Ottawa urged to remove citizenship by birth on Canadian soil
Immigration Officials have recommended that Canada remove its citizenship by birth policy to limit the potential of “birth tourism,” wherein foreign nationals who have children in Canada are then sponsored by those children once they turn eighteen.
However, critics have responded by arguing that birth tourism is extremely rare and the cost of restricting citizenship would outweigh any possible benefits. It is estimated that only 500 of 360,000 live births in the country each year are to foreign nationals (only 0.14%) – a tiny fraction. The recommendation’s proponents believe that citizenship is an honour and a privilege and should therefore only be provided to those who have earned it through a strong Canadian connection. In fact, Canada and the United States are the only countries to currently offer a “birth on soil” provision; other countries require parents to already be either citizens or permanent residents.
This recommendation is only a proposal at this time; input from the Canadian Border Services Agency is still being gathered along with other prominent stakeholders.
About Michael Niren
Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more
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