The First-Generation Rule

You might be eligible for Canadian Citizenship through Descent if at least one of your parents had Canadian Citizenship when you were born. Canadian citizenship can only be passed down one generation to children born outside Canada after April 17, 2009. This is called the “first-generation rule.” However, there are exceptions to the first-generation limit that allow for citizenship by descent beyond the first generation, something we can help with here at Hayer Law.

Canadian Family

“We have experience in finding exceptions to the first-generation limit, which limits citizenship to individuals who are born to Canadian citizens.”

-Amandeep Hayer

Canadian Passport

Citizenship by Descent Eligibility

To determine eligibility, we need to talk about birthright citizenship, a crucial determinant for those who are not born in Canada to Canadian parents, which operates under specific regulations and requirements. Ultimately, the eligibility hinges on the parent’s citizenship status and your birth date.

Birth Date Citizenship Eligibility
Before 1977 Varies
1977 - 2009 At least one parent was a Canadian citizen at birth
After 2009 First-generation limit applies

Exceptions to the First Generation Limit Rule

Despite the strict implementation of the first-generation limit rule, exceptions exist that allow for citizenship by descent beyond the first generation. Mainly, these exceptions apply when:

  1. The Canadian parent or grandparent was employed with the Canadian Armed Forces;
  2. They were part of the federal public administration;
  3. They worked in a provincial or territorial public service during the child’s birth.

Moreover, individuals born outside of Canada to Canadian parents in the second or subsequent generation between February 15, 1977, and April 16, 2009, are Canadian citizens and exempted from the first-generation limit. But were subject to certain retention requirements, which had to be met before the client’s 28th birthday. Those retention requirements were repealed on April 16, 2009, and any child who did not turn 28 by that date is no longer subject to the retention requirements. But those who did turn 28 before that date are still subject to the requirements, and if they fail to meet them, their citizenship is lost and remains lost.

Parliament considered restoring Canadian citizenship to those who had lost it under s. 28, and Amandeep Hayer spoke before the House of Commons Committee on this very matter.

Canadian Citizen Approval

Determining Your Canadian Citizenship Status

In the case of Canadian Citizenship by Descent, figuring out a person’s citizenship status is a complicated process that involves looking at their parents’ status and legislative laws at the time of their birth. This procedure is essential for determining eligibility for Canadian citizenship. Contact Amandeep, or any of our experienced immigration lawyers to evaluate your situation and determine if you are eligible for citizenship by descent.

Checking Citizenship Status and Proving Citizenship

Verifying your citizenship status and obtaining proof of such is crucial in affirming this form of citizenship. This process involves three critical steps:

  1. Preliminary verification as to whether you are a Canadian.
  2. Apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate from the IRCC.
  3. Provide the necessary documents to support your application.

To learn more about the process that we perform often, give us a call.

Processing Time and Fees

The processing time for citizenship by descent applications in Canada can vary, but on average, they take around 5 to 8 months. You can check the Citizenship Tracker or the IRCC’s website for more precise processing time details. You will likely need to pay a Canadian citizenship certificate fee, which is necessary for proving your citizenship status. We’d love for you to give us a call, or if you’re simply curious, you can find out more information on the official application page.