Foreign citizens who want to move to Canada have several pathways through which they can obtain permanent residency mainly, however, they can also apply for citizenship. Obtaining a Canadian passport comes with numerous advantages, especially when considering the possibility of traveling visa-free in many countries in the entire world.
Just like other countries, there are several ways through which one can obtain citizenship in Canada, one of the fastest being descent. Below, our immigration lawyers in Canada explain how foreign citizens can obtain citizenship by descent.
You can rely on our specialists who are at your disposal with guidance in applying for Canadian citizenship by descent.
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The main ways through which Canadian citizenship can be obtained
Before jumping to how to obtain citizenship by descent in Canada, you should know that this country is one of the few to have multiple programs through which foreigners can obtain permanent residency which can lead to a Canadian passport. However, the fastest way of obtaining citizenship is descent, as many of the steps associated with living here for a required period of time are skipped. On the other hand, not all foreign citizens can apply for citizenship and become a Canadian by descent, as there are specific conditions to be met and proof to submit in order to demonstrate the ties with this country.
If you want to apply for citizenship in Canada, our immigration law firm is at your service.
Who is eligible for Canadian citizenship by descent?
The following categories of persons are eligible to apply for citizenship by descent in Canada:
- foreign citizens who were born abroad from at least one Canadian parent;
- foreign citizens with parents born outside Canada and who became Canadian citizens;
- foreign adopted children of Canadian citizens.
There are certain cases where a child born of Canadian citizens is automatically granted citizenship. These are:
- if the parents are Canadian citizens and the child was born abroad, the minor is considered a Canadian citizen;
- if the parents became Canadian citizens, but the child is born abroad, the minor is also considered a Canadian citizen;
- if the parents are Canadian citizens born outside Canada and have inherited citizenship, their children will also be deemed citizens of this country provided that proof of citizenship was filed before April 17, 2009.
These criteria are available for biological and adoptive parents who are Canadian citizens.
If it seems difficult to understand all the requirements associated with obtaining Canadian citizenship by descent, our lawyers are at your disposal with detailed information. Moreover, we can assist in gathering the necessary documents for proving your eligibility of becoming a citizen of this country.
The legal parent at birth and its link to obtaining Canadian citizenship
The Canadian immigration legislation contains the term “legal parent at birth” which is a concept employed in this country only. It implies a person whose name is on the birth certificate of a child, however, the respective person is not the biological or adoptive parent of the newborn.
Under this new concept, a legal parent at birth can pass on Canadian citizenship to a child starting with July 2020.
Our immigration lawyer in Canada can offer more information on this new rule and how to become a Canadian by descent.
Obtaining a Canadian citizenship certificate
Compared to those who obtain citizenship by naturalization, those who have obtained a Canadian passport through descent must apply for a citizenship certificate.
Those who want to obtain a Canadian citizenship certificate must lodge an application form alongside proof that their parents were Canadian citizens at the time of their birth, as well as proof of their relationship with the Canadian parents.
Applications must be filed with the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Department in Canada. We are at your service if you want to become a citizen by descent in Canada.
Becoming a Canadian by descent as a child of Canadian/foreign citizens
Canada has slightly different rules when it comes to obtaining citizenship by descent. This can benefit citizens who have moved here and had babies that were born in this country. In order to understand how citizenship by ancestry works in this country, it is worth noting that:
- when one of the parents is a Canadian citizen, and the child is born outside the country, he or she will be automatically granted Canadian citizenship;
- if one of the parents is a foreign citizen who has acquired a Canadian passport and the child is born in a foreign country, he or she is a Canadian citizen;
- if one of the parents is born outside Canada but has Canadian origins and the child is born outside Canada, the latter is deemed a citizen of this country.
The two most important exceptions that apply and where a child will not be automatically granted Canadian citizenship by descent involve:
- a foreign parent who becomes a Canadian citizen after having a child (in this case, the child must be born abroad);
- a foreign citizen who inherits Canadian citizenship, has a child outside Canada but did not file for a certificate of citizenship for the child before April 17th, 2009.
Another important aspect to consider is that Canadian citizenship cannot be passed on by grandparents, according to the 2009 Citizenship Law that abolished this provision.
Obtaining Canadian citizenship by ancestry is not difficult, however, when dealing with such delicate matters, it is best to use specialized services that will enable you to pursue other ways of acquiring a passport for this country.
Our Canada-based immigration law firm is at the service of foreign citizens who want to move here and want to become citizens.
We are at your service if you want to apply for Canadian residency or citizenship, depending on your current situation. The differences are not many between the two statuses, however, the second comes with more benefits. Contact us and find out how we can help you start a new life in Canada.
If you migrate from the US to Canada, there are several methods you might acquire residency. Canada offers a variety of options that allow people from all over the world to settle down and establish new lives. Do not hesitate to contact us if you require assistance in navigating the legal formalities for moving.
What happens if you failed to apply for citizenship before April 2009?
This is often the case of foreign citizens who have Canadian grandparents and whose parents did not apply for the certificate of citizenship.
Even if one cannot become a Canadian by descent, he or she can choose the permanent residency path which implies living in Canada for the necessary timeframe that enables them to apply for citizenship by naturalization. There is no need to worry, as there are several programs through which a PR card can be obtained in a simple manner, which is one of the things that make Canada a great country to relocate to.
If you consider you have lost the chance to gain your Canadian citizen status by ancestry, our immigration lawyer can offer various alternatives that will help you become a Canadian passport holder.
Our immigration specialist is at the service of foreign citizens who qualify for citizenship in Canada. We can offer full support in terms of documents preparation and filing them in order to obtain the Canadian passport. Contact us for guidance in preparing for taking the citizenship oath.
Benefits of becoming a Canadian citizen by ancestry
Becoming a Canadian by descent certainly comes with advantages, and of course, the most important refers to the fact that the successful applicant no longer needs to wait for the period required to be naturalized, however, there are also other benefits that can arise from having this status. Among these:
- live and work in Canada on an indefinite period;
- the right to vote;
- the right to study without having to pay the tuition fees that apply to foreign students;
- access to free education for your minor children, if you have any;
- the possibility to sponsor family members that live abroad and want to relocate with you to Canada.
Family reunification is also possible if you are a permanent resident of Canada. It is also useful to note that Canada recognizes dual citizenship if you are a foreign citizen claiming your Canadian ancestry, however, you must also check with your current country of living if you can retain your first passport.
Our immigration lawyer in Canada is at your service if you are interested in obtaining a citizenship certificate. However, you should know that this document cannot be used as a travel paper, which is why you still need to obtain a passport.
We also invite you to watch our video below:
How long does it take to obtain citizenship by descent in Canada?
If you want to become citizen by descent in Canada, you must know that obtaining a citizenship certificate can be obtained through a regular or urgent procedure. The following aspects are important to note:
- through the regular procedure, the certificate is issued in approximately 12 months;
- the processing fee, in this case, is around 500 CAD;
- through the urgent procedure, the certificate is issued in 4 to 6 months;
- the fee, in this case, is 800 CAD;
- for those who apply for this certificate from outside Canada, the procedure can take between 12 and 18 months.
Support in applying for Canadian citizenship by descent
If you are interested in becoming a Canadian by descent, you can rely on our local specialists who can help you find out if you are eligible for this status. Since the law does not provide for ancestry that can be obtained based on the relationship with a distant family member, it will be quite easy to solicit the certificate of citizenship for which we need a power of attorney for representation with the Canadian authorities.
Once you have the document, you can come to the country and apply for a Canadian passport and enjoy all the rights that come with becoming a citizen. As mentioned earlier, we can also help you apply for citizenship if your parents did not consider returning to the country and have not filed for you to obtain citizenship.
If you are interested in knowing if you qualify for citizenship by descent in Canada, do not hesitate to contact us. Our immigration lawyer in Canada is at your service with the latest information.