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Q: Canadian citizenship ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Canadian citizenship
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: mrsminiver-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 08 Nov 2004 11:26 PST
Expires: 08 Dec 2004 11:26 PST
Question ID: 426203
If my mother became a citizen of the U.S. in the mid 60's when I was
13, but my father did not (he moved back to Canada), do I still retain
my Canadian citizenship (I was born in Canada)? I was naturalized but
when I applied for a U.S. passport they had no record of the
naturalization...except for my brother and I seemed to
have slipped through the cracks! My brother and father both live in
Canada, I am just wondering if I still am a Canadian? Thank you and
best regards, Maureen
Subject: Re: Canadian citizenship
Answered By: jdb-ga on 08 Nov 2004 12:41 PST

I am following up on your question. Here are some resources:

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Information about Canadian Citizenship
"Were you born in Canada? Is one of your parents Canadian? Do you need
proof of your Canadian citizenship?
If you were born in Canada, you are probably a citizen."

Citizenship Certificate (Proof of Citizenship) and Searching Citizenship Records

Search of Citizenship Records

A search of records can confirm if you were or were not issued a
citizenship certificate.

View and print an Application for Search of Citizenship Records or
contact the nearest Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate:

Application for a Citizenship Certificate from Outside Canada
Purpose: This application is for Canadian citizens residing outside
Canada who wish to apply for a citizenship certificate as proof of
Canadian citizenship. Supporting documents required will depend on
whether the application is for a new certificate or to replace one
that was lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed.

Contact the nearest Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate:

Find out more about how to prove you are a Canadian citizen:

A Canadian citizen, whether by birth or by naturalization, enjoys
certain fundamental rights and freedoms. In order to take advantage of
some of these rights, however, you may be asked to prove your
citizenship status.
In order to do this, you must have some form of proper official documentation. 

What is a citizenship certificate and why is it necessary? 

The document can be used as definitive proof of your citizenship
status when applying for jobs, passports, etc. It can also be used in
certain circumstances when you travel. The citizenship certificate is
currently accepted in North America as documentary evidence of your
right to be re-admitted to Canada. When travelling outside of Canada
most countries (except for a few Caribbean islands) require a Canadian
visitor to be in possession of a valid Canadian passport. When you
travel it is advisable to carry both a citizenship certificate and a
Canadian passport.
Who is eligible to obtain a citizenship certificate? 

Any Canadian citizen is entitled to apply for a citizenship
certificate. Naturalized Canadians automatically receive the document
when they are granted their citizenship. Virtually all people born in
this country are considered to be Canadian citizens. Likewise, anyone
born to a Canadian parent is considered to be a Canadian citizen.

If you have any questions about your claim to citizenship you should
call the Citizenship and Immigration Call Centre (phone number can be
found at the end of this document).

How to Apply for a Citizenship Certificate 

If you live in Canada, you can obtain an application kit by calling
the Citizenship and Immigration Call Centre. The kit you need is the
Application for a Citizenship Certificate from Inside Canada. If you
live outside of Canada, you should contact the nearest Canadian
embassy or consulate. The kit you need is the Application for a
Citizenship Certificate from Outside Canada.

The application form will ask you to provide certain information and
certain specific documents. If you are applying for your first
citizenship certificate, you must include original documents or
certified copies.

There is a fee accompanying the application. The amount of the fee is
stated in the application kit or in a separate notice from a Canadian
embassy or consulate abroad. Payment must be included with your
application form. It is not refundable.

Once you have filled out your application, and made sure that it is
signed and dated, you can put it in the envelope provided and mail it
to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, P.O. Box 10,000, Sydney, NS B1P
7C1. If you are outside Canada, the nearest Canadian embassy or
consulate will be pleased to assist you. All applications are
processed by officials working for Citizenship and Immigration Canada,
a federal government department. The information you provide on your
application is considered confidential.

I hope this is helpful. Please respond if I can be of further assistance. jdb-ga

Request for Answer Clarification by mrsminiver-ga on 08 Nov 2004 14:59 PST
So you think I am still a citizen of Canada? Everything I have read
say I am not because I was naturalized here (even tho they have no
record) and it was before 1977 when they passed a law saying you would
still be canadian. Is this because my father is still canadian? Is his
citizenship the one that counts? Thank you and best regards, Maureen

Clarification of Answer by jdb-ga on 08 Nov 2004 17:08 PST

I am following up further on your question.

Frequently Asked Questions on (US) Immigration and Naturalization

Q. If I am naturalized, is my child a citizen?  

A. Usually if children are Permanent Residents they derive citizenship
by operation of law from their naturalized parents. In most cases,
your child is a citizen if all of the following are true:
      (1) The other parent is also naturalized or  
      (2) You are the only surviving parent (if the other  
            parent is dead) or  
           1.You have legal custody (if you and the other  
              parent are legally separated or divorced.)  
           2.The child was under 18 when the parent(s)  
             naturalized, the child was not married  when 
             the parent(s) naturalized; and the child was a  
             Permanent Resident before his or her 18th  

If your father was not naturalized, and your mother did not have legal
custody, this may mean you retain your Canadian citizenship through
your father.

You may actually have dual citizenship:

"Since there can be several ways to acquire a given country's
citizenship, it is possible for someone to be considered a citizen
under the laws of two (or more) countries at the same time. This is
what is meant by dual (or multiple) citizenship.

For example, my son has been a dual citizen of both the US and Canada
from the day he was born. He is a citizen of the US (via ius
sanguinis), because his parents ... fulfilled the US's legal
requirement of residency in the US prior to his birth. And he is also
a citizen of Canada (via ius soli), because he was born in Canada..."

However, the website below describes a situation similar to yours, in
which, due to being born in Canada prior to the 1977 Citizenship Act,
and then naturalized as a US citizen due to his parents' move to the
US, this individual found he did not have Canadian Citizenship:

"Born in Canada but not Canadian"

There has since been redress of this issue, even if your mother had
legal custody and remained a US citizen:

OTTAWA, May 14, 2003

"The new measures will apply to people who lost their Canadian
citizenship as children between January 1, 1947, and February 14,
1977, when their responsible parent ceased to be a Canadian by
becoming a citizen of another country.

...I have asked my officials to ensure that these cases are dealt with
as quickly as possible under Canada's current immigration and
citizenship legislation," added the Minister. "The normal selection
criteria for permanent residence will be waived for these individuals;
however, they would still have to demonstrate an ability to support
themselves and meet other admissibility requirements such as those
related to criminal, security and public health checks. I have also
instructed that an exemption from the medical inadmissibility
requirement related to an excessive demand on the health-care system
be granted to these people.

...Although the residency requirement for citizenship will still
apply, the proposed citizenship legislation (Bill C-18) currently
before Parliament will provide greater flexibility for meeting this
requirement once it becomes law.

Instead of requiring a person to reside in Canada one full year
immediately prior to making an application for citizenship, Bill C-18
will require people in the above situation to be physically present in
Canada for 365 days out of the two years preceding their application.

Though some individuals have questioned the need for applying for a
permanent resident visa, the requirement is necessary to fulfil the
government's responsibility to safeguard all Canadians by allowing the
Department to screen people and undertake criminality, public health
and security checks. The residency requirement for resumption of
citizenship provides these people with an opportunity to demonstrate
their attachment to Canada."

So, apparently you must go through the same application procedures as
anyone else, as listed on the CIC website, though the requirements are
somewhat easier to meet, and your application is said to be expedited.

I hope this is helpful. Let me know if I can be of further assistance. jdb-ga

Clarification of Answer by jdb-ga on 24 Nov 2004 15:50 PST

I wanted to followup with a small summation, and I know from firsthand
experience in personal Canadian immigration matters that finding
straight answers from Canadian Immigration is not easy - part of why I
took interest in your question. I even phoned five Canadian US
Consulates myself, and was told by the one person I was able to reach
that you retain your citizenship from birth, though this does not
necessarily seem to be the case from the material I found in the web
searches I included in my answer.

To summarize, it may be that you retain Canadian citizenship if your
mother did not process a legal custody when your parents separated. It
seems your first step is to do a Citizenship Search through the CIC
site and forms I found. If you find you do not retain citizenship, the
fellow in the similar situation whose website I included describes
what process he went through to contest this. If you do not want to
use that approach, or if it is unsuccessful, you might then apply to
immigrate, and take advantage of the expedited law I also included.
You may want to consult an immigration lawyer, and here are Google
Directory's listings by province:

Google > Directory > Society > Law > Services > Lawyers and Law Firms
> Immigration > North America > Canada

Or use:

British Columbia (9)
Nova Scotia (1)
Ontario (22)
Quebec (12)

Also: Regional > North America > Canada > Business and Economy > Legal
Services > Immigration

Or use:

I hope this is helpful. jdb-ga
Subject: Re: Canadian citizenship
From: deadlychiapet-ga on 25 Nov 2004 15:18 PST
The Toronto Star ( runs a weekly Immigration
column on Saturdays. You may want to email the author of it, Allan
Thompson, at, or browse the more recent
archives at
to help further answer your question.

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