Canadian Citizenship

Old Aug 25th 2003, 12:21 pm
  #1  
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Default Canadian Citizenship

Hello everyone - any help is appreciated as always.

My deceased father was Canadian, and myself and my Sister (I was born in 1978 and she 1981) are about to submit an application for Canadian Citizenship. We have all the required documents needed to send off with it. I am told that we are already "Canadians" and this application is just to get the proof, the Certificate if you like.

I just wanted to ask if this is an open and shut case? As long as we have all the right documents, etc, will they just process it and send us the certificate? Or is there a chance it may get refused for some reason??

Thanks for the help again.
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Old Aug 25th 2003, 3:15 pm
  #2  
Rich Wales
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Default Re: Canadian Citizenship

"ukbritguyusa" wrote:

> My deceased father was Canadian, and myself and my Sister
> (I was born in 1978 and she 1981) are about to submit an
> application for Canadian Citizenship. . . . I just wanted
> to ask if this is an open and shut case? . . . Or is
> there a chance it may get refused for some reason??

The only real hitch I can imagine is that the Canadian authorities
will want to be satisfied that your father did not acquire another
citizenship prior to 15 Feb. 1977 (the date on which Canada's
current Citizenship Act took effect). Under Canada's pre-1977
citizenship law, foreign naturalization resulted in automatic loss
of Canadian citizenship. If this happened to your father, then he
would not have had any Canadian citizenship to pass along to you
or your sister later on.

So, I believe you'll be expected to provide proof that your father
had not become a citizen of any other country before 15 Feb. 1977.
If he was a permanent resident alien in the US, for example, they
will want to see evidence that he still had a "green card" on or
after that date.

There is another issue worth mentioning, but only if your father
was born outside Canada to a Canadian parent or parents. Under
the current Citizenship Act, a child born outside Canada whose
claim to Canadian citizenship comes through a parent who was also
born outside Canada of Canadian parentage -- i.e., someone who is
of the second or later generation born abroad -- automatically
loses Canadian citizenship at age 28, unless he/she moves to
Canada, lives there for at least a year, and files a special
application to "retain" Canadian citizenship. Again, this
applies to you and your sister only if your father wasn't born
or naturalized in Canada, but instead acquired his Canadian
citizenship at birth because of a Canadian parent or parents
(the same way as you and your sister believe you've acquired
Canadian citizenship).

From the US point of view, BTW (I'm going to make an educated
guess that you and your sister were probably born in the US),
having Canadian citizenship from birth will not have any effect
at all on your US citizenship. There is a widely held belief
that US law requires "born dual" citizens to choose a single
citizenship when they grow up, but this is not true and hasn't
been true for many years.

Rich Wales [email protected] http://www.richw.org
*NOTE: I've lived in both Canada and the US and have dual citizenship.
*DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer, professional immigration consultant,
or consular officer. My comments are for discussion purposes only and
are not intended to be relied upon as legal or professional advice.
 
Old Aug 26th 2003, 2:22 am
  #3  
David Tew
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Default Re: Canadian Citizenship

[email protected] (Rich Wales) wrote in message news:<[email protected] rg>...

    > So, I believe you'll be expected to provide proof that your father
    > had not become a citizen of any other country before 15 Feb. 1977.
    > If he was a permanent resident alien in the US, for example, they
    > will want to see evidence that he still had a "green card" on or
    > after that date.

Rich, I just wanted to mention that the CIC manual states, in regard
to loss of Canadian citizenship by acquiring U.S. citizenship
pre-1977, that CIC will take an applicant's (or his/her parent's) word
on whether U.S. citizenship was acquired. The reason given is that
having a search made of U.S. naturalization records is very
time-consuming and experience had shown that applicants tell the truth
about this. If the CIC officer has doubts for some reason, a
green-card may need to be shown or records searched. See CP9, section
1.8 & 1.9 at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/manuals-guides/.../cp/index.html
 
Old Aug 26th 2003, 10:20 am
  #4  
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ukbritguyusa is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Hey guys,

thanks for the replies.

Just to let you know - myself and my sister are actually UK citizens, not US.

Also, I have a letter from the British Home Office saying my father did not take British Citizenship prior to 1977 (actually never at all). Also my father was actually born in Canada to Canadian parents. I already know that we meet the criteria that is laid out, I just wanted to know if I had missed anything, if it was just an open and shut case.

Thanks again!
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Old Aug 27th 2003, 6:06 am
  #5  
Rich Wales
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Default Re: Canadian Citizenship

"ukbritguyusa" wrote:

> Just to let you know - myself and my sister are actually UK
> citizens, not US. Also, I have a letter from the British
> Home Office saying my father did not take British Citizenship
> prior to 1977 (actually never at all).

I suppose it sounds OK. If the letter literally says "prior to 1977",
though, it's conceivable that some overly picky Canadian bureaucrat
might say the letter doesn't explicitly mention the period Jan. 1 -
Feb. 14, 1977, during which foreign naturalization still meant loss
of one's Canadian citizenship.

> Also my father was actually born in Canada to Canadian parents.

OK, then, in that case, the "second generation born abroad" stuff
wouldn't apply to you or your sister -- though it =would= apply to
any children of yours or hers that were or will be born outside
Canada.

It may also be worth noting -- again, with regard to your children,
nephews, or nieces, but not to you or your sister -- that Parliament
has been working on a total rewrite of the Citizenship Act. If the
current bill is enacted into law, I believe it will require citizens
of the second (or later) generation born abroad to spend at least
three years (rather than the current one year) in Canada before they
would become eligible to apply for retention of citizenship. Since
almost anything could conceivably change in the future, the best
advice would probably be for your children (or your sister's children)
to research this question when they get older, to see what the law
says about their status at that time.

Rich Wales [email protected] http://www.richw.org
*NOTE: I've lived in both Canada and the US and have dual citizenship.
*DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer, professional immigration consultant,
or consular officer. My comments are for discussion purposes only and
are not intended to be relied upon as legal or professional advice.
 
Old Aug 27th 2003, 8:26 pm
  #6  
Jaj
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Default Re: Canadian Citizenship

Rich
I wonder if CIC have really thought through the practicalities of
stripping Canadian citizens of their citizenship starting February
2005, when such Canadians may have no idea of what the law requires.

It is one thing to impose a time limit on registration as a citizen -
which would exclude those who never had the inclination even to get a
Canadian passport - but it seems to me to be quite another to cancel
someone's citizenship. It also appears that such 'second generation'
Canadians can even be stripped of citizenship if they have lived in
Canada for many years (but not made a formal application to retain
citizenship), hold Canadian passports, and think of themselves
entirely as Canadian.

It's also going to create a problem in that such people will, from
February 2005, still be thinking of themselves as Canadians, and will
only find out their situation some years later, possibly when they try
to renew their Canadian passport or sponsor a relative to migrate to
Canada.

While there does need to be some system to ensure there is no
proliferation of foreign born Canadians with no real ties to Canada,
the loss of citizenship provisions seem to be an especially bad way to
deal with the problem.

Jeremy


    >On Wed, 27 Aug 2003 18:06:16 +0000 (UTC), [email protected] (Rich Wales) wrote:
    >It may also be worth noting -- again, with regard to your children,
    >nephews, or nieces, but not to you or your sister -- that Parliament
    >has been working on a total rewrite of the Citizenship Act. If the
    >current bill is enacted into law, I believe it will require citizens
    >of the second (or later) generation born abroad to spend at least
    >three years (rather than the current one year) in Canada before they
    >would become eligible to apply for retention of citizenship. Since
    >almost anything could conceivably change in the future, the best
    >advice would probably be for your children (or your sister's children)
    >to research this question when they get older, to see what the law
    >says about their status at that time.
    >Rich Wales [email protected] http://www.richw.org
    >*NOTE: I've lived in both Canada and the US and have dual citizenship.
    >*DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer, professional immigration consultant,
    > or consular officer. My comments are for discussion purposes only and
    > are not intended to be relied upon as legal or professional advice.

This is not intended to be legal advice in any jurisdiction
 
Old Aug 30th 2003, 5:57 pm
  #7  
Rich Wales
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Default Re: Canadian Citizenship

[email protected] wrote:

> I wonder if CIC have really thought through the practicalities
> of stripping Canadian citizens of their citizenship starting
> February 2005, when such Canadians may have no idea of what
> the law requires.

Good question.

> It also appears that such 'second generation' Canadians can
> even be stripped of citizenship if they have lived in Canada
> for many years (but not made a formal application to retain
> citizenship), hold Canadian passports, and think of themselves
> entirely as Canadian.

Two thoughts (and these are only ideas -- I have no idea if the
relevant government agencies actually do these things or not).

First, it would make sense for CIC to include a notation on any
Certificate of Canadian Citizenship (citizenship card), stating
that the card will expire on such-and-so date. This would also
be an opportunity for CIC to include a notice when mailing out
the card, explaining the issue and describing what the person
must do in order to retain his/her citizenship.

Second, it would make sense for the passport office to issue a
passport that is only valid until the bearer's 28th birthday, in
cases where it is evident that he/she falls under the terms of
section 8 of the Citizenship Act. If citizenship cards for such
people were flagged appropriately (see my first thought above),
it would be easy for the passport office to identify them (keep
in mind too that, IIRC, the only proof of Canadian citizenship
which the passport office will accept from someone born outside
Canada is a citizenship card).

These measures, to be sure, would only catch situations in which
a Canadian of the second generation born abroad had been issued
a citizenship card (and possibly also a passport). However, if
such a person were living in Canada, he/she would probably have
been registered as a Canadian citizen in order to get him/her the
necessary documentation to come to Canada in the first place.

> While there does need to be some system to ensure there is
> no proliferation of foreign born Canadians with no real
> ties to Canada, the loss of citizenship provisions seem to
> be an especially bad way to deal with the problem.

Perhaps -- though the first alternative approach that comes to
my mind (namely, the way the US handles this issue) would, IMHO,
be even worse. The US law controlling citizenship at birth for
foreign-born children of Americans contains a horridly complex
(and almost impossible to correctly explain) set of requirements
for how long the American parent(s) must have spent physically
in the US -- and the rules have changed several times too, which
means it's crucial to know exactly when a given person was born
in order to know which version of the rules apply to him/her
(the changes aren't retroactive).

The existing rule might not be so bad, I think, if its impact
were softened somewhat through the addition of a way for a
foreign-born child of Canadian parentage to "solidify" his/her
citizenship in such a way that the rules for the second gene-
ration born abroad wouldn't apply to his/her children. For
example, if such a parent were to spend a certain amount of
time (1-3 years?) in Canada as an adult, prior to the foreign
birth of a child, then the "second generation born abroad"
rule wouldn't apply to the child.

Another beneficial change might be to relax the requirements
for applying to retain citizenship so that the one-year (or,
if Bill C-18 is enacted, three-year) period of time in Canada
need not necessarily happen =immediately= before applying to
retain citizenship. Some people might advocate requiring the
time spent in Canada to =not= be in early childhood (e.g.,
perhaps only time spent in Canada after one's 14th birthday
might count) -- but it's not at all clear to me that anything
is gained by requiring the time spent in Canada to be immedi-
ately prior to applying for retention of citizenship.

Rich Wales [email protected] http://www.richw.org
*NOTE: I've lived in both Canada and the US and have dual citizenship.
*DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer, professional immigration consultant,
or consular officer. My comments are for discussion purposes only and
are not intended to be relied upon as legal or professional advice.
 

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