Canadian-born man faces deportation from unusual immigration law

Canadian-born man faces deportation: Can you be deported from Canada if you’re born here? Apparently.

It is not unusual for foreign-born people living in Canada as Permanent Residents who run into trouble with the law face to face immigration troubles, and even less unusual for them to face deportation from Canada if the crimes are severe enough.

What is unusual is for a person who was born in Canada – and has an Ontario birth certificate to prove it – to face deportation.

A man in Ottawa, according to the Montreal Gazette, has been notified that he faces deportation to his parents’ native homeland of India, despite the fact that he was born and raised in Canada according to his birth certificate and passport, does not speak the language and doesn’t know anyone in India.

A life of breaking and entering in his youth and teenage years, the now 20-year-old Deepan Budlakoti eventually obtained his high school diploma and did odd jobs before starting his own successful landscaping and maintenance business. Unfortunately, last year he allegedly attempted to sell a hunting rifle to an undercover police officer and minutes later he was arrested.

In July, Budlakoti received a letter saying he had an upcoming hearing to determine whether he “has the right to enter Canada or whether you are or may become authorized to enter and remain in Canada”.

How can a Canadian-born man face deportation?

The issue? His parents arrived in Canada in the mid-80s and worked for India’s High Commissioner as household staff. The Citizenship Act actually states that if the parents are foreign diplomats or work for their home country when their child is born, that child is not Canadian despite being born in Canada.

According to Canadian law, when someone is born in Canada, born abroad to at least one Canadian-born and Canadian-citizen parent or adopted abroad by a Canadian citizen, they are Canadian. However, the children of foreign-born workers for their home country, such as those working for a diplomat, are not automatically given citizenship. Apparently, this little-known clause makes it possible for that lack of citizenship to be enforced at any time. Disturbingly, it is not at all difficult to imagine a scenario where a friend, family member or even one’s self could find themselves in a similar situation had their foreign-born parents had a different occupation.

So the lesson here is that just because you were born in Canada there are circumstances where you remain vulnerable to deportation. For Canadian Permanent residents, this is a reality that is faced everyday. Stay out of trouble!

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Michael Niren

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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