January 25, 2023
Dual Citizenship – What to Know as a Canadian Citizen
Canadian citizenship was not legally recognized until 1 January 1947, and unfortunately at that time, dual citizenship was not recognized. However, this changed in 1977 with the enactment of the Citizenship Act, which, for the first time, recognized dual citizenship. In 2009, the law was amended to retroactively reinstate Canadian citizenship in certain circumstances where individuals may have lost it automatically by operation of law (including for acquiring another nationality or citizenship prior to 1977).
There are several ways to gain Canadian citizenship, as provided in the Citizenship Act, including but not limited to:
- If born in Canada (subject to a few exceptions);
- If born outside of Canada to a Canadian parent (subject to the first-generation limit); and
- If previously a permanent resident and applied for and met the requirements for a grant of Canadian citizenship.
Regardless of how you obtain your Canadian citizenship, as above, Canadian law now recognizes dual citizenship so acquiring a new nationality or citizenship, or becoming a Canadian citizen with an existing nationality or citizenship, is permitted under Canadian citizenship law. While dual citizenship is recognized in Canada, the citizenship laws in other countries may differ greatly, so we strongly suggest you confirm with a lawyer in the relevant jurisdiction if dual citizenship is recognized in that country.
Other benefits to having Canadian citizenship include:
- The ability to enter and exit Canada, as well as travel within the country;
- The ability to apply for a Canadian passport; and
- The ability to vote in Federal, Provincial, and municipal elections.
If you wish to confirm that you are eligible for Canadian citizenship, or have questions concerning dual citizenship, please book a consultation with our legal team.