Canadian citizenship is the legal status granted to individuals recognised as members of the Canadian nation and entitled to all of the rights and responsibilities that come with that status. Canadian citizenship can be obtained in several ways, including through birth in Canada, naturalisation, or descent from a Canadian citizen.
Once an individual becomes a Canadian citizen, they are entitled to various benefits and protections, including the right to vote, access to healthcare and education, and protection under Canadian law. Canadian citizenship is considered a highly valuable and sought-after status, and many individuals worldwide apply for Canadian citizenship each year.
If a person was born outside of Canada and at least one of their biological or legal parents was a Canadian citizen when they were born, they may be qualified for Canadian citizenship. Citizenship in Canada can only be obtained through descent for the first generation of a family if that child was born outside of Canada to a Canadian parent.
The Canadian Citizenship Act is a piece of legislation that outlines the requirements and procedures for individuals to obtain Canadian citizenship. It was first passed in 1947 and has been amended several times to reflect changes in Canadian immigration policies and procedures.
The Act governs who can become a citizen, how citizenship is acquired and lost, and the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizens. The Act has sometimes been controversial, with some groups challenging its provisions in court. Overall, however, it has played an important role in shaping Canadian identity and determining who is considered a part of the Canadian nation.
Since it was first passed in 1947, the Canadian Citizenship Act has been changed many times. For a long time, the Act let Canadian parents give citizenship to their children born outside of Canada for as long as they filed with the government before a certain age.
In 2009, the government set a limit for Canadians born outside the country. The immigration minister at the time, Diane Finley, said that the change was made to stop “Canadians of convenience” by ensuring citizens have a real link to Canada.
The present lawsuit
The second generation’s cut-off rule, implemented in 2009, is being challenged in court by a group of plaintiffs consisting of 23 individuals from seven families. The plaintiffs allege that the rule discriminates based on birthplace, violates mobility and liberty rights, and disproportionately disadvantages women in situations in which they were forced to give birth outside of Canada for reasons beyond their control.
It is up to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to decide whether the Canadian government violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by limiting the right to inherit citizenship by descent to only those born in a foreign country in their first generation.
According to the Toronto Star, the families say that the government’s position “oversimplifies the complicated reality of the many moving parts of these choices, such as access to health care, cost of health care, risks of travel, loss of job and income, and risk to career advancement.”
At the time, Minister Finley’s explanation for the second-generation cutoff was that he was worried about “Canadians of convenience” who would never set foot in Canada, didn’t have a real link to Canada, and just wanted to be Canadian so they could live there if they wanted to. But those who filed the case are not so-called “Canadians of convenience.” Sujit Choudhry, a lawyer for the families, said that the children went back to Canada when they were young and grew up there.
Canadians born in Canada or who became Canadians through naturalisation can give their citizenship to their children who were born abroad. Still, Canadians born abroad through descent need help to do this. Lawyers for the families say that this is the worst kind of abuse because it is arbitrary.
How to apply for a Canadian citizen proof
The official way for the Canadian government to find out if you are a citizen is to send in a “proof of Canadian citizenship” application, also called an application for a Canadian citizenship certificate. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) gives out the Canadian citizenship certificate. Along with the Canadian birth certificate, it is one of only two papers that Passport Canada will accept as proof of Canadian citizenship.
You can submit an application for a Canadian citizenship certificate at any point in your life, regardless of whether or not your Canadian parent is still alive. This is true even if you were born in Canada but your parents moved away before you were born.
You must download the application package from the IRCC website in order to apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate. IRCC will want proof that at least one of your legal or actual parents was a Canadian citizen at the time you were born.
On IRCC’s website, you can fill out the application and send it in. As soon as they get your application, you’ll get a “acknowledgement of receipt,” and your file will be reviewed and handled.
- First generation can be citizens.
- Second-gen cut-off in 2009.
- Challenges to cut-off rule.
- Citizenship transmission rules.
- Applying for citizenship certificate.