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October 5, 2009

Changes in the Citizenship Act

Posted by admin - Bellissimo Law Group PC

Q. I would like to know whether I am eligible for Canadian citizenship. My grandfather was born in Canada, moved to the United States when he was 18. He married there and had one daughter, my mother in the States. My mother visited Canada, but she never lived there or claimed Canadian citizenship. I have also visited Canada, but have never lived there. Am I entitled to Canadian citizenship? Thank you.

A. This question is really timely as the Citizenship Act is going to be amended on April 17, 2009 (Bill C-37). What will this bill do? There are a few things that Citizenship and Immigration Canada had in mind by amending the Act:

  • One, to restore citizenship to those people who have lost it due to the former legislation;
  • Also, it will give the right to citizenship to certain people who have never been Canadian and who are of the first generation born outside Canada to a Canadian parent;
  •  At the same time, the legislation will expand the eligibility of adopted persons including those adopted between January 1, 1947, and February 14, 1977;
  •  On the other hand, the Act will limit citizenship by descent to the first generation born outside Canada to a Canadian parent; and, last but not least
  •  Similarly, the Act will limit citizenship by adoption to the first generation born or adopted outside Canada to a Canadian parent.

To answer your question, as you are 2nd generation born outside Canada (grandparent born in Canada, neither of your parents are Canadians) you will not be eligible for Canadian citizenship.