New immigrants to Canada are eligible to become Canadian citizens. Though citizenship is natural, it can also be acquired by those wanting to live in Canada as its rightful citizens. The Canadian Citizenship Act represents Canadian citizens, defines their rights and duties, and formulates all procedures and provisions under the Act. Some of the ways in which you become a naturalized citizen are-
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 become Canadian citizen. For this, you would need verifiable documents to support your claim and prove that you were born in Canada. These documents include your provincial or territorial birth certificate that will establish the place of your birth. If you own these required documents, the process for applying for Canadian citizenship becomes a very easy and smooth.: In cases where someone does not have a birth certificate, there are a few other documents that can establish their right to Canadian 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). As per the new law, citizenship by descent is permitted to only one generation born outside of 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 Canadian Citizenship also extends to adopted children under the above-mentioned circumstances. However, the procedure can get extremely complicated and lengthy. Children born outside Canada and adopted by Canadian parent(s) are not eligible in situations such as mentioned below-
- If their adoptive parent(s) was born outside Canada to Canadian parents.
- Their adoptive parent(s) obtained citizenship on the basis of adoption from a Canadian.
Evidently, there are some restraints for rights of citizenship granted to adopted children but they can still become naturalized citizens. Even when the adopted children do not meet the requirements of Canadian citizenship, they can 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 to parents who were naturalized citizens, also automatically have the right to Canadian citizenship.
Myths about Canadian Citizenship: There are many false marriages and relationships forged for the sake of permanent residency and citizenship. Canadian immigration law is framed to discourage any form of dishonesty and malpractice. You cannot become a naturalized Canadian citizen if you marry a Canadian or on having lived in Canada for a long time. However, you can always apply for citizenship after becoming a permanent resident and fulfilling the eligibility criteria. In cases where a person has renounced citizenship earlier, he/she will have to become a permanent resident first and meet the eligibility criteria to become a Canadian citizen.
Citizenship Revocation: A naturalized Canadian citizen is under the threat of getting their citizenship revoked if they are found to be inadmissible in Canada on a number of accounts. Your citizenship can be revoked if you are proved to be a potential threat to the national security of Canada, or if you are found guilty of dishonesty, fraud, concealment of facts or deception in filing the application form. Citizenship revocation is a matter of grave concern with far-reaching consequences. Revocation orders mean that the person will have to leave the country within a stipulated time-period and will no longer hold permanent residency of Canada. With the latest changes in place, your documents can be seized by the immigration officers if you are suspected of giving false personal information and/or submitting fake documents to procure the passport. Any concealment or misrepresentation of facts is a serious offence. Also, if the permanent resident or the Canadian citizen is found involved in illegal activities, criminal offense, or terrorist activities, or it is found that the passport is being used by someone not the original passport holder it will lead to passport revocation. All these offenses are serious offenses by the Canadian government and the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) is fully authorized to order the removal of the convicted person from Canada. Additionally, as per the latest changes in immigration laws, if an individual has citizenship of Canada and a Citizenship of another country, he/she will not lose his/her Canadian citizenship on being found guilty of treason, terrorism, espionage or in possession of arsenal. Rather, dual citizens might not face the threat of revocation at all but will be subjected to prosecution in Canada for their criminal offenses just like any other Canadian national. The final verdict on all revocation of Citizenship cases rests with the Federal Court. Individuals facing revocation can make an appeal in the court or to the Appeal Division for re-assessment of their case.