New Canadian citizenship law might affect you

Canadian citizenship test

The Canadian parliament changed the Canadian Citizenship Act on April 2009. These changes affect who can inherit citizenship from their parent, posing a risk that, in some case, children of Canadian citizens will be stateless. Will it affect you?

Basically, these changes seem to create two distinct classes of citizenship, with the second class having no right to pass on their citizenship to their children.

You have a 1st class Canadian Citizenship if you are

  • Born in Canada, or
  • Naturalized citizens (after immigrating to Canada)

You will continue to have the right to pass on your citizenship to your children, even if they are born outside Canada.

You have a 2nd class Canadian Citizenship if you are

    • Born abroad to a Canadian citizen parent or
    • Foreign-born adopted children of Canadian citizens who were granted citizenship. You will not have the right to pass on your Canadian citizenship to your children if born outside Canada, nor will your foreign adopted child be entitled to direct grant citizenship.

An exception applies for the children born to a Canadian parent (regardless of the generation in which they were born outside Canada) who is working outside the country for the Canadian federal or provincial governments, or serving in the Canadian Forces (not applicable to Canadians employed as locally-engaged staff).

Your children will be Canadian only if the other parent was born in Canada or became a Canadian citizen by immigrating there as a permanent resident and subsequently being granted citizenship (also called naturalization).

The child will be stateless if the child is not entitled to citizenship from either parent, nor to citizenship from the state on whose territory the child is born.

So think twice before about giving birth outside Canada and know the citizenship rules.

Find out if you (or your children) are a Canadian citizen under this new law, by taking the Citizenship and Immigration Canada self-assessment tool (

For more information, please check Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

At the end, this new Canadian citizenship rule seems a bit controversial to us. What do you think?

Do you need help preparing for your Canadian Citizenship Test? Sign up for our online Canadian Citizenship Practice Test!

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