September 10, 2009
USA Green Card Holder
Q. I am a US green card holder and will become a US citizen this year. I was wondering if I have a right to live and work in Canada. Also if I gave birth in Canada, does my child get Canadian citizenship?
A. An interesting question, as some perceive the USA and Canada because of its geographic proximity and strong relations that the two countries share one immigration system or there are shared privileges akin to the European Union. This is not the case and the right to live and work in the United States does not entitle a person to the right to live and work in Canada. Both countries implement and administer their own immigration laws, regulations and policies. Having said this there are some benefits, U.S. citizens for example are visa exempt to visit Canada. The North American Free Trade Agreement as another example recognizes and processes certain classes of workers from the United States and Mexico differently than other pasts of the world. On the whole though, Canadian immigration laws apply to persons equally, all over the world. Thus, in your case, by becoming a US citizen although you might benefit by applying under certain Canadian immigration categories you do not have the right to automatically live and work in Canada. As for your child, if born in Canada s/he does enjoy the right to become a Canadian citizen upon the filing of the appropriate registration documents. Good luck!