Home Immigration Newly introduced bill proposes citizenship by descent for Canadians born overseas

Newly introduced bill proposes citizenship by descent for Canadians born overseas

Newly introduced bill proposes citizenship by descent for Canadians born overseas

Canadian citizens who were born outside Canada will be able to pass on citizenship to their children born abroad if the legislation for citizenship by descent introduced by the Government of Canada gets passed. The proposals are part of Bill C-71, an Act to amend the Citizenship Act (2024).

“If the bill passes in Parliament and receives royal assent, we will work as quickly as possible to implement these changes and will provide more information for eligible individuals on our website,” said Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in a statement.

Currently, Canadian citizens cannot confer their citizenship onto their children, if both of them were born overseas. Children who’ve been born outside Canada, and have been adopted by a Canadian national, as well as their descendants, will also earn Canadian citizenship if the proposed legislation becomes law.

However, under these changes, parents who’ve been born abroad, who have children born abroad, or who have adopted children born outside Canada, are required to have spent at least 1,095 days in Canada before their children can become Canadian citizens.

Also read: What it means to become a Canadian: Sentiments from a citizenship ceremony

‘Lost Canadians’ could become Canadian citizens

The new legislation also enables the restoration of citizenship to ‘Lost Canadians’ – individuals who lost their citizenship or never acquired it in the first place. It also helps descendants of Lost Canadians become Canadian citizens, as well as anyone born overseas to a Canadian parent in the second generation (such as a grandchild) and subsequent generations. 

The decision will be enforced retrospectively, enabling all current Lost Canadians who’ve lost or been denied citizenship the opportunity to become Canadian citizens. 

“The current rules generally restrict citizenship by descent to the first generation, excluding some people who have a genuine connection to Canada,” said Immigration Minister Marc Miller. “This has unacceptable consequences for families and impacts life choices, such as where individuals may choose to live, work, study, or even where to have children and raise a family. These changes aim to be inclusive and protect the value of Canadian citizenship, as we are committed to making the citizenship process as fair and transparent as possible.”

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