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There are many Canadian citizens who live outside of Canada and have established a family abroad. As a result, most times, they would like their children to also have Canadian citizenship. However, there are certain circumstances that allow the children to gain citizenship and others that do not allow them to gain citizenship. This can often be a complicated and confusing process to go through for the Canadian parent. Therefore, in this article, I will address how to determine whether your child is a Canadian citizen or not and the steps to take in order for them to gain citizenship.
It is important to recognize that every circumstance is different depending on several factors. The official way in determining whether or not your child is a Canadian citizen is by applying for a proof of citizenship on their behalf. This option is only available for Canadian citizens who were citizens at the time their child was born. Evidently, if you obtained Canadian citizenship after your child was born, they do not automatically become Canadian citizens.
On April 17, 2009, Canadian citizenship rules were amended and changed, specifically for individuals who were born outside of Canada to a Canadian parent. For instance, if your child was born before April 17, 2009, they will most likely be Canadian citizens at birth. On the other hand, if your child was born on or after April 17, 2009, then they will only be Canadian at birth if you were born in Canada or if you became a naturalized Canadian citizen before they were born. Keep in mind, there are certain exceptions to these rules.
Another circumstance that can occur is if your child was born outside of Canada, you adopted them and you are a Canadian citizen. Therefore, in this specific circumstance, the child born outside of Canada will not obtain Canadian citizenship if you were born outside of Canada, were adopted by a Canadian citizen, or became a Canadian citizen using the citizenship process for inter-country adoption. In contrast, they will be able to obtain Canadian citizenship if they were adopted by a parent born in Canada or a naturalized Canadian citizen.
For Canadian parents that were citizens at the time of their child’s birth, they would be able to apply for proof of Canadian citizenship on behalf of their time. It is important to remember that when applying, all of the application form questions would apply to the minor, not the parent. The first step in applying for proof of Canadian citizenship for the minor is to accurately and completely fill out the application for a citizenship certificate (adults and minors). This application will include application forms and instructions for the specific documents that Immigration would require. The certain information and documents that must be submitted can include personal identification documents such as a health card or passport which must have the child’s photo on it. Additionally, the birth certificate of the parents and the minor will be required in order to prove the relationship. If the minor does not have a birth certificate, they can submit a registration of birth abroad certificate. Lastly, 2 passport photos with the citizenship specifications must be submitted.
The submission of these documents and information can be complicated but it is very important to submit everything accurately or this may negatively affect the proof of Canadian citizenship application. For instance, if there are any documents that are not in either English or French, they must be certified and translated. Immigration officers are not authorized to review and analyze any documents that are not in Canada’s two official languages. Thus, you must submit a copy of the original document with the original translation of the document. These documents must also be notarized.
Every circumstance of applying for proof of Canadian citizenship is completely different and will be reviewed by Immigration officers diligently. If the case is complex or if the Immigration officer requires further information, they may contact you and request specific information for you to provide. Please note, if your circumstances are complex, they may take longer to process. On average, the processing times for proof of Canadian citizenship is approximately 5 months. However, these processing times often change and fluctuate, therefore, it is best to always check the processing times before and throughout the application process. Additionally, you may check the status of the application online. Yet, if you have realized that the processing times have passed and are not able to check the status online, you may request a status update of the application through the online Web Form through Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)’s website. Consequently, if you have received an approval for your Canadian citizenship, your citizenship certificate will be mailed directly to you. Similarly, if the proof of Canadian citizenship application is refused, Immigration Canada will inform you and indicate the reasons for refusal.
It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned factors and information into consideration before applying for proof of Canadian citizenship. If you would like to determine whether your child is a Canadian citizenship and thus apply for a proof of Canadian citizenship application, it is extremely important to note that these are difficult applications to pursue on your own. It is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients’ children obtain Canadian citizenship and are now living happily in Canada. If you believe that you may be eligible, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!