Citizenship Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-29)

Act current to 2015-08-04 and last amended on 2015-06-11. Previous Versions

PART ITHE RIGHT TO CITIZENSHIP

Marginal note:Persons who are citizens
  •  (1) Subject to this Act, a person is a citizen if

    • (a) the person was born in Canada after February 14, 1977;

    • (b) the person was born outside Canada after February 14, 1977 and at the time of his birth one of his parents, other than a parent who adopted him, was a citizen;

    • (c) the person has been granted or acquired citizenship pursuant to section 5 or 11 and, in the case of a person who is fourteen years of age or over on the day that he is granted citizenship, he has taken the oath of citizenship;

    • (c.1) the person has been granted citizenship under section 5.1;

    • (d) the person was a citizen immediately before February 15, 1977;

    • (e) the person was entitled, immediately before February 15, 1977, to become a citizen under paragraph 5(1)(b) of the former Act;

    • (f) before the coming into force of this paragraph, the person ceased to be a citizen for any reason other than the following reasons and did not subsequently become a citizen:

      • (i) the person renounced his or her citizenship under any of the following provisions:

        • (A) paragraph 19(2)(c) of the Canadian Citizenship Act, S.C. 1946, c. 15, as enacted by S.C. 1951, c. 12, s. 1(3),

        • (B) paragraph 19(2)(c) of the Canadian Citizenship Act, R.S.C. 1952, c. 33,

        • (C) subparagraph 19(1)(b)(iii) of the Canadian Citizenship Act, R.S.C. 1952, c. 33, as enacted by S.C. 1967-68, c. 4, s. 5,

        • (D) subparagraph 18(1)(b)(iii) of the former Act,

        • (E) section 8 of the Citizenship Act, S.C. 1974-75-76, c. 108, or

        • (F) section 9 of this Act,

      • (ii) the person’s citizenship was revoked for false representation, fraud or concealment of material circumstances under any of the following provisions:

        • (A) paragraph 21(1)(b) of the Canadian Citizenship Act, S.C. 1946, c. 15,

        • (B) paragraph 19(1)(b) of the Canadian Citizenship Act, S.C. 1946, c. 15, as enacted by S.C. 1950, c. 29, s. 8,

        • (C) paragraph 19(1)(b) of the Canadian Citizenship Act, R.S.C. 1952, c. 33, as it read before the coming into force of An Act to amend the Canadian Citizenship Act, S.C. 1967-68, c. 4,

        • (D) paragraph 19(1)(a) of the Canadian Citizenship Act, R.S.C. 1952, c. 33, as enacted by S.C. 1967-68, c. 4, s. 5,

        • (E) paragraph 18(1)(a) of the former Act,

        • (F) section 9 of the Citizenship Act, S.C. 1974-75-76, c. 108, or

        • (G) section 10 of this Act, or

      • (iii) the person failed to make an application to retain his or her citizenship under section 8 as it read before the coming into force of this paragraph or did make such an application that subsequently was not approved;

    • (g) the person was born outside Canada before February 15, 1977 to a parent who was a citizen at the time of the birth and the person did not, before the coming into force of this paragraph, become a citizen;

    • (h) the person was granted citizenship under section 5, as it read before the coming into force of this paragraph, the person would have, but for that grant, been a citizen under paragraph (g) and, if it was required, he or she took the oath of citizenship;

    • (i) the person had been a citizen other than by way of grant, ceased to be a citizen for a reason other than the reasons referred to in subparagraphs (f)(i) to (iii), was subsequently granted citizenship before the coming into force of this paragraph under any of the following provisions and, if it was required, he or she took the oath of citizenship:

      • (i) subsection 10(1) of the Citizenship Act, S.C. 1974-75-76, c. 108,

      • (ii) subsection 5(1) or (4) or 11(1) of this Act, or

      • (iii) paragraph 5(2)(a) of this Act, as it read before the coming into force of this paragraph;

    • (j) under prior legislation, the person had been a citizen other than by way of grant, ceased to be a citizen for a reason other than the reasons referred to in subparagraphs (f)(i) and (ii) and resumed citizenship;

    • (k) the person, before January 1, 1947, was born or naturalized in Canada but ceased to be a British subject, and did not become a citizen on that day;

    • (l) the person, before April 1, 1949, was born or naturalized in Newfoundland and Labrador but ceased to be a British subject, and did not become a citizen on or before that day;

    • (m) the person, on January 1, 1947, was a British subject neither born nor naturalized in Canada and was ordinarily resident in Canada, and did not become a citizen on that day;

    • (n) the person, on April 1, 1949, was a British subject neither born nor naturalized in Newfoundland and Labrador and was ordinarily resident there, and did not become a citizen on or before that day;

    • (o) the person was born outside Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador before January 1, 1947 to a parent who is a citizen under paragraph (k) or (m), and the person did not become a citizen on that day;

    • (p) the person was born outside Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador before April 1, 1949 to a parent who is a citizen under paragraph (l) or (n), and the person did not become a citizen on or before that day;

    • (q) the person was born outside Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador before January 1, 1947 to a parent who became a citizen on that day under the Canadian Citizenship Act, S.C. 1946, c. 15, and the person did not become a citizen on that day; or

    • (r) the person was born outside Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador before April 1, 1949 to a parent who became a citizen on that day under section 44A of the Canadian Citizenship Act, S.C. 1946, c. 15, as enacted by S.C. 1949, c. 6, and the person did not become a citizen on or before that day.

  • Marginal note:For greater certainty

    (1.01) For greater certainty, the reference to “Canada” in paragraphs (1)(k), (m) and (o) to (r) is a reference to Canada as it existed immediately before the union of Newfoundland and Labrador with Canada.

  • Marginal note:Citizen despite death of parent

    (1.1) A person who would not become a citizen under paragraph (1)(b), (g) or (h) for the sole reason that, on the coming into force of this subsection, his or her parent — referred to in one of those paragraphs — is deceased, is a citizen under paragraph (1)(b), (g) or (h) if that parent, but for his or her death, would have been a citizen under paragraph (1)(f), (i) or (j).

  • Marginal note:Citizen despite death of parent

    (1.2) A person who would not become a citizen under paragraph (1)(b), (g), (h), (o) or (p) for the sole reason that, on the coming into force of this subsection, his or her parent — referred to in one of those paragraphs — is deceased, is a citizen under that paragraph if that parent, but for his or her death, would have been a citizen under any of paragraphs (1)(k) to (n).

  • Marginal note:Citizen despite death of parent

    (1.3) A person who would not become a citizen under paragraph (1)(q) for the sole reason that his or her parent died before January 1, 1947 and did not become a citizen on that day under the Canadian Citizenship Act, S.C. 1946, c. 15, is, nonetheless, a citizen under that paragraph if his or her parent would have been a citizen if that Act had come into force immediately before their death and the date referred to in the provisions of that Act that set out the requirements to be met to become a citizen had been the day of that coming into force rather than January 1, 1947.

  • Marginal note:Citizen despite death of parent

    (1.4) A person who would not become a citizen under paragraph (1)(r) for the sole reason that his or her parent died before April 1, 1949 and did not become a citizen on that day under section 44A of the Canadian Citizenship Act, S.C. 1946, c. 15, as enacted by S.C. 1949, c. 6, is, nonetheless, a citizen under that paragraph if his or her parent would have been a citizen if that Act had come into force immediately before their death and the date referred to in the provisions of that Act that set out the requirements to be met to become a citizen had been the day of that coming into force rather than April 1, 1949.

  • Marginal note:Not applicable to children of foreign diplomats, etc.

    (2) Paragraph (1)(a) does not apply to a person if, at the time of his birth, neither of his parents was a citizen or lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence and either of his parents was

    • (a) a diplomatic or consular officer or other representative or employee in Canada of a foreign government;

    • (b) an employee in the service of a person referred to in paragraph (a); or

    • (c) an officer or employee in Canada of a specialized agency of the United Nations or an officer or employee in Canada of any other international organization to whom there are granted, by or under any Act of Parliament, diplomatic privileges and immunities certified by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to be equivalent to those granted to a person or persons referred to in paragraph (a).

  • Marginal note:Not applicable — paragraphs (1)(k), (m), (o) and (q)

    (2.1) Paragraphs (1)(k), (m), (o) and (q) do not apply to a person if

    • (a) before January 1, 1947, the person made a declaration of alienage, had his or her status as a British subject revoked or ceased to be a British subject as a consequence of the revocation of another person’s status as a British subject; or

    • (b) the person became a citizen by way of grant on or after January 1, 1947 and subsequently

      • (i) renounced his or her citizenship under any of the provisions set out in clauses (1)(f)(i)(A) to (F), or

      • (ii) had his or her citizenship revoked for false representation, fraud or concealment of material circumstances under any of the provisions set out in clauses (1)(f)(ii)(A) to (G).

  • Marginal note:Not applicable — paragraphs (1)(b), (g) and (h)

    (2.2) Paragraphs (1)(b), (g) and (h) do not apply to a person — who, but for this subsection, would be a citizen under one of those paragraphs for the sole reason that one or both of his or her parents are persons referred to in any of paragraphs (1)(k), (m), (o) and (q) — if the person became a citizen by way of grant on or after January 1, 1947 and subsequently

    • (a) renounced his or her citizenship under any of the provisions set out in clauses (1)(f)(i)(A) to (F); or

    • (b) had his or her citizenship revoked for false representation, fraud or concealment of material circumstances under any of the provisions set out in clauses (1)(f)(ii)(A) to (G).

  • Marginal note:Not applicable — paragraphs (1)(l), (n), (p) and (r)

    (2.3) Paragraphs (1)(l), (n), (p) and (r) do not apply to a person if

    • (a) before April 1, 1949, the person made a declaration of alienage, had his or her status as a British subject revoked or ceased to be a British subject as a consequence of the revocation of another person’s status as a British subject; or

    • (b) the person became a citizen by way of grant on or after April 1, 1949 and subsequently

      • (i) renounced his or her citizenship under any of the provisions set out in clauses (1)(f)(i)(A) to (F), or

      • (ii) had his or her citizenship revoked for false representation, fraud or concealment of material circumstances under any of the provisions set out in clauses (1)(f)(ii)(A) to (G).

  • Marginal note:Not applicable — paragraphs (1)(b), (g) and (h)

    (2.4) Paragraphs (1)(b), (g) and (h) do not apply to a person — who, but for this subsection, would be a citizen under one of those paragraphs for the sole reason that one or both of his or her parents are persons referred to in any of paragraphs (1)(l), (n), (p) and (r) — if the person became a citizen by way of grant on or after April 1, 1949 and subsequently

    • (a) renounced his or her citizenship under any of the provisions set out in clauses (1)(f)(i)(A) to (F); or

    • (b) had his or her citizenship revoked for false representation, fraud or concealment of material circumstances under any of the provisions set out in clauses (1)(f)(ii)(A) to (G).

  • Marginal note:Not applicable — after first generation

    (3) Paragraphs (1)(b), (f) to (j), (q) and (r) do not apply to a person born outside Canada

    • (a) if, at the time of his or her birth, only one of the person’s parents was a citizen and that parent was a citizen under paragraph (1)(b), (c.1), (e), (g), (h), (o), (p), (q) or (r) or both of the person’s parents were citizens under any of those paragraphs;

    • (a.1) if the person was born before January 1, 1947 and, on that day, only one of the person’s parents was a citizen and that parent was a citizen under paragraph (1)(o) or (q), or both of the person’s parents were citizens under either of those paragraphs;

    • (a.2) if the person was born before April 1, 1949 and, on that day, only one of the person’s parents was a citizen and that parent was a citizen under paragraph (1)(p) or (r), or both of the person’s parents were citizens under either of those paragraphs; or

    • (b) if, at any time, only one of the person’s parents was a citizen and that parent was a citizen under any of the following provisions, or both of the person’s parents were citizens under any of the following provisions:

      • (i) paragraph 4(b) or 5(b) of the Canadian Citizenship Act, S.C. 1946, c. 15,

      • (ii) paragraph 5(1)(b) of the Canadian Citizenship Act, S.C. 1946, c. 15, as enacted by S.C. 1950, c. 29, s. 2,

      • (iii) paragraph 4(1)(b) of the Canadian Citizenship Act, S.C. 1946, c. 15, as enacted by S.C. 1952-53, c. 23, s. 2(1),

      • (iv) paragraph 5(1)(b) of the Canadian Citizenship Act, S.C. 1946, c. 15, as enacted by S.C. 1950, c. 29, s. 2 and amended by S.C. 1952-53, c. 23, s. 3(1),

      • (v) paragraph 4(1)(b) of the Canadian Citizenship Act, R.S.C. 1952, c. 33, as enacted by S.C. 1952-53, c. 23, s. 13(1),

      • (vi) paragraph 5(1)(b) of the Canadian Citizenship Act, R.S.C. 1952, c. 33, as amended by S.C. 1952-53, c. 23, s. 14(1),

      • (vii) subsection 39B(1) of the Canadian Citizenship Act, R.S.C. 1952, c. 33, as enacted by S.C. 1967-68, c. 4, s. 10, or

      • (viii) paragraph 4(1)(b) or 5(1)(b) or subsection 42(1) of the former Act.

  • Marginal note:Exception — transitional provision

    (4) Subsection (3) does not apply to a person who, on the coming into force of that subsection, was a citizen. However, that subsection applies to a person who, on that coming into force, would have been a citizen under paragraph (1)(b) or (g) only by operation of any of paragraphs (7)(d) to (g) in respect of one of his or her parents.

  • Marginal note:Exception — transitional provision

    (4.1) Subsection (3) does not apply to a person who, on the coming into force of this subsection, was a citizen. However, that subsection applies to a person who, on that coming into force, would have been a citizen under paragraph (1)(b) or (g) only by operation of paragraph (7)(i), (k) or (m) in respect of one of his or her parents.

  • Marginal note:Exception — child or grandchild of person in service abroad

    (5) Subsection (3) does not apply to a person

    • (a) born to a parent who, at the time of the person’s birth, was employed outside Canada in or with the Canadian Armed Forces, the federal public administration or the public service of a province, otherwise than as a locally engaged person;

    • (b) born to a parent one or both of whose parents, at the time of that parent’s birth, were employed outside Canada in or with the Canadian Armed Forces, the federal public administration or the public service of a province, otherwise than as a locally engaged person; or

    • (c) born to a parent one or both of whose adoptive parents, at the time of that parent’s adoption, were employed outside Canada in or with the Canadian Armed Forces, the federal public administration or the public service of a province, otherwise than as a locally engaged person.

  • Marginal note:Citizenship other than by way of grant — grandchild of person in service abroad

    (5.1) A person who is born outside Canada to a parent referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) and who is either a citizen under prior legislation or the former Act — other than under any provision referred to in subparagraphs (3)(b)(i) to (viii) — or was granted citizenship under paragraph 5(2)(a) of this Act, as it read before April 17, 2009, or under subsection 5(1), (2) or (4) or 11(1) of this Act is deemed, as of the coming into force of this subsection, never to have been a citizen by way of grant:

    • (a) a parent one or both of whose parents, at the time of that parent’s birth, were employed outside Canada in or with the Canadian Armed Forces, the federal public administration or the public service of a province, otherwise than as a locally engaged person; or

    • (b) a parent one or both of whose adoptive parents, at the time of that parent’s adoption, were employed outside Canada in or with the Canadian Armed Forces, the federal public administration or the public service of a province, otherwise than as a locally engaged person.

  • Marginal note:Non-application of subsection (5.1)

    (5.2) Subsection (5.1) does not apply to a person born outside Canada after February 14, 1977 who, before April 17, 2009, ceased to be a citizen because he or she failed to make an application to retain his or her citizenship under section 8, as it read before April 17, 2009, or made an application but the application was not approved.

  • Marginal note:Citizenship other than by way of grant

    (6) A person referred to in paragraph (1)(h), (i) or (j) is deemed, except for the purposes of that paragraph, never to have been a citizen by way of grant.

  • Marginal note:Citizenship other than by way of grant — certain children born after February 14, 1977

    (6.1) A person who was born outside Canada after February 14, 1977 and who, before the coming into force of this subsection, was granted citizenship under section 5 is deemed never to have been a citizen by way of grant if

    • (a) he or she was born to a parent who was born in Canada and who is a citizen under paragraph (1)(f) or (i); or

    • (b) he or she was born to a parent who was born outside Canada to parents neither of whom was a citizen at the time of that parent’s birth, and who is a citizen under paragraph (1)(f) or (i).

  • Marginal note:Citizenship other than by way of grant

    (6.2) A person referred to in any of paragraphs (1)(k) to (r) — or a person referred to in paragraph (1)(b) or (g) who is a citizen under that paragraph for the sole reason that one or both of his or her parents are persons referred to in any of paragraphs (1)(k) to (n) — who became a citizen by way of grant before the coming into force of this subsection is deemed, except for the purposes of paragraph (2.1)(b), subsection (2.2), paragraph (2.3)(b), subsection (2.4) and subparagraphs 27(j.1)(ii) and (iii), never to have been a citizen by way of grant.

  • Marginal note:Deemed application

    (6.3) A person who is referred to in paragraph (1)(k), (l), (m) or (n) and also in paragraph (1)(o), (p), (q) or (r) is deemed to be a citizen only under that paragraph (o), (p), (q) or (r).

  • Marginal note:Deemed application

    (7) Despite any provision of this Act or any Act respecting naturalization or citizenship that was in force in Canada at any time before the day on which this subsection comes into force

    • (a) a person referred to in paragraph (1)(c) who was, before the coming into force of this subsection, granted citizenship under any of the following provisions after ceasing to be a citizen by way of grant for any reason other than the reasons referred to in subparagraphs (1)(f)(i) to (iii) is deemed to be a citizen under paragraph (1)(c) from the time that he or she ceased to be a citizen:

      • (i) subsection 10(1) of the Citizenship Act, S.C. 1974-75-76, c. 108,

      • (ii) subsection 5(1) or (4) or 11(1) of this Act, or

      • (iii) paragraph 5(2)(a) of this Act, as it read before the coming into force of this paragraph;

    • (b) a person referred to in paragraph (1)(d) who, under prior legislation, ceased to be a citizen by way of grant for any reason other than the reasons referred to in subparagraphs (1)(f)(i) and (ii) and resumed citizenship is deemed to be a citizen under paragraph (1)(d) from the time that he or she ceased to be a citizen;

    • (c) a person referred to in paragraph (1)(f) who, at the time he or she ceased to be a citizen, was a citizen by way of grant is deemed to have been granted citizenship under that paragraph at that time;

    • (d) a person referred to in paragraph (1)(f) — other than a person described in paragraph (c) — is deemed to be a citizen under paragraph (1)(f) from the time the person ceased to be a citizen;

    • (e) a person referred to in paragraph (1)(g) or (h) is deemed to be a citizen from the time that he or she was born;

    • (f) a person referred to in paragraph (1)(i) is deemed to be a citizen under that paragraph from the time that he or she ceased to be a citizen;

    • (g) a person referred to in paragraph (1)(j) is deemed to be a citizen under that paragraph from the time that he or she ceased to be a citizen;

    • (h) a person referred to in paragraph (1)(b) who is a citizen under that paragraph for the sole reason that one or both of his or her parents are referred to in paragraph (1)(f) or (i) is deemed to be a citizen under paragraph (1)(b) from the time that he or she was born;

    • (i) a person referred to in paragraph (1)(b) who is a citizen under that paragraph for the sole reason that one or both of his or her parents are referred to in any of paragraphs (1)(k) to (n) is deemed to be a citizen under paragraph (1)(b) from the time that he or she was born;

    • (j) a person referred to in paragraph (1)(k) or (m) is deemed to be a citizen under that paragraph as of January 1, 1947;

    • (k) a person referred to in paragraph (1)(o) or (q) is deemed to be a citizen under that paragraph as of January 1, 1947;

    • (l) a person referred to in paragraph (1)(l) or (n) is deemed to be a citizen under that paragraph as of April 1, 1949; and

    • (m) a person referred to in paragraph (1)(p) or (r) is deemed to be a citizen under that paragraph as of April 1, 1949.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (8) For any period before the day on which subsection (7) first takes effect with respect to a person,

    • (a) subsection (7) does not have the effect of conferring any rights, powers or privileges — or imposing any obligations, duties or liabilities — under any Act of Parliament other than this Act or any other law on the person or on any other person who may have any of those rights, powers, privileges, obligations, duties and liabilities as a result of the first person becoming a citizen; and

    • (b) no action or other proceedings for damages based on subsection (7) may be brought against Her Majesty in right of Canada or any officers, employees or agents of Her Majesty in right of Canada in respect of anything done or omitted to be done during that period.

  • Definition of “by way of grant”

    (9) In subsections (2.1) to (2.4) and (6.2), “by way of grant” means by way of grant under this Act or under prior legislation, by way of acquisition under this Act or by way of resumption under prior legislation.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-29, s. 3;
  • 1995, c. 5, s. 25;
  • 2007, c. 24, s. 1;
  • 2008, c. 14, ss. 2, 13;
  • 2014, c. 22, s. 2.