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New Law Concerning Citizenship – In force April 17th, 2009

A new law modifying the existing Citizenship Act came into force April 17th, 2009. The aim for this new piece of legislation is to restore Canadian citizenship to ones who have lost status prior and to grant citizenship to others for the first time. The most substantial change however, is the restrictions on granting citizenship to children born abroad. Some of the people affected for example are war brides and people born outside of Canada. The new law will restore citizenship to ones that became citizens when the first citizenship act came in place in 1947 even if they've lost their citizenship since. It also allows people adopted outside Canada by Canadian parents between 1947 and 1977 to apply for a grant of citizenship. Tens of thousands of Canadians have lost their status in the past due to little-known details in the Citizenship Act. Examples are war brides who have not yet become Canadian citizens, children born in Canada who lost their citizenship as minors because their parents lost their status while gaining citizenship elsewhere and people who have unknowingly allowed their citizenship to expire. The new regulation will ensure anyone born in Canada or who became a Canadian citizen on or after January 1947 of their status.

The most buzzed about in the new rules are for people who are deemed first generation citizens born abroad to a Canadian citizen. Canadian citizenship is now only restricted to the first generation born outside of Canada to protect the value of Canadian citizenship for the future. In retrospect, citizenship laws will become more restrictive for children of Canadians born abroad. Previously, Canadians born abroad could pass on their citizenship to their children and grandchildren and generations forward despite where the child was born. This new law will abolish the old ways of gaining citizenship by ancestry except if child was born abroad to first generation Canadians.

The new law does not require people to apply for citizenship but they must provide certification to prove their citizenship. Once that is validated, citizenship is automatic and retroactive to the date of loss or the date of birth.

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