C.A.) (1999). As a result of the existing Citizenship Act, adopted children are treated differently from biological children born abroad to Canadian citizens. The Federal Court of Appeal has indicated that distinctions in the law based on "adoptive parentage" violate the equality rights provisions in section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Under the existing law, moreover, children adopted by Canadian parents who are living abroad and who wish to continue doing so cannot become permanent residents and, therefore, cannot become Canadian citizens.http://reports.fja.gc.ca/en/1998/1999fc23364.html/1999fc23364.html.html
Taylor v. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (2006). The federal court ruled that an individual born abroad and out of wedlock to a Canadian serviceman father and a non-Canadian mother acquired citizenship upon arrival in Canada after World War II and did not subsequently lose Canadian citizenship while living abroad. The ruling is far-reaching in terms of striking down a number of the loss provisions of the 1947 Citizenship Act based on the retrospective application of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms
. http://decisions.fct-cf.gc.ca/en/2006/2006fc1053/2006fc1053.html http://www.canadianwarbrides.com/wn_details.asp?id=213
On 29 September 2006 the Canadian Government announced that this decision would be appealed.
Rights and responsibilities of citizens
*Able to vote in political elections upon reaching the age of 18 (and provided they are not absent from Canada for more than 5 years and intend to resume residency in Canada).
*Able to serve on a jury
*Able to run for political office upon reaching the age of 18.
*Able to obtain a Canadian passport
*Able to prevent risk of getting deported
*Able to work for the Federal government (where citizenship is usually required)
*Allowed to live outside Canada indefinitely while retaining the right to return
*Able to pass on Canadian citizenship to children born outside Canada.
Proof of Canadian Citizenship Document
Any Canadian can apply for a citizenship certificate. New Canadians get a certificate when they are granted citizenship. If you automatically acquired citizenship because you were born outside Canada to a Canadian parent or you are a woman who was landed in Canada before 1947 (e.g., a war bride), you can apply for a citizenship certificate.http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/citizen/certificate-info.html Details
It can take many months to issue a citizenship certificate.http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/times/certif-processing.html Processing Times for Citizenship Certificates
Under United Kingdom law, Canadians are Commonwealth citizens
and hence are entitled to certain rights in the UK:
* access to the UK working holiday visa
* for those with a UK born grandparent, access to the UK Ancestry Entry Clearance
* for those born before 1983 who meet the requirements, Right of Abode
in the UK
* the right to vote and stand for public office in the UK
* Nationality law
* Citizenship and Immigration Canada
* Permanent resident (Canada)
* Canadian passport
* Passport Canada
* Immigration to Canada
*http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/citizen/becoming-howto.html How to become a citizen
*http://www.cic.gc.ca/manuals-guides/english/cp/cp14e.pdf Information on Canadian law pre-1977 (pdf file)
*http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/C-29/index.html Canada Citizenship Act & Regulations
*http://www.cic.gc.ca/manuals-guides/english/cp/index.html CIC Citizenship Policy Manuals
*http://www.testcanada.com Canadian Citizenship Test: Practice QuestionsCategory:Nationality lawCategory:Canadian lawCategory:International relationsCategory:Immigration to Canada