New Legislation for Canadian Citizenship Updates

27 May, 2024

New Legislation for Canadian Citizenship Updates

Immigration Minister Marc Miller has introduced a bill in Canada's parliament to impose a first-generation limit on citizenship by descent.
If the bill is passed, children of Canadian citizens born abroad will be able to pass their citizenship to their own children.
Known as Bill C-71, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act (2024), the bill also aims to "restore citizenship to 'Lost Canadians'"—individuals who lost or were never able to obtain Canadian citizenship due to previous, outdated legislation.
The current rules generally restrict citizenship by descent to the first generation, excluding some people who have a genuine connection to Canada. This has unacceptable consequences for families and impacts life choices, such as where individuals may choose to live, work, study, or even where to have children and raise a family. These changes aim to be inclusive and protect the value of Canadian citizenship, as we are committed to making the citizenship process as fair and transparent as possible.
However, the legislation also stipulates that parents born abroad who have or adopt children also born outside Canada will need to have spent at least 1,095 cumulative days of physical presence in Canada prior to the birth or adoption of their child to pass on citizenship.
In other words, children born or adopted by Canadian citizens born abroad will not be eligible for citizenship if their parents cannot prove they have lived in Canada for a total of three calendar years before the birth or adoption of their child.
The Minister stated that more details will be available if the bill passes in parliament and receives royal assent. He did not provide a timeframe for the bill’s approval.
The proposed bill follows a similar decision by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Last December, the court declared that the second-generation limit is unconstitutional. The presiding judge ruled that the second-generation cut-off creates a distinction based on national origin because it treats those who are Canadians at birth because they were born in Canada differently from those Canadians who obtained their citizenship by descent from being born outside of Canada.
The Government of Canada had the option to appeal the ruling but chose not to, agreeing that the current law has “unacceptable” consequences for Canadians whose children were born outside the country.


How to get Proof of Citizenship


Under the current laws, the Canadian government requires a Canadian citizenship certificate to confirm citizenship status for those born abroad.
Eligible individuals can apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate at any point in their lives, regardless of whether their Canadian parent is living or deceased.
Applicants must prove that at least one of their biological or legal parents was a Canadian citizen at the time of the applicant’s birth.
Once Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) receives an application, they will issue an “acknowledgement of receipt” and process the application.
According to the latest processing time data, it can take up to three months for applicants in Canada and the United States, and longer for those in other countries.
If you have further questions, please contact our team and schedule a consultation with our specialists! e-Visa Immigration is ready to assist you at any stage of your process.
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