dual citizen new country speak english green card holder physical presence removal order multiple citizenship many ways canadian passport canadian citizenship previous citizenship e2 visa document checklist dual citizen dual or multiple citizenship obtain citizenship citizenship in another country basic requirements permanent residents new country canadian passport canadian citizenshipDual citizenship, particularly in Canada, grants individuals the unique privilege of enjoying legal rights and fulfilling obligations in two countries simultaneously. Canada recognizes dual citizenship for its citizens, allowing them to hold Canadian citizenship alongside another without renouncing one for the other.

This arrangement facilitates global mobility, providing greater freedom to live, work, and travel in both countries. It also enriches personal and cultural identity, enabling individuals to maintain strong connections with their heritage while fully embracing Canadian values and traditions.

In this article, we’ll examine dual citizenship for Canadians, the requirements for obtaining a second citizenship from another country, and the advantages of having dual citizenship.

Dual Citizenship in Canada

Canadian dual citizenship allows individuals to simultaneously hold citizenship in Canada and another country.

Canada recognizes and allows this form of citizenship, which permits those who qualify to enjoy the rights and fulfill the obligations of both countries without the need to renounce one citizenship for the other.

This status offers practical advantages, including the freedom to live, work, and travel in both countries. Depending on their laws and agreements, dual citizens can also vote in elections and access public healthcare, education, and other services in both countries.

However, dual citizenship also comes with specific responsibilities that vary by country, such as taxes and military duties. To avoid legal issues, dual citizens must understand and comply with the laws of both countries.

Overall, Canadian dual citizenship provides a formal link to two nations, allowing individuals to benefit from the rights and privileges each offers while navigating the responsibilities of being a citizen of two countries.

Criteria for Dual Citizenship

One does not need to fulfill specific requirements to hold dual citizenship in Canada. Rather, dual citizenship results from the overlapping citizenship laws between Canada and another country.

Automatic Acquisition by Birth: Many individuals become dual citizens automatically. For instance, a child born in a foreign country to at least one Canadian parent typically gains citizenship in the country of birth (if that country grants citizenship by birthplace) and Canadian citizenship through their parent. Similarly, a child born in Canada to parents who are citizens of another country may automatically receive dual citizenship.

Naturalization through Residency: Another pathway involves becoming a naturalized Canadian citizen while retaining their original citizenship, assuming their country of origin permits dual citizenship. This process requires the individual to meet Canada’s naturalization criteria, which include permanent residency for a certain period, language proficiency, and passing a citizenship test.

By Descent or Ancestry: Canada allows citizenship by descent for a first-generation child born abroad to Canadian citizens, giving rise to dual citizenship if the country of birth also grants citizenship.

The main criteria for maintaining dual citizenship in Canada involve respecting the laws and obligations of both countries. This might include tax responsibilities, military service, and adherence to any travel or residency requirements each country imposes.

Requirements for Canadian Dual Citizenship

The method of obtaining Canadian citizenship will vary, but there are some general requirements that must be fulfilled. To become a Canadian citizen, you must

  • be a permanent resident
  • have lived in Canada for three out of the last five years
  • have filed your taxes, if you need to
  • pass a citizenship test on your rights, responsibilities, and knowledge of Canada
  • prove your language skills
  • demonstrated good moral character

Like many other countries, Canada doesn’t automatically grant citizenship when you marry a Canadian national. If you’re the spouse of a Canadian citizen, you must meet the same requirements as everyone else.

Dual Citizenship Application Process

Applying for dual citizenship is similar to applying for standard Canadian citizenship, as the government doesn’t have a separate process for dual nationality. Either way, you must go through the official “Application for Canadian Citizenship” channels. This can be done online or through a paper application.

According to citizenship and immigration services and Canadian law, you can only apply online if:

  • You are a permanent resident and 18 years or older.
  • You are a minor with permanent residency with one parent who is a Canadian citizen or one parent who is simultaneously applying for Canadian citizenship.
  • Or you are a minor with permanent residency who does not have one parent who is a Canadian citizen or one parent who is applying for Canadian citizenship at the same time.

You must pay the processing fee and the right-of-citizenship fee with your application. The fee amount changes depending on your situation and application type. However, for a single (non-family) Canadian citizenship applicant who is over 18 years old, there is a $530 processing fee and a $100 right-of-citizenship fee.

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Countries that Don't Allow Canadian Dual Citizenship

Globally, there are hundreds of countries that allow you to become a dual citizen. However, several countries only sometimes permit dual citizenship, including holding Canadian citizenship alongside their own. If individuals acquire a second nationality, these countries might require them to renounce their original citizenship. Here are a few notable examples:

Japan: Japan requires Japanese nationals who voluntarily acquire another nationality to choose one citizenship, typically by the age of 22.

China: China does not recognize dual citizenship. Chinese nationals who acquire foreign citizenship are considered to have automatically lost their Chinese citizenship.

Germany and Austria: Both countries have restrictions on becoming a dual citizen. However, there are exceptions, such as if a person cannot renounce their original nationality or is from an EU or Swiss background. Naturalized Canadians of German or Austrian origin should check the current laws as they may be allowed to retain their original citizenship under certain conditions, effectively making them a dual citizen.

Singapore: Singapore does not permit dual citizenship, and citizens must renounce any foreign citizenship acquired.

Advantages of Dual Citizenship

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Increased Mobility and Travel: Dual citizens have the advantage of being able to reside, work, and travel freely between Canada and their country of citizenship. This simplifies travel plans, reduces visa requirements, and provides greater flexibility in selecting a place to live or work. For example, holders of Canadian passports who also hold citizenship in a European Union country has the right to reside and work anywhere within the EU, which greatly expands their options.

Additional Education Opportunities: Access to educational systems in two countries can provide dual citizens with a broader range of options for schooling and higher education, often at reduced tuition rates available to citizens. This can open doors to prestigious programs, diverse educational experiences, and the ability to pursue degrees or qualifications that are recognized and respected globally. Canadian citizens enjoy one of the best education systems globally.

Extended Employment Prospects: Having dual citizenship can have a positive impact on your employment prospects. It makes you legally eligible to work in two countries, which in turn expands your job options. This can be especially beneficial in fields where international experience is highly valued. Moreover, it eliminates the need for employers to sponsor work permits, making dual citizens more attractive candidates for job openings.

Disadvantages of Dual Citizenship

While dual Canadian citizenship offers numerous benefits, it also comes with certain challenges and complications. Here are five disadvantages associated with holding dual citizenship in Canada and another country:

There Could be Complex Tax Obligations: Dual citizens may have to comply with tax laws from both of their countries. In Canada, taxes are imposed based on residency and global income, but some other countries tax their citizens regardless of their place of residence. This can create tax implications, necessitating dual citizens to file tax returns in both nations and potentially face double taxation. However, numerous countries have tax treaties with Canada to avoid this scenario.

Compulsory Military Service Might be a Requirement: In some countries, citizenship requires military service. If you are a dual Canadian citizen, depending on the country’s laws, you may have to fulfill military service requirements in your original country of citizenship. This could affect your freedom to travel or choose where to live during the service period.

Some Countries Pose Political and Legal Implications: Dual citizenship can be challenging as it requires adhering to the laws and regulations of two countries, which can sometimes be contradictory. For instance, an activity that is lawful in one country might be illegal in the other.

Maintaining Citizenship can be an Administrative Burden: Maintaining dual citizenship requires significant administrative work, such as renewing passports, keeping up with legal changes in both countries, and ensuring compliance with each country’s requirements for expats.

It’s Possible to Encounter Several Limitations on Consular Assistance: Dual citizens may encounter restrictions on consular assistance when they are in the country of their other citizenship. For example, if a Canadian citizen holds dual citizenship and is currently present in their other country of citizenship, the Canadian government’s ability to provide consular support may be limited or non-existent, depending on the agreements between the two countries.

Key Takeaways on Canadian Dual Citizenship

Dual Canadian citizenship allows individuals to legally associate with both Canada and another nation, providing a unique blend of opportunities across borders with a Canadian passport.

This status makes it easier to travel, access educational programs, and increase employment prospects, as dual citizens can freely live, work, and study in two countries. Participating in the cultural, social, and political life of both nations enriches personal identity and global understanding.

However, dual citizenship also presents several challenges. Navigating the tax systems of two countries can be complicated and result in potential double taxation, although treaties often mitigate this issue.

Some countries require their citizens to complete military service, which could apply to dual citizens and impact their international mobility. Maintaining valid documentation and complying with the legal requirements of both countries demand time and resources.

Furthermore, dual citizens may face restrictions on receiving consular assistance while in their other country of citizenship, depending on bilateral agreements. It is essential for dual citizens to be well-informed about their rights and obligations in both countries to effectively manage the complexities of dual citizenship, ensuring they can fully enjoy its advantages while minimizing its drawbacks.

How Can Global Citizen Solutions Help You?

Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique migration consultancy firm with years of experience delivering bespoke residence and citizenship by investment solutions for international families. With offices worldwide and an experienced, hands-on team, we have helped hundreds of clients worldwide acquire citizenship, residence visas, or homes while diversifying their portfolios with robust investments. 

We guide you from start to finish, taking you beyond your citizenship or residency by investment application. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Canada Dual Citizenship

How long does it take to get permanent resident status in Canada?

For skilled workers applying through the Express Entry system, the processing time is typically around 6 months once an application is submitted. However, this timeline can change based on the volume of applications received, the complexity of cases, and the completeness of the application.

Can I have dual citizenship in Canada and another country?

Yes, Canada allows its citizens to hold dual or multiple citizenship. You can be a Canadian citizen and also a citizen of another country, provided the other country also permits dual citizenship.

Will I lose my Canadian citizenship if I become a citizen of another country?

No, when you gain citizenship of another country does not mean you’ll lose your Canadian citizenship. Canada recognizes dual citizenship, so you can hold citizenship in another country without affecting your Canadian status.

Do I need to renounce my citizenship to become a Canadian citizen?

No, Canada does not require you to give up your original citizenship to become a Canadian citizen. However, your country of origin may have rules about holding dual citizenship, so it’s important to check those laws.

Are there any disadvantages to holding dual Canadian citizenship?

While dual citizenship offers many benefits, there are potential challenges, such as the need to comply with the laws of both countries, which might include tax obligations and military service. Additionally, managing paperwork and understanding your rights and responsibilities in two countries can be complex.

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