After 4 years of permanent residence a person may apply for Canadian citizenship. Here is a question we hear quite often : Do I have to renounce my citizenship in order to become a Canadian citizen?
We have a good news for those who did not know it yet: the Canadian law allows dual and even multiple citizenships. This means that you don’t have to renounce to the citizenship of your country of origin or whatever citizenship you are holding. However you should always check with the laws of your country first. Some states like Germany and Austria do not accept dual citizenship, but most of the countries do.
Before making the decision about holding more than one citizenship, you should take into account the implied advantages and disadvantages.
Obviously there are many pro arguments, here are some of them: employment opportunities (there are certain jobs only citizens have access to); the right to vote and express your opinion; entitlement to social programs (education, health care, pensions); unrestricted residency and freedom of mobility; protection from more than one state.
However there are risks you should take into consideration, especially if you hold the citizenship of a country that isn’t as open as Canada is regarding double or multiple nationalities. Please consider that based on some countries’ legislation your previous citizenship(s) may be revoked. In case of any trouble when travelling outside Canada, the authority of that country may not let the Canadian Government protect you. Some countries have compulsory military service, irrespective of the dual nationality you hold. Another aspect you may want to consider is tax and financial obligations. Also, some countries prohibit travelling with more than one passport and you risk one of your passports to be confiscated, including the Canadian one. Before applying for Canadian citizenship we recommend you to verify the laws of your native country to find out about the difficulties you may encounter.
Citizenship requirements for immigrants
- Permanent resident status
- 18 years + (on behalf of minors parents can apply)
- Has lived in Canada for 4 years in the past 6 before applying for citizenship
- Has lived in Canada for at least 183 days every year
- Ability to communicate in English or French and have knowledge of Canada, including the rights and responsibilities of citizenship (there is a mandatory knowledge test)
- Have a clean record
- Have made the tax declarations
Did you know that…?
Here some interesting fact about Canadian citizenship:
- Every year about 170,000 people become new citizens of Canada
- Since the first citizenship act was enacted, over 6.1 million people have been granted Canadian citizenship
- If you give birth to you child in Canada he automatically becomes a citizen
- The residency requirement (4 out of 6 years) does not apply to minor children
- Persons over 54 do not have to write the citizenship test