Canadian laws allow foreigners to obtain Canadian citizenship without requiring them to renounce their other citizenship. In the same way, Canadian nationals are allowed to acquire foreign nationality without losing their Canadian citizenship. While some permanent residents in Canada choose to maintain only one citizenship, a number of immigrants who moved to the country decided to have dual citizenship. As of 2006, more than 800,000 Canadians, or 2.8 percent of the population, have at least one other citizenship, according to Statistics Canada.
Choose your immigration path. Find out what immigration route works best for you. You can apply as a skilled worker or as a businessperson under the different programs of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). If you have a relative in Canada, he can sponsor you under the family class.
Complete documentation. Fill out the appropriate application forms and gather the pertinent documents. Download the application package from the CIC website (see Resources).
Mail documents. Send your application along with the application fees to the appropriate immigration or visa office. Check the instruction guide in your application package for the mailing address corresponding to your type of application.
Wait for your visa. If the immigration officer approves your application, she will ask you to submit your passport and grant you a permanent resident visa.
Meet citizenship requirements. To be eligible for citizenship, live in Canada for three years out of four years. Children are exempted from this residency requirement. You must also know enough English or French, have sufficient knowledge of Canada and must not have committed a criminal offense.
Find out if you can retain your present citizenship. Before applying for a Canadian citizenship, ask the authorities where you are a citizen if the laws of the country allow dual citizenship.
Apply for citizenship. Fill out application forms for citizenship. Make sure you meet the residency and other eligibility requirements. Mail the application forms, required documents and fees to the immigration office in Nova Scotia (see Resources).
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Case Processing Centre – Sydney
P.O. Box 7000
Sydney, Nova Scotia B1P 6V6
Take the oath of citizenship. If the CIC approves your citizenship application, it will mail you a notice specifying the date and place where you must take the oath of citizenship. You will receive your certificate of citizenship at the ceremony.
Do not renounce your other citizenship. After acquiring a Canadian citizenship, you now have dual nationality if your other country allows dual citizenship, unless you renounce one of your citizenships.
- Dual citizenship may pose some burdens such as double taxation, legal proceedings, military service or imprisonment for failure to meet certain obligations in one of your countries of citizenship.
- Dual citizenship offers practical advantages such as health care, education, involvement in politics and employment.
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