Obtaining Canadian citizenship by the birth of a child

We will all feel a sense of belonging in our lives, and that sense of belonging comes from a number of different things – our friends, our family, the places we have lived and the hobbies we have enjoyed. that have connected us to people. However, one of the strongest elements that nurtures our sense of belonging, and even our sense of self and personality, is where we are born.

Parents sometimes devote a great deal of time and thought to a child’s birthplace, in order to enable them to maximize that child’s potential in his or her life through access to services and resources.


Perhaps the most important element is citizenship. Citizenship can be derived from a number of different sources. Citizenship determines the nation to which we belong and of which we are considered part for a multitude of reasons in terms of access to services, protection of an embassy, ​​taxation, the right to vote, etc.

Most people will only have citizenship of one country throughout their lifetime, while a few million people around the world will change citizenship each year, usually due to residence in one country for a long period of time. , and some people may even be entitled to dual nationality, when they are citizens of two countries, although this is relatively rare.

Citizenship rules vary around the world and are not the same everywhere, so those who want their child to be a Canadian citizen should make sure they are aware of the rules and regulations regarding Canadian citizenship for children born in Canada.

Citizenship in Canada

Significantly, the Canadian government grants full citizenship rights to any child born in the country, under the Citizenship Act. This is true regardless of the nationality of the child’s parents. The only exception to this rule is for children born in Canada who are the parents of foreign diplomats.

For example, a child is born in Canada to two parents who are Canadian citizens. This child has the right to Canadian citizenship. As another example, a child was born in Canada to two parents, one of whom is a US citizen and the other a Canadian citizen. This child has the right to Canadian citizenship. Third example, a child is born in Canada to two parents, one of whom is British and the other French. This child is also entitled to Canadian citizenship.

This principle is known as jus soli or the right of the soil. This right has become much less common in recent years. Some countries have abolished jus soli in its entirety, which means that no citizenship can be assumed by being born in a particular country. Other countries have imposed limits on jus soli, requiring that one of the parents have the nationality of the country of birth of the child so that this child automatically guarantees the nationality.

This is often used in situations where one of the two parents is a Canadian citizen, and they want to guarantee the child’s Canadian citizenship. Therefore, parents will travel to Canada so that their child can be born in Canada and have Canadian citizenship guaranteed by birth. There are also times when neither parent is from Canada, but instead comes to Canada to guarantee Canadian citizenship to the child until birth. This is called birth tourism, illegal in some countries but not in Canada.

As Canada has become home to large numbers of people around the world, especially foreign nationals who live and work here, many of whom are young couples, the number of children born in Canada who have become Canadian citizens has increases. This may lead to the unusual situation where the child who is born will be a Canadian citizen, but parents who are foreign nationals will not automatically be Canadian citizens and will have to qualify for citizenship by other means.

Parents can also become citizens by being a permanent resident (living in Canada for 3 of the last 5 years and having declared taxes in Canada during that time) by passing the relevant tests, as well as any other requirements that may be relevant. Tests include Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLBs) of level 4 or higher. A citizenship test may be required depending on age.

The need to pass these tests for many adults wishing to become Canadian citizens is one of the reasons the ability to become a Canadian citizen by birth may be so desirable, especially for parents who intend to settle in them. themselves in Canada, as it is not a bureaucratic burden for their offspring to follow.

A child born in Canada will automatically be entitled to the various advantages and privileges enjoyed by other citizens. In particular, this includes access to social benefits and education, and the freedom to travel and movement within Canada as great benefits, as well as access to the Canadian health care system.

However, Canadian citizenship for their child does not come with any special access provisions for parents, and they will have to apply in the normal way and will be subject to the same standards as everyone else.

Not all children born in Canada to foreign parents will stay in Canada because their parents can return to their country of origin. However, the child born in Canada will retain the right to return to Canada to live and work at any time of his life.


Since very few countries in the world offer citizenship without birth reservation, regardless of parentage, Canada’s application of the jus soli offering citizenship by birth to any child born in Canada offers a great potential opportunity, and since birth tourism is not illegal in Canada, it is not uncommon for children to be born in Canada in order to obtain the guarantee of citizenship, even if this is not guaranteed for their parents.

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