Naturalized Citizen versus Born Citizen in Canada

Naturalized Citizenship CanadaKiarash was born in Ottawa, Canada in 1983. His parents were both international students from Iran. They completed their studies and left without applying for immigration. Kiarash was only four months old when his parents left Canada for good. Kiarash has never travelled to Canada and does not hold any Canadian documents other than his birth certificate. A friend of Kiarash recently told him, he is a Canadian citizen. He wonders if this is true.

Many people around the world consider Canadian citizenship a privilege. One of the reasons that people immigrate to Canada is to become Canadian citizens. They leave their home country, their language, their relatives, and sometimes their culture and beliefs behind to pursue a new life which eventually turns them into Canadian citizens.

People could become Canadians either by birth or through naturalization. The Canadian Citizenship Act calls naturalization, citizenship by way of grant.

Who is a Canadian By BIRTH?

There are two ways that a person becomes a Canadian by birth. If someone is born in Canada, then they automatically become a Canadian citizen. The only exception is when one of the parents is a foreign country employee or diplomat and the other parent is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

The other option for citizenship by birth is for those people who are born outside Canada, but at least one of their parents is a first generation Canadian. You are a first generation Canadian if you are either born inside Canada or if you become a Canadian by way of naturalization.

Who is a Naturalized Citizen?

Simply put, a naturalized citizen is someone who immigrates to Canada first and then after a few years applies and becomes a Canadian citizen. For example, according to the existing regulations, if you are a landed immigrant and in the past five years have spent at least three years in Canada, then you may apply for citizenship. The next steps usually involve in submitting some documents, taking a citizenship test, and eventually taking the Oath of Citizenship (or rather attending the Citizenship ceremony).

Children under 18 could become naturalized citizens when their parents become Canadians.

What are the Differences Between Naturalized and Born CITIZENS?

Federal and provincial laws and courts treat naturalized and born citizens equally. Both groups have similar responsibilities and privileges. Nobody in the country could treat such citizens differently. Nonetheless, there are certain differences that you need to keep in mind:

  • If a naturalized citizen has obtained their permanent residency or citizenship fraudulently, then immigration authorities may revoke their citizenship.
  • A naturalized citizen cannot hold a Canadian birth certificate.
  • A naturalized citizen may be treated by other countries differently due to their place of birth, despite their Canadian citizenship.

If you wish to visit or move to Canada or if you have encountered any issues with the immigration authorities, you may fill out our free assessment form or book a consultation session to assess your potential opportunities or offer you immigration, visa, or citizenship advice.

Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting

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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 you rely on it as legal advice. If you have specific legal questions, you should consult a lawyer. If you are looking for official immigration advice, book an appointment. All the characters in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Any resemblance in names, dates, and places (whether individuals, organizations, regions, or countries) is coincidental.

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Al Parsai

Al Parsai is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in Toronto, Canada. He also teaches immigration courses at Ashton College in Vancouver, Canada. Al, who holds a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University, is a member of ICCRC and CAPIC organizations. Al, the CEO of Parsai Immigration Services, has represented thousands of applicants from more than 50 countries to the immigration authorities since January 2011.

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