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

Act current to 2014-10-27 and last amended on 2014-08-01. 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      • (ii) the person’s citizenship was revoked for false representation, fraud or concealment of material circumstances under any of the following provisions: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; or

    • (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.

  • 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: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  — after first generation

    (3) Paragraphs (1)(b) and (f) to (j) 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) or (h), or both of the person’s parents were citizens under any 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  — 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: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; and

    • (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.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (8) With respect to any period before the coming into force of this subsection,

    • (a) subsection (7) does not have the effect of conferring on a person any rights, powers or privileges, or imposing on a person any obligations, duties or liabilities, under any Act of Parliament other than this Act or any other law; 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.

  • 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.