This section provides details on:
Birth outside Canada by descent and,
The guidelines on retention of citizenship for persons born outside Canada on or after February 15, 1977 to Canadian parents in the second or subsequent generations
The legislative amendments that took place on April 17, 2009 ended up repealing:
The loss of citizenship at the age of 28 years under section 8 and,
The retention requirements
As a result, people who turned 28 years old on or after that date continue to remain Canadian citizens. As such, they do not need to take any steps for retaining their citizenship.
This section outlines the process by which Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) process applications for retention. In addition, it explains the procedures in place at the time. Typically, the authorities advised Canadian citizens subject to section 9 of the requirements for retaining their citizenship. If these individuals did not retain their citizenships, they ceased being citizens. People typically failed to retain their citizenships by:
Neglecting to apply for retention before turning 28 years of age and,
Having applications for retention refused by the authorities
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) would typically advise former citizens of the processes by which they could obtain permanent resident status and apply for resuming citizenship subsequently.
The Background on Births Outside Canada
Children born outside Canada acquired citizenship only if:
Their parents registered their births within two years and,
They were born in wedlock to Canadian fathers or out of wedlock to Canadian mothers
This was the practice that applied from January 01, 1947 to February 14, 1977. As such, the following individuals had no right to citizenship:
Children born in wedlock to Canadian mothers and,
Children born out of wedlock to Canadian fathers
Children born outside Canada on or after February 15, 1977 typically derive citizenship through either citizen parent. As such, they remain citizens regardless of their parent’s marital status at the time of the child’s birth. This is in accordance with the provisions specified in the Citizenship Act (1977). Hence, the authorities do not require the registration of birth outside Canada. However, the 1977 Act does not permit adopted children to derive citizenship through the Canadian parent.
The Transition Clauses in the 1977 Act
The 1977 Act comprised two temporary provisions. The first provision enabled persons who were not registered prior to February 15, 1977 to register. This was in accordance with the provisions specified in subsection 4 (3). The second provision provided a facilitated grant of citizenship for children born in wedlock to Canadian mothers. This was in accordance with the provisions specified in paragraph 5 (2) (b).
After May 17, 2004, courtesy a Federal Court decision, the provisions in paragraph 5 (2) (b) became applicable to children born between January 01, 1947 to February 14, 1977 out of wedlock to Canadian fathers as well. It is worth highlighting that the transition clauses expired on August 14, 2004.
The Delayed Registration of Birth Under Subsection 4 (3)
The Canadian Citizenship Act, 1947
Paragraph 5 (1) (b)
Subsection 5 (2)
The Citizenship Act, 1977
Paragraph 3 (1) (e)
Subsection 4 (3)
Some people were eligible to apply for a delayed registration of birth outside Canada until August 14, 2004. This was especially so if they were eligible for registration as their families had not registered their births prior to February 15, 1977. The authorities consider people as citizens by birth if people received registration as citizens under the provisions specified in subsection 4 (3). However, this citizenship is retroactive to birth. Similarly, the authorities consider children born outside Canada to people registered under subsection 4 (3) as the second generation born outside Canada. As such, they remain subject to loss under section 8 of the Act.
The Facilitated Grant of Citizenship Under Paragraph 5 (2) (b)
The authorities permitted people born outside Canada between January 01, 1947 to February 14, 1977 in wedlock to Canadian mothers to apply for grants of citizenship until August 14, 2004. This was in accordance with the provisions specified in paragraph 5 (2) (b). Between May 17, 2004 to August 14, 2004, people born out of wedlock to Canadian fathers were also eligible for applying for this grant. It is worth mentioning that this grant was not retroactive to birth. However, it became effective on the date on which the authorities approved the application.
The authorities consider children born outside Canada after the parent receives citizenship based on the provisions of paragraph 5 (2) (b) as the first generation born outside Canada. As such, these individuals are not subject to the loss of citizenship under section 8 of the Act. However, children born outside Canada before the parent receives citizenship under the provisions specified in paragraph 5 (2) (b) are not citizens.