Canadian Passport

Canadian citizenship holds immense value, embodying a rich tapestry of rights, privileges, and responsibilities. As a citizen of Canada, individuals gain access to a multitude of social benefits, healthcare services, and educational opportunities. Beyond the tangible advantages, Canadian citizenship signifies inclusion in a diverse and welcoming society that values equality, tolerance, and multiculturalism. The right to participate in the democratic process and shape the nation’s future is a cornerstone of Canadian citizenship, fostering a sense of belonging and shared identity. In this brief exploration, we delve into the multifaceted aspects that make Canadian citizenship a cherished and meaningful status.

What is the first generation limitation

The first generation limitation is a legal provision that imposes restrictions on the transmission of Canadian citizenship to the children of Canadians born abroad. Prior to April 17, 2009, Canadian citizens who were born outside of Canada were not subject to this limitation, which meant that their children born abroad were granted Canadian citizenship but had to take additional steps to confirm their Canadian citizenship (those born before February 15, 1977) or take certain steps to retain their Canadian citizenship (those born between February 15, 1977 and April 16, 1981).

This limitation was a source of frustration for many Canadian expatriates who desired to pass on their Canadian citizenship to their children. The rules were stringent, leading to a sense of disconnection among Canadians living abroad and their offspring who were not automatically considered Canadian citizens.

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The April 16, 2009 exemption

Individuals who possessed Canadian citizenship on April 16, 2009, are exempt from the first generation limitation. If you were a Canadian citizen on this day, even if you were born in the second or subsequent generation and acquired Canadian citizenship from a parent, you continue to retain your Canadian citizenship today, despite the first-generation limit.

Section 8 retention requirements

While this technically applied to everyone born between February 15, 1977, and April 16, 2009, it primarily pertains to those born between February 15, 1977, and April 16, 1981. The stipulation was that the retention requirements had to be fulfilled by one’s 28th birthday. However, on April 17, 2009, Parliament amended the Citizenship Act, and repealed the retention requirements.

It’s essential to note that the repeal was not retroactive. Consequently, individuals who turned 28 before the repeal date and failed to meet their retention requirements would have lost their Canadian citizenship, and this loss remains irreversible. For those who hadn’t reached 28 by that date, their Canadian citizenship remains intact.

Bill S245

In response to the challenges posed by the retention process, there is currently a promising development in Parliament. The Senate recently passed Bill S245 which will retroactively overturn the retention process requirement for individuals born between February 15, 1977, and April 16, 1982. If passed, this bill would represent a significant milestone in rectifying past injustices and simplifying the citizenship journey for those affected.

What to do if you qualify

Application for Canadian Citizenship

If you qualify for the exemption provided, submit an application for proof of Canadian citizenship. While you are legally a Canadian citizen, you lack any concrete proof of your Canadian citizenship. Therefore, an application must be made to establish that you are indeed Canadian.