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Case Study #1

Client Question: My father's mother was born in Canada; my father was born in the USA. Can he apply for Citizenship? And can my brother and I also apply?

Answer: Yes and no. Without going into too much detail about the history of Canadian immigration legislation, the Canadian government didn't always allow citizenship to children born outside of Canada to Canadian parents. Today however, anyone whose mother or father was a Canadian citizen--whether by birth or naturalization--at the time of their birth is most likely also a citizen.

As an example: Steven's mother is born in Canada. She later moves to Ireland, where Steven is born. Steven is also a citizen of Canada by way of descent because he was born to a Canadian parent. Or: Steven's mother is born in Ireland. When she is 25 she moves to Canada and years later applies for citizenship. After becoming a citizen she returns to Ireland, at which point Steven is born. Steven is also a citizen of Canada in this example.

This privilege of citizenship by descent only extends a single generation, however; in the example above, Steven and his mother are Canadian citizens, but any children that Steven might have would not be, unless they were born in Canada. So for my client's question, while her father would qualify for citizenship by way of descent, her and her brother would not; citizenship by descent only extends for a single generation, and they are two generations removed from their Canadian grandmother.

Do you or someone you know qualify for citizenship? Let's schedule a consultation to talk about it.


Thomas Sproat

#citizenship #canada

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