Changes to Canadian Citizenship Act Continue to Have Repercussions on Canadians Born Abroad

Changes made to the Canadian Citizenship Act in 2009 mean that children born to or adopted by Canadians who were born abroad are not automatically Canadian citizens if they too were born abroad. canadian-citizenship-act

This means that while one person born to Canadian citizens outside of Canada is automatically a Canadian citizen, their children, should they be born outside of Canada, will not be.

Previously, generation upon generation of children could be counted as Canadian citizens even if born abroad, which led the government to call them “Canadians of convenience” – Canadians who don’t live in Canada but retain citizenship and pass it to their children while living outside of Canada.

The new restrictions on the Canadian Citizenship Act have led to significant difficulties and confusion to Canadian citizens.

How the Canadian Citizenship Act is Affecting Families

This Ottawa Citizen article tells the story of Sarah Currie and her husband (who cannot be named in the article) who were born abroad to Canadian military parents. Both are Canadian citizens, but because they are first-generation born abroad Canadian citizens, the child they adopt from Haiti cannot be. They can sponsor him as a permanent resident to Canada, but that’s not what Sarah was told initially. In addition, he keeps getting the runaround from the government on when her application will be processed.

In addition, her own father was posted overseas – not living there by choice, which is a consideration that’s not really discussed in the amendments. The amendments to the Act also create two different types of Canadian citizens – ones that can give their children citizenship and ones who cannot.

What You Need to Know About the Canadian Citizenship Act

According to Scarborough-Agincourt MP Jim Karygiannis, who is trying to get answers on behalf of Sarah, “Oh yeah, you’re a Canadian. You can go abroad and give up your life for Canada. We’ll put you in harm’s way. But we won’t (give your child Canadian citizenship).”

If you are a Canadian born abroad, problems may arise when your children apply for Canadian Citizenship, as they would no longer be considered Canadian Citizens by extension. Do you need help understanding how the Canadian Citizenship Act affects you or your family? Contact us today or book a consultation online to get help now!

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

The content and comments of this blog are not legal advise and and may not be accurate or complete. If you require legal advice, contact a licensed legal practitioner directly. If you post on this blog, you assume full responsibility for disclosing your identity to the public and VisaPlace nor its affiliates are not responsible for protecting your privacy nor your identity concerning your participation in our blog and you assume any risks in participating.

Customer Reviews

Spectacular experience. Completely smooth process, they were able to answer any of my questions any time and I had peace of mind throughout the application time, which was invaluable. I have recommended them to other friends looking for assistance with their applications, and will continue to do so. Worth every penny.

Faith Cheongin the last week

Here, I would like to say thank you so very much for your kind support on extension my visit visa. I am touched and beyond words, I am grateful and thankful for your always help and cooperation. Have a wonderful day.

Setareh Rasaeiin the last week

Great law firm with great staff. My lawyer Rania did a great job for my Canadian work permit and my daughters study permit. You are great in your work. And my Para Legal officer Alicea, you are just amazing. They did not rest until my job was promptly and properly done. Always there to answer my calls, reply my emails promptly. She tried her best and the results were amazing. I recommend visa place if you need the best immigration job. Many thanks to Rania and Alicea.

Charity Musa2 months ago