Canada’s Rules for Citizenship, Dual Citizenship, and Citizenship Revocation

Sponsorship Appeal processWhen you are born in Canada, you automatically receive Canadian citizenship. A permanent resident can apply for Canadian citizenship after they have lived in the country for a specified period of time. The children of these citizens are also considered Canadian citizens, even if they aren’t born in Canada.

There are advantages to becoming a citizen, like the right to vote and the ability to obtain a Canadian passport. Also, unlike permanent residents Canadian citizens are not subject to a residency requirement and can remain outside of Canada for extended periods or even indefinitely without jeopardizing their citizenship status.

How many citizenships can you have in Canada?

Canada is a country that allows dual or multiple citizenship. Permanent residents who obtain Canadian citizenship can also keep their citizenship from their country of origin, as long as that country also permits dual citizenship. Likewise, a Canadian will not lose their citizenship if they take on another nationality.

Application for Canadian Citizenship

You must be a permanent resident of Canada before you can apply for Canadian citizenship.

A permanent resident who applies for and receives Canadian citizenship is referred to as “naturalized.” There are some specific requirements that must be met in order to become a naturalized Canadian citizen.

  • Residency requirement.

    A permanent resident has to have been physically residing in Canada for a total of four of the previous six years in order to be considered for citizenship. They also have to prove that they intend to live in Canada. For this reason, it’s not a good idea to leave the country while the citizenship application is processing.

  • Language requirement.

    Any prospective citizen must be able to show an understanding of the English or French language, which are the official languages of Canada. A language test is part of the application.

  • Canada knowledge requirement.

    This test has to be passed by applicants for citizenship who are over the age of 13 and under the age of 65. It is comprised of 20 questions from a booklet called “Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship.”

Once these and all other requirements have been successfully met, you will be granted Canadian citizenship at a special ceremony. Part of the ceremony is swearing an oath of loyalty to Canada.

Revocation of citizenship

As a result of the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, which was passed into law by the former Conservative government, there are situations in which your citizenship could be revoked, necessitating the services of a qualified citizenship revocation lawyer.

You can lose your Canadian citizenship if:

  • You were convicted of terrorism.
  • You were convicted of treason, high treason, or spying
  • You served as a member of the armed forces of a country with which Canada is at war.

If there is suspected fraud related to your citizenship, you will receive a letter from the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. You will have a chance to respond to the charges and present evidence to the contrary.

The process could proceed to a hearing or it could be decided upon without a hearing. If you are deemed ineligible to retain citizenship, you have a right to an appeal before the Federal Court within 30 days of receiving the decision.

Retaining a citizenship revocation lawyer is the first step if you receive notification of possible revocation. It is imperative to act immediately to seek experienced counsel since the timelines are short to defend yourself, and the consequences potentially very serious, including loss of Canadian citizenship and subsequent deportation from Canada.

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