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2nd Generation Citizenship Question! Thank you!

Gfills

Newbie
Sep 6, 2020
2
0
Hi Everyone, I am hoping to get some insight into whether you think there is a decent chance of having 2nd generation Canadian Citizenship based on the following:

Maternal Grandfather: Born in Canada, resident since 1920s
Maternal Grandmother: Born in Canada, resident since 1920s

Maternal Grandfather: Became permanent U.S. resident in 1949. Married Maternal Grandmother in 1950.

Maternal Grandmother: Became a resident alien in the U.S. in 1950.

Mother: Born 1962 in the U.S.
Mother: Received her Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad in 1962 from the Department of Citizenship and Immigration.

Maternal Grandfather: received his U.S. naturalization in 1964.

Maternal Grandfather 1979: corresponded with Canadian Consulate General after receiving the Notice re: the 2/15/1977 Citizenship Act, indicating a July 1, 1979 deadline to make application for Canadian citizenship. Canadian Consulate confirmed that "your daughters were registered as Canadian births abroad in accordance with the requirements of the old Canadian Citizenship Act. Their certificates of registration are their proof of Canadian status. Under the provisions of the new Act, they will not lose their dual status automatically."

Me: born 1990 in the U.S.

I have reviewed the 1/1/1947 Canadian Citizenship Act, 2/15/1977 Citizenship Act and the 4/17/2009 Amendment. My thoughts are:
  • My maternal grandmother could not confer Canadian citizenship to my mother because she was female, and my mother was born during the 1947-1977 period.
  • My maternal grandfather could confer Canadian citizenship to my mother when she was born in 1962.
    • Her citizenship would not have been impacted directly by Part III, subsection 16 of the Canadian Citizenship Act 'loss of citizenship' when he naturalized to the U.S. in 1964, because she was already born. My maternal grandfather did potentially lose his citizenship in 1964.
  • HOWEVER, my mother could have lost her Canadian citizenship under part III, subsection 18, in 1964 - since she was still a minor and her father potentially lost Canadian citizenship when he became a U.S. citizen.
  • My mother regained her Canadian citizenship status in 2009 - but the same law retroactively giving her back her dual citizenship status, prevents me a second generation born abroad from becoming a Canadian citizen via descent.
  • My mother gave birth to me around 1990. At that time she was not a Canadian Citizen, because her dad lost citizenship, making her lose citizenship, in 1964. Because she was not a Canadian citizen at the time of my birth, I am unable to become a Canadian citizen via descent.
Does this sound correct, or is it worth submitting an application for a certificate to see if I can be granted Canadian citizenship?

Was my maternal grandfather's concerted efforts to make sure his daughters were still Canadian citizens in 1979, and the letters from the consulate indicating his daughters were all still dual citizens wrong / meaningless?

My maternal grandfather asked for the forms/applications so he could get his three daughters Canadian citizenship in 1979, and was not given any forms/applications because the consulate confirmed they were dual citizens already.

Do I have a shot at being a canadian citizen?

Any input or thoughts would be greatly appreciated! My TLDR is that my mother is currently a dual citizen of U.S./Canada, but I am not and will not be able to become a Canadian citizenship as a descendant - but these constantly changing immigration laws make it quite confusing!

Thank you!
 
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hawk39

Hero Member
Mar 26, 2017
499
144
I am curious as to what the whole letter your grandfather received in 1977 says, specifically why he needed to apply for citizenship. Did he apply and received anything else in return? Application for retention of citizenship for those who were born abroad in the first generation was repealed with the 1977 Act for those born after February 15, 1953, so it couldn't have been about that.

I tried to find any amendments regarding any changes to a minor's citizenship due to the parent's status between 1950 to 1964, but found none. So technically, I think your mother should have lost her citizenship when her father became an American citizen, but the US does not require their applicants to officially renounce their previous citizenships or report the naturalization to the applicant's home country because of it's tacit acceptance of multiple citizenships. So is it possible that because your grandfather did not report his American naturalization to Canada, did Canada believe that he and his three daughters were still Canadian? Usually when someone loses their citizenship and reports it to the government, they would have received a certificate of renunciation or cancellation to confirm the loss.

There is also a section on IRCC's website that describes the involuntary loss of a minor's citizenship; could this be apply to your mother as well?

In any case, I think you should just go ahead and apply for your citizenship certificate; that would be the only way to know for sure.
 

Gfills

Newbie
Sep 6, 2020
2
0
I am curious as to what the whole letter your grandfather received in 1977 says, specifically why he needed to apply for citizenship. Did he apply and received anything else in return? Application for retention of citizenship for those who were born abroad in the first generation was repealed with the 1977 Act for those born after February 15, 1953, so it couldn't have been about that.

So technically, I think your mother should have lost her citizenship when her father became an American citizen, but the US does not require their applicants to officially renounce their previous citizenships

There is also a section on IRCC's website that describes the involuntary loss of a minor's citizenship; could this be apply to your mother as well?

In any case, I think you should just go ahead and apply for your citizenship certificate; that would be the only way to know for sure.
Thank you for your thoughts!

Since posting, I think I am leaning towards my mother not losing her Canadian citizenship due to her father's naturalization. Part III subsection 17 is where I really get lost - it may have applied to my grandfather (unlikely) or mother (unless she is not a "natural-born Canadian citizen", which I would think she is since she was born from two Canadians (but maybe natural-born means born on Canadian soil?)). But I'm pretty darn confused regardless - like the Act between 1947-1977 appears to prevent dual citizenship, yet subsection 17 appears to specifically allow a minor to have both Canadian and U.S. citizenship unless they renounce Canadian citizenship.

I have read the link you sent and the sections I am referring to in Part III might be precisely what the page is discussing:

"The Canadian Citizenship Act, which was in force from January 1, 1947, until February 14, 1977, contained several provisions for automatic loss of Canadian citizenship. For example, loss could occur through naturalization outside Canada, naturalization of a parent outside Canada, lengthy absences from Canada, making a declaration renouncing Canadian citizenship, or failing to apply to retain Canadian citizenship."

Did my grandfather or mother lose Canadian citizenship by naturalizing outside of Canada, despite my mother having registered and received her Certificated of Registration of Birth Abroad in 1962? If my mother could not have been a dual citizen, the regirstration itself would have been meaningless so clearly she was allowed to be a dual citizen at least from 1962-1964.

As thanks for your input here is the whole situation regarding the 1979 letters to the consulate:

Grandfather received a Notice from the Canadian Consulate General in the mail about the February 15, 1977 Act, which has some major provisions outlined about children born between 1947 and 1977 and states they may "obtain Canadian Citizenship upon application within a prescribed time limit." The time limit was listed as July 1, 1979.

He immediately mailed a letter stating:

"Dear Sir:

I have recently been informed by an enclosure from your office (in connection with my wife's passport) of changes in Canada's Citizenship Act effective February 15, 1977.

My daughters were all born in the United States of Canadian parents and were all registered within the prescribed six months from date of birth. They would like to make application to obtain Canadian citizenship.

We would appreciate it very much if you would send us the necessary forms that we can can proceed. I note that the prescribed time limit expires July 1, 1979.

Registration of Birth Abroad No. __________
Registration of Birth Abroad No. __________
Registration of Birth Abroad No. __________

I appreciated very much receiving this information. We will proceed with all speed to complete the forms within the prescribed time."

The next day, my grandfather received a letter from the Canadian Consulate General stating:

"Dear Sir:

This is with reference to your letter in connection with Canadian citizenship for your daughters. The enclosure letter which your wife received with her passport only applies to children born abroad of a Canadian mother and a non-Canadian father.

Your daughters were registered as Canadian births abroad in accordance with the requirements of the old Canadian Citizenship Act. Their certificates of registration are their proof of Canadian status. Under the provisions of the new Act, they will not lose their dual status automatically."

The Canadian gov. website makes it clear that the 2009 Act does not take Canadian Citizenship away from anyone. In theory, I received my Canadian Citizenship from my mother when I was born, since she was a 1st generation born abroad and was confirmed a citizen with her registration, and I was born 1990. I was already a Canadian Citizen (although never confirmed or registered) from 1990-2009, so the Act should not have taken that away from me (is my understanding). I think the main reason this wouldn't be true is IF my grandfather lost his Canadian citizenship in 1964 when he became a U.S. citizen, which then resulted in my 2 year old mother at the time losing her Canadian citizenship as well. But that would seem pretty odd to me (but part III of the 1947 Act may support it) since my mom was born of two parents both born in Canada, one of which (her mother) was always 100% Canadian.

Regardless of the confusing amendments, I am confident my mother will be able to get proof of citizenship - but if she was not a Canadian citizen when I was born (due to losing it until the 2009 amendment), then I will have no chance of becoming a Canadian citizen via descent. I feel like my situation cannot be too different from others as it must be pretty common, with the main twist being my grandfather obtaining U.S. citizenship in 1964.

Thanks!
 
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hawk39

Hero Member
Mar 26, 2017
499
144
Since posting, I think I am leaning towards my mother not losing her Canadian citizenship due to her father's naturalization. Part III subsection 17 is where I really get lost - it may have applied to my grandfather (unlikely) or mother (unless she is not a "natural-born Canadian citizen", which I would think she is since she was born from two Canadians (but maybe natural-born means born on Canadian soil?)). But I'm pretty darn confused regardless - like the Act between 1947-1977 appears to prevent dual citizenship, yet subsection 17 appears to specifically allow a minor to have both Canadian and U.S. citizenship unless they renounce Canadian citizenship.
Natural-born (as described under sections 4 and 5) just means being born in Canada or by descent. Section 17 says that when a person is born as or became a dual citizen as a minor turns 21, or acquired dual citizenship after marriage, they can make a formal declaration to renounce their Canadian citizenship. However, I think your mother automatically lost her citizenship under subsection 18, as you've previously stated, since she would have to be at least 21 to renounce under section 17. Dual citizenship was not necessarily prohibited if the person had acquired it involuntarily at birth (like US birthright citizenship), because there was no such prohibition under section 5(b).

Did my grandfather or mother lose Canadian citizenship by naturalizing outside of Canada, despite my mother having registered and received her Certificated of Registration of Birth Abroad in 1962?
I think this is what happened.

But that would seem pretty odd to me (but part III of the 1947 Act may support it) since my mom was born of two parents both born in Canada, one of which (her mother) was always 100% Canadian.
Citizenship by descent under the 1947 Act (as described under section 5b) is derived from the father or unwedded mother of the child, so your mother and her sisters were eligible for registration by your grandfather, and not from your grandmother. Section 2 describes a responsible parent as the father, or mother if the father is either dead, no longer has custody, or if the mother is unwedded and the child is already living with her. Section 18 says 'if the "responsible parent" naturalizes to another country, then the child also loses Canadian citizenship'. So unfortunately, I still believe that your mother lost her citizenship when her father (a.k.a. the "responsible parent") became an US citizen.

Despite all of this, the fact that your grandfather received a letter in 1977 stating that your mother still had dual status has lead me to believe that 'she had fallen through the cracks' and Canada still believed that she was a Canadian citizen. So I think the best thing to do at this time would be to just apply for your citizenship certificate with your mother's registration certificate.

@alphazip, your thoughts would be appreciated as well.
 
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alphazip

Champion Member
May 23, 2013
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hawk39, I would agree with your interpretation of events, in that the OP's mother's birth was registered as required by the original Citizenship Act, thus making her a Canadian citizen at birth, BUT that her citizenship would have been lost when her responsible parent (father) became a U.S. citizen two years later.

In my own case, when I made a delayed registration of birth abroad (only available until 2004), I was notified that my father's naturalization as a U.S. citizen when I was minor would not prevent me from registering, because I was not yet a Canadian citizen. In other words, if my birth had been registered when I was an infant, I would have lost citizenship when my father did.

However, using the "Am I Canadian" tool (https://na1se.voxco.com/SE/56/amicanadiansuisjecanadien/) with the OP's information, I get this:
  • Born outside Canada
  • Not a Crown servant
  • Not granted citizenship
  • Parent not born or residing in Canada
  • Born between 1981 and 2009 to a Canadian citizen parent
  • Mother was born outside Canada to a Canadian parent
  • Mother did not apply for citizenship
  • Not issued a Citizenship Certificate
  • Parent was born between 1947 and 1977
  • Parent received Registration of Birth Abroad Certificate before 1977
  • She was under the age of 24 in 1977
  • She did not renounce Canadian citizenship or become (i.e. naturalize as) a citizen of another country
  • PROBABLY A CANADIAN CITIZEN
So, I would suggest that the OP apply for proof of citizenship, enclosing a copy of the letter from the Consulate, and not emphasizing his grandfather's naturalization.
 

hawk39

Hero Member
Mar 26, 2017
499
144
Very interesting. The one thing about the tool that I don't like is that it does not ask or account for (and most likely what the applicant wouldn't know) is if the applicant's parent had ever lost citizenship before, and only got it back because of the 2009 or 2015 changes; albeit it does tell the applicant "probably" and to apply for confirmation, it can really cause some disappointment at the end.