First generation citizenship rule in Canada
One of the fascinating aspects of Canadian citizenship is the first-generation rule. The rule is an effort to protect the integrity of the Canadian immigration system. Therefore, you may become a Canadian citizen by birth if you fit Canada’s first-generation citizenship rule. Let’s explore this rule further.
- Birth inside Canada
- Birth outside Canada
- The first-generation rule
- The enactment of the rule
- Let us help!
Before discussing the first generation citizenship rule, let’s discuss Naturalization. Each year tens of thousands of people immigrate to Canada. Consequently, they become permanent residents. However, to become citizens, they must meet specific criteria. For example, they must reside in Canada for at least 1095 days before the citizenship application in the past five years. Of course, that’s not the only criterion. If they meet all the requirements, they may apply for citizenship. Upon grant of citizenship, they become naturalized citizens.
A Naturalized citizen is a first-generation citizen.
If parents give birth to their child on Canadian soil, they become citizens by birth. However, there is one exception to this rule. Let’s assume one of the parents is a diplomat or an employee of another government. If the other parent is not a permanent resident or Canadian citizen, the child won’t become a Canadian citizen by birth. Of course, all other children born inside Canada become Canadian citizens by birth. Moreover, the circumstances for those born before February 15, 1977, become complicated. However, I’d rather not discuss this matter here.
A person who becomes Canadian by birth inside Canada is a first-generation citizen.
Let’s say parents give birth to their child outside Canada. Therefore, the child becomes a Canadian citizen by birth only if at least one of the parents is a first-generation citizen. There you have it: The first generation citizenship rule!
Based on what I discussed in the previous section, a child born outside Canada becomes a Canadian citizen only if at least one of the parents
- is a Canadian citizen by birth born on Canadian soil, or
- is a Naturalized Canadian citizen.
April 17, 2009, marks the first date of implementing the first generation citizenship rule. Consequently, this rule does not apply if the birth outside Canada occurred before April 17, 2009. A child could become a Canadian citizen by birth before that date if at least one of the parents were a citizen, regardless of birth location and the first generation complications. However, if that child did not receive a citizenship certificate, getting a certificate could be tricky today. If this applies to you, book a consultation with me to discuss your options.
If you believe you are a Canadian citizen or have a question about the first-generation citizenship rule, fill out the following form. You may alternatively book a consultation session with me. Of course, if your intention is not citizenship at this moment, you may fill out our assessment form.
Would you please fill out our free assessment form if you wish to visit or move to Canada? We will review it for free, but we will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal immigration advice from a licensed practitioner.
Al Parsai, LLM, MA, DTM, RCIC
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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This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.
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