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Canadian Dual Citizens – New Restrictions?

Canadian Dual CitizenshipARCHIVED: This article is outdated as the Government removed these restrictions.

The Canadian Government has introduced new security measures for those who want to travel to Canada. If you are from a visa-exempt country, you must go through an online screening before boarding an airplane destined for Canada. The process results in issuing an electronic document called eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization). An eTA is necessary for most visa-exempt travellers. Some exceptions exist, such as the US citizens and the British Royal Family.

Canadian citizens and permanent residents do not need an eTA to enter Canada. They, however, need to present documents that support their status. Permanent residents need to show their PR card at the time of entry. Canadian citizens may use their Canadian passports to verify their citizenship.

Dual citizens of Canada and visa-exempt countries could travel to Canada with either of their passports in the past. For example, a British citizen could travel to Canada either by their British or Canadian passports. Both documents were appropriate for entering Canada or transiting via Canada to another country. The introduction of eTA has changed the situation. On the one hand, as a Canadian citizen, a dual citizen cannot apply for an eTA. On the other hand, they cannot enter Canada with their other passport because they do not have an eTA. The only option that remains for dual citizens is to enter Canada as a Canadian.

You may carry and present a Canadian passport to prove you are a Canadian citizen. Alternative options are a Canadian emergency travel document or a Canadian temporary passport. If you are a dual citizen of Canada and you do not hold any of these documents, the airline will refuse to board you to the plane on or after September 30, 2016.

If somehow a dual citizen of Canada manages to board a plane and enter Canada without their Canadian passport, then they have to prove their Canadian citizenship. The BSO (Border Services Officer) may refuse their entry if they don’t. Do not risk it, and apply for your Canadian passport as soon as possible.

We will publish some articles about eTA soon, so sign up for our newsletter or contact us for more information. You may also book an appointment for official immigration advice.

Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant

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“This article provides information of a general nature only. It may no longer be current. It does not provide legal advice nor should it be relied upon. If you have specific legal questions you should consult a lawyer. If you are looking for official immigration advice contact us.”


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Al ParsaiAl Parsai, LLM, MA, RCIC-IRB
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Adjunct Professor – Queen’s University – Faculty of Law
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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Al Parsai

This article has been expertly crafted by Al Parsai, a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University. A respected member of CICC and CAPIC organizations, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.