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Applying for Citizenship for a Child Born Outside of Canada to a Canadian Parent

Canadian family

A person may qualify for Canadian citizenship even if they were born outside of Canada if one of their parents was a Canadian citizen at the time of their birth.

In order to confirm one’s citizenship one will have to apply for a citizenship certificate with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the official governmental body responsible for immigration issues in Canada.

This process does not apply to people who are non-citizens of Canada. People who are not yet citizens of Canada first need to apply for immigration to the country, get Permanent Residency and then wait until one’s residency is completed. Immigrants may then apply for Canadian citizenship.

What Is Citizenship

Citizenship is a status within a state which qualifies a person for a variety of things within that state’s society and government.

In many ways it is the highest status that an immigrant may achieve in a country.

Among the things that a citizen is allowed to do that temporary or Permanent Residents may not are:

  • The right to vote in elections, determining the direction of the country’s democracy
  • The right to carry a Canadian passport. A citizen travelling abroad with a Canadian passport is protected by all of Canada’s foreign diplomatic missions*
  • The right to work for any employer in Canada without first applying for a Labour Market Opinion. However, Permanent Residents are also allowed to do this
  • The right to run for office or work for the Canadian government. Immigrants have limited access to government jobs and are generally not allowed to run for an office in the government

*Citizens who already have a citizenship certificate or a birth certificate with a Canadian address can apply for a Canadian passport without applying for a citizenship certificate.

Eligibility for Citizenship

Children born abroad to Canadian parents must prove two things:

  • That the applicant is the child of a Canadian citizen
  • That the parent was a full Canadian citizen at the time of the applicant’s birth

In order to show that these requirements are met, certain documents must be included in one’s application.

To show that one is the child of a Canadian citizen one can produce their long-form birth certificate which lists both one’s mother and father.

Then, one will need a copy of one’s mother’s or father’s certificate of citizenship or birth certificate with a Canadian address.

Applying for a Citizenship Certificate

The form that an applicant will have to fill out to apply for a citizenship certificate is called Form CIT 0001, The Application for a Citizenship Certificate.

This form also includes instructions on how to fill it out and a checklist of necessary documents.

In order for a document to be accepted by the CIC it must be filled out properly and the required associated fee must be included. Fees may be paid online in some circumstances.



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