Dual Citizenship in Canada: It is Right for You?

Dual Citizenship CanadaDual citizenship means you maintain citizenship of two countries. If you are a foreign national applying for Canadian citizenship, ask your country’s embassy about the rules for citizenship. Some nations do not permit dual citizenship. If they do permit it, you need to follow their rules. In Canada, for example, if you obtain a second citizenship, you do not lose Canadian citizenship unless you formally renounce your Canadian citizenship. Some countries may not recognize your Canadian citizenship while others may automatically revoke their citizenship if you become Canadian.

Should You Keep Dual Citizenship in Canada?

To avoid surprises, find out about your country’s current rules if you can have dual citizenship. If you can, you will want to consider whether you wish to retain dual citizenship. Some countries have tax obligations or military obligations, regardless of residence, so you may still need to pay money or serve in the military if you retain citizenship. Some nations prevent dual citizen holders from using Canadian consulate services while you are traveling in your home nation. If this is the case, you might not have access to a Canadian embassy or consular services when you travel there.

Some citizens choose to revoke their original citizenship for these or other reasons. If this is the case for you, you will need to follow your home country’s rules for revoking citizenship.

If you are considering having dual citizenship in Canada, there may be some advantages. If you travel frequently to a country where you hold citizenship, you can carry both a Canadian passport and a passport from the country of your second citizenship, which can make traveling and even living and working overseas easier. On the other hand, some nations forbid your traveling on two passports. Should you wish to vote in elections in another country or live in another nation, dual citizenship can help you do so more easily. For some individuals, retaining dual citizenship can also be a link back to their country of birth.

You will want to weigh the risks and benefits of dual citizenship, including any legal obligations, your future plans to travel, and more. You may wish to consult country-specific travel advisories to determine what travel to your home country might entail. You will also want to confirm with authorities or the embassy of your country of citizenship so you understand that nation’s rules before applying for Canadian citizenship.

If you are a dual citizen holder and wish to travel outside of Canada to the other nation where you hold citizenship, check the rules before you plan your trip. As of November 10, 2016, you will need a Canadian passport to return to Canada, even if you are entering another nation with another passport. The only exception to this is if you are US-Canada dual citizenship holder. If you have both US and Canadian citizenship and have a US passport, you do not need a Canadian passport to enter Canada, provided you have the correct identification and meet entry requirements for Canada.

Are You Interested in Dual Citizenship in Canada?

If you are interested in becoming a dual citizenship holder and already have citizenship through birth, marriage, or naturalization from another nation, you can start the Canadian citizenship application process. To do so, you must determine which option is best for you. You may wish to immigrate to Canada using Express Entry or another program or seek family sponsorship.

If you need help, Immigration Direct has resources to help you apply for citizenship. We also have a free blog and other easy-to-access resources to help you learn more about the immigration process and about immigration laws which could affect you.