1. Overview of Canadian Citizenship for Children Born Abroad
Canadian citizenship can be acquired by children born outside Canada under certain conditions. These conditions are mainly based on their parents’ Canadian citizenship status, the generation of the child born abroad, and whether the child was adopted by Canadian citizens.
2. Eligibility Criteria for Children Born Outside Canada
Citizenship by Descent
First Generation Born Abroad
Children born outside Canada to a Canadian citizen parent are usually considered Canadian citizens by descent if they are the first generation born abroad. According to the Citizenship Act of Canada, the child must have at least one parent who was a Canadian citizen at the time of their birth. This parent can be either a biological or an adoptive parent.
Second Generation Born Abroad
Second-generation children born abroad (i.e., those whose Canadian citizen parents were also born outside Canada) may face more complex eligibility criteria. In general, second-generation children born abroad are not automatically granted Canadian citizenship. However, they may still be eligible if at least one of their Canadian citizen parents was either employed by the Canadian government, a Canadian company, or a Canadian province/territory, or was working as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces at the time of the child’s birth.
Adoption by Canadian Citizens
Hague Convention Adoptions
Canada is a signatory to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. If a child is adopted from a country that is also a Hague Convention member, and the adoption meets all the requirements of the Convention, the child may be eligible for Canadian citizenship.
Non-Hague Convention Adoptions
If a child is adopted from a country that is not a Hague Convention member, or the adoption does not meet the Convention’s requirements, the child may still be eligible for Canadian citizenship. However, the process may be more complex and involve additional requirements, such as obtaining a permanent resident visa for the child before applying for citizenship
3. Application Process for Citizenship
To apply for Canadian citizenship for a child born outside Canada, parents must follow a series of steps, including gathering the required documents, completing the application form, paying the fees, and submitting the application. The processing time may vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case.
Proof of Parent’s Canadian Citizenship
Parents must provide proof of their Canadian citizenship, such as a citizenship certificate, a Canadian passport, or a birth certificate if they were born in Canada.
Child’s Birth Certificate
The child’s original birth certificate or a certified true copy must be submitted, showing the names of the biological parents and the date and place of birth.
Adoption Papers (if applicable)
If the child was adopted, the adoption papers or court order finalizing the adoption must be provided. These documents should confirm that the adoption meets the legal requirements of the child’s country of origin and complies with Canadian immigration law.
Additional Supporting Documents
Depending on the specific situation, additional supporting documents may be required, such as:
Proof of the parent’s employment by the Canadian government, a Canadian company, or a Canadian province/territory, or as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces (for second-generation children born abroad).
Proof of the child’s permanent resident status (for non-Hague Convention adoptions).
Any other relevant documents as requested by the immigration authorities.
Completing the Application Form
Parents must complete the Application for Canadian Citizenship – Minors (CIT 0003) on behalf of their child. The form must be filled out accurately and completely to avoid delays in processing.
As of September 2021, the application fee for Canadian citizenship for minors is CAD 100. Please note that fees are subject to change, and it is essential to verify the current fee structure before submitting the application.
Submission of Application and Processing Time
Once the application form is completed and all required documents have been gathered, the application package must be submitted to the appropriate processing center. The processing time for citizenship applications can vary, but the average processing time as of September 2021 is approximately 12 months. However, this time frame may be subject to change, and applicants should monitor the government website for updates on processing times.
4. After the Citizenship Application Approval
Once the citizenship application has been approved, the child will be granted Canadian citizenship and receive a citizenship certificate. With citizenship, the child can obtain a Canadian passport and enjoy the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizens.
A citizenship certificate is an official document that serves as proof of Canadian citizenship**1**. Once the application has been approved, the child will receive this certificate. Parents should keep the certificate in a safe place, as it may be required for various purposes, such as obtaining a Canadian passport or enrolling the child in school.
Obtaining a Canadian Passport
Canadian citizens are eligible to apply for a Canadian passport. To obtain a passport for the child, parents must submit a passport application, including the child’s citizenship certificate, photos, and any required supporting documents. A Canadian passport enables the child to travel internationally and serves as a valuable identification document.
Rights and Responsibilities of Canadian Citizens
Canadian citizenship comes with a range of rights and responsibilities. As Canadian citizens, children have the right to live, work, and study in Canada, vote in Canadian elections, and receive consular assistance abroad. They also have the responsibility to respect Canadian laws, pay taxes, and contribute to the Canadian societye.
5. Special Cases and Considerations
There are some special cases and considerations that parents should be aware of when applying for Canadian citizenship for a child born outside Canada.
Children of Crown Servants
Children born outside Canada to parents who are Crown servants (including Canadian Armed Forces personnel, federal public servants, and provincial or territorial public servants) may be eligible for Canadian citizenship, even if they are second-generation children born abroad. The eligibility criteria and application process may vary depending on the specific situation.
Lost Citizenship and Resumption
A child who was born outside Canada and held Canadian citizenship but later lost it (e.g., due to changes in citizenship laws) may be eligible to resume their citizenship. To resume citizenship, an application for resumption must be submitted, along with the required supporting documents.
Dual Citizenship and Renunciation
In many cases, a child born outside Canada to a Canadian citizen parent may have dual citizenship, meaning they are citizens of both Canada and the country of their birth. Canada allows dual citizenship, so the child is not required to renounce their other citizenship when applying for Canadian citizenship. However, parents should be aware of the potential implications of dual citizenship, such as tax obligations, military service requirements, or travel restrictions in certain countries.
6. Importance of Canadian Citizenship for Children Born Abroad
Obtaining Canadian citizenship for a child born outside Canada offers numerous benefits, including access to Canada’s social programs, education system, and healthcare. It also provides the child with the opportunity to live, work, and study in Canada without restrictions, as well as to travel internationally using a Canadian passport. Moreover, Canadian citizenship grants the child the right to participate in the country’s democratic processes, such as voting in elections.
Navigating the Application Process and Legal Framework
The process of obtaining Canadian citizenship for a child born outside Canada can be complex, particularly when it comes to understanding the eligibility criteria and legal framework. Parents must be aware of the different rules that apply to children born abroad, whether through descent or adoption, and consider any special cases that may apply to their situation.
To ensure a successful application, parents should carefully gather all required documents, accurately complete the application form, pay the necessary fees, and submit the application package to the appropriate processing center. Keeping up-to-date with the latest information on citizenship laws and regulations, as well as consulting with legal experts or immigration consultants when needed, can help parents navigate the process and secure Canadian citizenship for their child.