Canada is processing proof of citizenship applications faster than pre-pandemic standards

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is now processing proof of citizenship applications in as little as three months, with application wait times now significantly reduced compared to pre-pandemic standards.

Now, some foreigners – who have at least one biological or legal parent who is a Canadian citizen – can expect an earlier decision on their citizenship application.

Schedule a free Canadian citizenship consultation with the Cohen Immigration Law Firm

What is proof of citizenship?

Under the Canadian Citizenship Act, children of Canadian parent(s) abroad do not automatically receive Canadian citizenship.

Instead, these children must apply for proof of citizenship and (if successful) receive a certificate of Canadian citizenship to confirm their citizenship to the country. This citizenship certificate, along with a Canadian birth certificate, are the only two documents that Passport Canada recognizes as verification of citizenship, making them critical when applying for a Canadian passport.

This process can be undertaken at any time in a person’s life and can even be initiated regardless of whether a Canadian parent is alive or deceased.

Please note: Adopted children of Canadian parents, who were adopted after birth, are not eligible for this process. They will have to follow different routes to become Canadian citizens.

New changes in citizenship law

On December 19, 2023, the Ontario Supreme Court ruled that Canada’s second-generation citizenship law was unconstitutional and must be changed.

Under this law, Canadians who were themselves born abroad would not be able to automatically transfer their citizenship to their children if they were also born abroad.

The Ontario Superior Court ruled that this rule created a distinction in citizenship status between Canadians who were born in the country and those who were not; due to the fact that the first group can automatically transfer citizenship to their children, while the second group cannot. The court further ruled that the federal government had six months to repeal the law and amend the Citizenship Act.

The federal government was given one month to appeal this decision, but they chose not to do so. It is currently unknown what the impact of this ruling will be on applicants seeking to obtain Canadian citizenship by descent. Changes are expected following the federal government’s decision not to appeal the Ontario court ruling. CIC News will continue to report on the story as it develops.

Benefits of Canadian Citizenship

Canadian citizenship comes with a number of benefits. Canadians have protected rights and permanent legal status in the country, access to social systems and benefits (including those related to health care and education at greatly reduced costs), the right to vote within the Canadian democracy, and the ability to hold political office clothe.

In addition, Canadian citizens benefit from a Canadian passport (one of the most recognized in the world), have the ability to sponsor loved ones to visit and even settle in Canada, and can usually pass their status on to their children.

Canadian citizens can also have dual citizenship, as can other countries that have similar provisions.

Click here for more information about proof of citizenship. To calculate whether you are eligible for citizenship, you will find our special tool here.

Schedule a free Canadian citizenship consultation with the Cohen Immigration Law Firm

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