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Does Becoming American Affect My Canadian Citizenship?

Common-Law Partner

You automatically receive Canadian citizenship when you are born in Canada. You are also considered a citizen if one of your parents is a first-generation Canadian citizen. Citizenship can also be obtained by a person who has obtained permanent residence in Canada then lived in the country for a certain time period. Their children are also considered Canadian citizens, even if they are born in another country.

Canada is a country that allows dual citizenship. A Canadian will not lose their citizenship if they take on another nationality or nationalities.  If they are naturalized as a citizen, they will retain their original citizenship in addition to their Canadian citizenship, provided that the other country also allows dual citizenship.  The United States of America also allows dual citizenship.

Benefits of Dual Citizenship

There are some advantages that come from holding citizenship in America and Canada.

Here are the benefits you can experience:

  • Possessing two passports can make border-crossing go more smoothly.
  • You can vote in either country.
  • You can move freely between and live in either of the two countries.
  • Benefit from the rights and privileges of each country.

Requirements

The first thing you need to do is make sure you’re eligible to have citizenship in both countries.

Keep in mind that your parents’ country of origin also extends their citizenship to you. For example, if your mother was born in Canada and your father was born in the United States, you would already have dual citizenship without having to do anything other than register as a citizen.

If that’s not the case for you, you’ll need to follow certain requirements:

  • Rules for immigrating to America.
  • You’ll need to apply for a green card, which is what allows you to initially live in the country permanently. Your eligibility for a green card can be based on having family members who are permanent residents or citizens. It can also be work related. If you have an offer from a company that cannot find an American citizen with the appropriate skill set, you can obtain a green card. Having $1 million to invest in an American business will also give you eligibility.
  • You’ll need to live in America for a legally specified period of time before you can apply for citizenship.
  • You cannot have been convicted of a crime.
  • Rules for immigrating to Canada.
  • You’ll need to apply for permanent residency. Similar to the rules for immigrating to America, having relatives that are permanent residents or citizens can allow you to obtain permanent residency for yourself. The categories for skilled workers and business investment could also potentially make you eligible, as well.
  • You’ll need to live in Canada for four out of six years.
  • You cannot have been convicted of a crime.

Both countries will require an application, as well as a language test. In order to become an American citizen, you need to be able to understand English, while the Canadian citizenship test requires you to understand French or English.

You’ll want to find a qualified immigration lawyer to help you with the process. One who also specializes in citizenship revocation will be particularly helpful if you run into any issues with your application.


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