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Canadian Dual Citizenship

Dual citizenship is being a citizen of two or more countries. A lot of countries permit dual citizenship, and Canada is one of them. Canada has very open and accepting laws in terms of dual citizenship. However, not all countries are like Canada. A Canadian citizen will retain his/her Canadian citizenship when acquiring another citizenship in another country. They cannot lose it unless they renounce it voluntarily through legal procedures. 

However, some countries revoke citizenship when their citizen acquires a Canadian passport. Some may not recognize the new citizenship at all. Local authorities of the country where you take citizenship may decline your access to Canadian consular services, which may restrict Canadian consular officers from giving you those services.

The most common ways of obtaining citizenship include natural birth, marriage, and naturalization. However, if you are not naturally born in Canada, and you’re seeking Canadian citizenship, the process is not as easy as merely marrying a Canadian citizen. Anyone who is hoping to acquire Canadian citizenship must first meet the requirements to be eligible.

Canadian Dual Citizenship Requirements

For you to successfully acquire Canadian citizenship, you must first demonstrate that you are fluent in writing and speaking one of Canada’s two official languages, English and French. You have to be able to use either one of these languages to:

  • participate in everyday conversations
  • understand simple questions, instructions, and directions
  • use basic grammar
  • prove your knowledge of common words and phrases.

If you do not present any proof that you are well-versed in either English or French, your application may be rejected or returned as incomplete. 

Citizenship candidates should also obtain a Permanent Resident (PR) status and must be physically present for at least 1,095 days within 5 years preceding their application for citizenship. So, if you are married to a Canadian citizen, your spouse can sponsor you in becoming a permanent resident.

Aside from the requirements mentioned above, you will also have to pass the Canadian citizenship test that would demonstrate if you have enough knowledge about Canada’s values, history, symbols, and institutions. The test will also show your knowledge of the rights, privileges, and responsibilities as a citizen. The test is available in English or French, and only requires candidates age 18 and older to pass. Minors are no longer needed to meet the residency requirement.

If one of your parents is a Canadian citizen, you may already be a citizen. However, you need to apply for proof of citizenship to be recognized as a Canadian citizen. Lastly, if you have recently been or are in prison, on parole or probation, serving a sentence or have been charged on of an indictable crime, you cannot become a Canadian citizen.

How to Apply for Dual Canadian Citizenship?

Once you have determined if you are eligible for Canadian citizenship, you can now start applying for dual citizenship by following the steps below:

  • Get and download the Canadian Citizen Application package and fill out the Canadian dual citizenship application form.
  • Attach all supporting documents.
  • Pay the application fees (processing fee or right of citizenship fee).
  • Mail your application form along with your supporting documents to the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Note: If you submitted using a form dating October 2017 or later, but we returned it as incomplete, comply with the missing information or documents and submit your application again using the same form. You may also visit the IRCC website for more information regarding application and processing times.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the American-Canadian dual citizenship benefits?

Both Canada and the U.S. permit their citizens to have dual citizenship which allows many people to freely travel back and forth, exercise suffrage from either of the two countries and take advantage of the citizens’ rights and privileges in both countries. Moreover, dual citizens can live, work, and own property in both countries.

How can a Canadian obtain a dual U.S. citizenship?

Canadian citizens generally cannot simply apply for U.S. citizenship unless they are born abroad to U.S. citizen parents. Instead, they have to be a permanent resident (green card holder) and reside in the United States for a specified period of time before they are eligible to naturalize.

The green card will allow a Canadian to live, work and reside freely in the United States. Canadians can apply for dual citizenship if they are eligible for green cards via one of the following ways:

  • Naturalization Based on Marriage to a U.S. Citizen
  • Naturalization Based Through Employment
  • Naturalization Through a Family Member
  • Investor-Based Green Card

Do I lose my US citizenship if I become Canadian?
Since Canada does not require you to renounce your existing citizenship preceding your naturalization in Canada, you are allowed to hold both citizenships. Besides, the U.S. does not deem you to have lost your American citizenship when you are naturalized in another country.

Can I have Filipino-Canadian dual citizenship?

The law of Canada permits dual or multiple citizenship. Thus you can be a Filipino citizen and still be recognized as Canadian. Under Philippine Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Law of 2003, also known as R.A 9225, natural-born Filipinos who lost their citizenship upon naturalization in other countries can apply to have their Filipino nationality retained. This means you can hold dual citizenship only if you’re deemed to be Filipino by birth.

Can you have Canadian-Portuguese dual citizenship?

Portugal permits dual citizenship. Hence, Portuguese citizens holding or taking foreign citizenship do not lose their Portuguese citizenship. Likewise, those naturalized Portuguese citizens do not have to renounce their foreign citizenship.

Do I lose my American citizenship if I become Canadian?

Both America and Canada permit dual citizenship, which means Americans can retain their U.S. citizenship. However, if they chose to renounce their citizenship voluntarily, then they would cease to be a U.S. citizen.

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