Does Canada Have Birthright Citizenship?

By Ella Bergquist January 3, 2020 1 min. read

Those who are born in Canada are typically protected under the Canadian Nationality Law (birthright citizenship). The Canadian Nationality Law is defined by the Citizenship Act, which determines who is eligible to be a citizen of Canada. When a child is born in Canada they typically obtain Canadian citizenship on the principle of “jus soli” which is Latin for “the right of soil.”

Even in a situation where a child is born to parents who are not Canadian citizens, the child will be automatically granted Canadian Citizenship.

Are People Born in Canada Always Automatically Citizens?

The answer is typically but not always. If a child is born in Canada they are typically granted Birthright Citizenship but there are some exceptions.

For example, there was a son of a Russian spy who was born in Toronto which would typically qualify him for Canadian citizenship. But the authorities ruled that the didn’t qualify for citizenship because of his parents involvement with spying on the Canadian government. Recently the high court rejected the first denial and is allowing him to reside in Canada.

Can a Pregnant Woman Come to Canada to Give Birth?

Yes. Technically the IRCC states that the process of reviewing the applicant for a Canadian visa can only be on the applicant’s income, admissibility factors and country of origin. The fact a woman is pregnant can not be a deciding factor on their application.

Canada Has Considered Removing Birthright Citzenship

There was a formal recommendation from immigration officials submitted requesting to remove birthright citizenship. This idea came from the perceived threat of birth tourism. The idea that pregnant woman would be traveling to Canada to give birth so that their child would receive citizenship.

This is not the first time the federal government has considered removing birthright citizenship. Removing birthright citizenship would require the establishment of a new path for granting Canadian citizenship for those born on Canada soil.

There is no evidence that birth tourism is a large enough issue to remove the program all together.