Find Out if You are a Canadian Citizen

How to Find Out if You are a Canadian Citizenthumbnail
Am I a Canadian Citizen?

Changes to the Canadian citizenship law on April 17, 2009 granted hundreds of thousands of people retroactive Canadian citizenship. Most of these are Americans but many are from around the world. If you have a Canadian parent or other ties to Canada you might be able to now find out "I am a Canadian Citizen". 

The Canadian government is promoting this law with a cool YouTube video.   So you might ask - how can I find out if I am a Canadian Citizen? 

If you are not already clear you are a Canadian Citizen, consider if you fall into any of these three categories of new or perspective citizens:

  • You will need a Canadian Parent(s) or Grandparent(s)
  • This article is just a jumping off point for more research. Every situation is unique.
    • Determine if you are part of the first generation born outside Canada to a Canadian parent. If you fit this category, you receive Canadian citizenship retroactive to date of birth. Just prove it and apply for your Canadian citizenship card and passport.

    • Determine if you lost your Canadian citizenship in the past (other then renouncing it). If so, the new Canadian citizenship law may restore your Canadian citizenship.

      For instance, certain persons who became Canadian citizens under the first Citizenship Act on or after January 1, 1947, but who lost Canadian Citizenship thereafter, could now have their Canadian citizen status restored retroactively to the date they lost it.

    • Determine if you qualify to apply for Canadian Citizenship because you were adopted outside Canada by Canadian parents between January 1, 1947 and February 14, 1977. This portion of the new citizenship law does not automatically make you a Canadian but simplifies the application process.

    • Make sure that gaining Canadian citizenship does not jeopardize your other citizenship. Some countries do not allow citizens to hold another citizenship (duel or multiple citizenship prohibited). If this law is a problem for you, and you were born before 1977, it is possible to renounce your new Canadian citizenship at no cost in a streamlined process by completing the appropriate forms and forwarding them to the CIC Processing Center. (see CIC website for the forms and guide)

    • Be careful that you understand the rules if you are Canadian and want to pass your Canadian citizenship on to your children. If your children are born in Canada there is no question they are citizens, but if born outside Canada, Canadian Citizenship is now limited to the first generation born outside the country.

      If one of the parents was born a Canadian citizen in Canada, citizenship for the child is still automatic. However, if only one parent is a Canadian (and not born in Canada) then the child will not be Canadian.

      There are ways around this part of the law as pointed out by Citizenship and Immigration Canada FAQs. A Canadian parent can sponsor a child who is not a Canadian due to being second or later generation born outside Canada. Also, the law may not apply if you are outside Canada working for the Canadian Government or military.

      If you qualify, celebrate your new found Canadian citizenship!

      Learn more about moving to Canada