About Canadian Citizenship

Canadian permanent residents can apply for Canadian Citizenship through a process called Citizenship by Naturalization. Anyone who meets with the set requirements of Canadian permanent residency are eligible for Canadian Citizenship by Naturalization. The requirements including having lived in Canada for the required by number of days, regular filing of income tax return, language ability and sufficient knowledge of Canadian history and culture. However, there are other ways to apply for Canadian Citizenship such as given below.

Citizenship by Birth: If you do not have a Canadian passport, citizenship card or certificate but were born in Canada, you have the right to Canadian Citizenship. You simply need verifiable documents to prove that you were born in Canada such as provincial or territorial birth certificate to establish the place of birth. If you have these required documents, the process for applying for Canadian citizenship becomes a smooth sailing. However, in case you do not have a birth certificate, there are a few other documents that can establish your right to citizenship. Anyone who is born in Canada even to foreign parents, barring foreign diplomats, has the right to Canadian Citizenship as per the Canadian immigration law.

Citizenship by Descent: You can apply for Canadian citizenship without first becoming a permanent resident in Canada even if you are born outside Canada to Canadian parent(s). According to the new law, citizenship by descent will be permitted to only one generation born outside Canada. This provision applies to anyone who was born in Canada, or given a citizenship status, before 1 January 1947 but stopped being a British subject and did not yet become a citizen on that date. This rule would differ for different provinces and territories. For instance, for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians the applicable date is 1 April 1949 as this was when the two provinces joined Canadian territories. This would also apply to British subjects who are living in Canada on 1 January 1947 but for some reason could not acquire their citizenship at that time. The dates again differ for provinces like Newfoundland and Labrador. The right of Citizenship also extends to adopted children under the above-mentioned situation, though the procedure could get more complicated and lengthier. Children born outside Canada and adopted by Canadian parent(s) are not eligible-

  1. If their adoptive parent(s) was born outside Canada to Canadian parents.
  2. Their adoptive parent(s) obtained citizenship on the basis of adoption from a Canadian.

Quite evidently, there are some limitations for rights of citizenship granted to adopted children but adopted children can still become naturalized citizens. Even when the adopted children do not meet the requirements of Canadian citizenship, they can still be sponsored by their adoptive parents so that they may first become permanent citizens and later obtain for citizenship by naturalization. Children who are born to Canadian parent, or parents who were naturalized citizens, also automatically have the right to Canadian citizenship.

Circumstances when You do not Automatically become a Canadian Citizen –

You do not become a naturalized Canadian citizen if you marry a Canadian, have a lived in Canada for a long time.

Although, in these circumstances you can always apply for citizenship after once becoming a permanent resident and fulfilling the eligibility criteria.

In cases where a person has renounced citizenship earlier, the applicant must become a permanent resident first and can apply for Canadian citizenship of they meet the eligibility criteria.