How to Get Dual Citizenship in Canada
Meeting someone with dual citizenship is like meeting a set of twins: they appear in your life so rarely that you can’t help but be intrigued by such people when you come face-to-face with them. Also like twins, you probably have a ton of questions for them that they’ve heard a million times, and perhaps the most common is: “How did you wind up with dual citizenship?”
The process isn’t actually all that complicated, and there are some apparent benefits to claiming citizenship of two countries. If you happen to live in the United States or Brampton Canada, dual-citizenship in both the US and Canada can be a handy thing to have.
Let’s look at the things you need to qualify for dual citizenship, and how you can go about making it happen.
Qualifying for Citizenship
Canadian law is very similar to that of the United States, especially in the case of citizenship, which is usually granted in one of three primary ways: birth on that country’s soil, marriage to a citizen, or naturalization. In fact, many citizens of one country have wound up with dual citizenship by merely being born in the other.
Those cases are usually pretty cut and dry, but beyond that, the process gets a little more difficult. You don’t qualify for Canadian citizenship by merely marrying a Canadian. First, you need to gain permanent residency in the country, which is no small feat. Obviously having a spouse sponsoring you is a significant requirement to check off, but there’s more.
For one, your presence in Canada has to be in good standing, which means you’re not there illegally or under review for immigration misconduct of any kind. You also need to have spent at least 1,095 days in Canada in the five years preceding your permanent residency application.
You also need to be able to speak and understand either English or French, Canada’s two official languages. You have to demonstrate a knowledge of Canada’s values, history, and responsibilities and privileges of Canadian citizenship. Finally, you can’t have been convicted of or served time for what would in Canada be considered an indictable crime.
Applying for Citizenship
Once you’ve confirmed that you’re eligible for Canadian citizenship and are ready to move forward with the process, you need to obtain and begin working through an application package. This package contains instructions, forms, and other things you will need to start applying for Canadian citizenship.
Once you’ve finished the application package and submitted it, there will also be a non-refundable fee you need to pay to have the government begin processing your application. After that, it’s just a matter of waiting for their decision, and if it falls in your favor, then congratulations: you will now be a dual citizen of Canada and your home country.
Now you have all the rights and privileges of Canadian citizenship, including voting in elections, healthcare, and more. However, you now have to hold passports from both countries and are obligated to obey the laws of each. But after all the time and effort you’ve put into this, feel free to enjoy the benefits (and easy border crossings) that come with your new dual citizenship!