Parent born in Canada? You’re Canadian!

Was your mother or father born or naturalized in Canada? Under recent amendments to Canada’s Citizenship Act, nearly all persons whose parent was born or naturalized in Canada are now Canadian citizens. This is true even if your parent left Canada as a child; married an American citizen (or other non-Canadian); or became a U.S. citizen (or citizen of another country). There is no age limit on claiming your Canadian citizenship. If your parent was naturalized in Canada, the naturalization must have occurred before you were born.canadian_flag_3_117840

These new laws apply to the first generation born abroad. So if your mother or father was born in Canada you are likely a citizen. However, with some important exceptions, your own children are generally not Canadian citizens if they are second generation born abroad. However, as a Canadian citizen, you can sponsor your children to become Canadian permanent residents if they are under the age of 22. You can also sponsor your husband, wife, or common law partner at any time regardless of age.

Although you may already be a Canadian citizen, you will need to obtain a Certificate of Citizenship in order to assert your Citizenship rights, such as moving to Canada, obtaining a Canadian passport, working in Canada, or attending school in Canada. This requires filing an application with the Case Processing Centre in Sydney, Nova Scotia. There are numerous technical requirements for this application. We have helped hundreds of people successfully obtain their Certificates of Citizenship.

Canadian citizens are free to live anywhere in the world, so you can obtain your Certificate of Citizenship without having to leave the U.S. However, if you want to sponsor your family members as permanent residents of Canada, you must plan to move to Canada at the time the permanent resident visas are issued. The sponsorship process currently takes about 12 months.

Obtaining a Certificate of Citizenship has no impact on your U.S. citizenship. If you are a U.S. citizen now, you will become a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada. There are no tax or other unwanted legal obligations that arise from obtaining your Canadian Certificate of Citizenship.

Contact us now if you have a parent born in Canada and want to obtain your citizenship certificate, or if you were born in Canada and want to obtain certificates for your children. We are experienced Canadian immigration lawyers located in the United States and in Canada. We can help you get your Canadian citizenship certificate quickly and efficiently. We can also help you obtain a parent’s birth certificate, even if your parent has passed away.