Proposed changes to remove the first-generation citizenship rule

Advertisement: Click here to learn how to Generate Art From Text

Author: Al Parsai

Last Updated on: June 30, 2024

Canada first-generation citizenship ruleCanada first-generation citizenship rule

Ryan, seven years old, was born in the United States of parents who are Canadian. Both his parents were born outside Canada and live in Canada. His mother gave birth to him in the US when she was on a visit. The Canadian government refused to accept Ryan as a Canadian citizen due to the rule of the first generation. With proposed changes to the Citizenship Act, Ryan’s parents hope to regain his citizenship. His family is eagerly awaiting these changes in order to ensure that he has his rightful citizenship as a Canadian.

Understanding the First Generation Rule

The first-generation restriction restricts the transmission to Canadian citizenship of only the first children born abroad of Canadian citizens. Introduced in 2009 this rule was intended to maintain an important connection to Canada for those who acquired citizenship by descent. Let’s say a Canadian is born outside Canada. If they are born outside Canada, they cannot pass their citizenship on to their children.

This rule affects families like Ryan’s, whose parents are Canadian citizens born abroad. Their child born during a short-term visit to the United States does not automatically get Canadian citizenship, despite their strong ties with Canada. This has caused significant problems for many families. It has affected where they can work, live, and raise children.

Many have criticized the rule for creating the “Lost Canadians” class. A recent Ontario Superior Court decision declared this rule unconstitutional, noting that it unfairly discriminates based on national origin and perpetuates disadvantages for those born abroad to Canadian citizens​.

Please refer to Another articleFor a more detailed description of the first generation rule and its implications.

Ontario Court Ruling in this Matter

The Ontario Superior Court ruled that the first-generation Canadian citizenship limit is unconstitutional on December 20, 2023. Bjorkquist et al. Attorney General for Canada. The decision was made in a case where multiple families were unable to pass citizenship on to their children who were born outside Canada. Justice Akbarali ruled that this rule discriminated against people based on their national origin and violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms sections 6 and 15.

The court stated that the rule created an inferior class of citizenship. Children born abroad to Canadian parents suffered significant disadvantages. These included difficulty obtaining Canadian citizenship and barriers for returning to Canada. The ruling highlighted the discriminatory nature and negative impact of the policy on affected families.

In a recent CTV News Interview, I emphasized the decision’s significance. I stated. “The court’s decision is a step towards inclusivity and fairness in Canadian immigration policies.” This ruling aligns with Canada’s commitment to multiculturalism and diversity, reinforcing the value of citizenship for all Canadians, regardless of birthplace. This ruling also paved the path for the proposed Bill C-71 changes. These changes are intended to address these issues, and restore citizenship rights for those affected by the rule of first generation.

Bill C-71 : Comprehensive Changes to Citizenship Act

Bill C-71Introduces significant amendments The Citizenship Act, which aims to address issues relating to citizenship by descent.

Extending Citizenship through Descent

The new legislation extends the citizenship by descent past the first generation. Previously, only children born abroad to Canadian parents could receive citizenship. Now, all children born abroad with Canadian parents will automatically receive Canadian citizenship, regardless of generation. Therefore, this change addresses families like Ryan’s, giving them rightful citizenship.

Substantial Connection Requirement

The bill introduces the requirement of a substantial connection to Canada to ensure a meaningful relationship with Canada. Parents must demonstrate 1,095 days of physical presence in Canada before their child’s birth or adoption. This measure strikes the right balance between extending Canadian citizenship rights and maintaining strong Canadian ties.

Adopted Children and Citizenship

Bill C-71 grants citizenship to all children adopted abroad by Canadians, whether they were adopted before or after the law came into effect. Adopted children will have the same rights and privileges as biological kids, ensuring fairness in citizenship.

Restoring Citizenship to Missing Canadians

The bill aims to restore citizenship for all. “Lost Canadians”Their descendants These individuals never or only lost their citizenship due to outdated laws. The new legislation will ensure that these individuals regain their rightful citizen, promoting inclusivity, and rectifying previous injustices.

Simplified Renunciation Process

The bill simplifies renouncing of citizenship. This will benefit individuals who have to renounce Canadian Citizenship, as it will make the process easier for them and more respectful of their choice. This part of bill has nothing to with the first generation rule. It addresses some shortcomings in the current Citizenship Act.

Implementation and Potential Changes

Bill C-71 could undergo changes as it advances through the legislative procedure. Lawmakers can propose amendments at readings and during consultations. Consequently, the bill’s final version could differ from its initial draft, reflecting feedback and concerns raised during the process.

Timeline for Implementation

Once the bill has passed all stages of the legislative process and received royal assent, the government will implement any changes. This process can take several months to complete as the regulations and systems must be updated in order to accommodate the new provisions. I suspect, given the recent extension granted by the Ontario Super Court that the government may ask for another postponement. It is likely the implementation will start in 2025.

Information and Support for a Lifelong Process

You can also find out more about the following: The Government The government has promised to continue to support and inform those affected by this new legislation. Official channels will provide information on how to apply for a restored citizenship, or meet the new criteria. This ensures that those eligible understand their rights and steps.

Bill C-71, in conclusion, represents a comprehensive attempt to modernize Citizenship Act. It aims to create a fair, inclusive, and reflective system of Canada’s values of diversity and equality.

Expert Advice on Canadian Citizenship Application

As you can see, A highly experienced, regulated Canadian Immigration ConsultantI am a specialist in the majority of Canadian immigration and citizenship procedures. I can offer expert assistance whether you need to navigate the current Citizenship Act and prepare for the changes under Bill C71. My extensive knowledge ensures your application meets all legal criteria. I am always up-to-date on legislative changes and their impact, so you will receive accurate and timely information.

Please click here to learn more about Contact me for professional guidance and assistanceIf you have any questions about the new laws or need help with your application for citizenship, please fill out this form. You can also fill out the form below.

Would you please Fill out our Free Assessment FormIf you want to visit or relocate to Canada, what should you do? We will review the application free of charge, but will only contact if you are eligible. Alternatively, you may Book a consultation session. Consultation sessions aren’t free, but a licensed immigration practitioner will provide you with formal advice.

Al ParsaiAl Parsai LLM, MA RCIC-IRB
Regulated Canadian immigration consultant
Adjunct Professor – Queen’s University – Faculty of Law
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
Author – 88 Tips for Immigration to Canada

Fill in the form Free Canada Immigration Assessment FormIn your language!

This article is intended to provide general information. It may not be up to date, given the dynamic nature of immigration. The article does not provide legal advice. Do not use it as a source of legal advice or immigration information. We are therefore not responsible for the content of any articles. If you have any specific legal questions, it is best to consult an attorney. You can also book an appointment if you want immigration advice.

The characters in the article:
Unless otherwise stated, all characters and locations are fictional. Any resemblance between names, dates and places is purely coincidental.

Important Notes:
You can only rely on this website for our official addresses. We do not currently have offices outside Canada. Anyone who claims to represent us is fraud. Please note that we don’t issue any documents such as work permits, study permit or similar documents. The only authority to issue these documents is the Government of Canada.

Click here to view the disclaimer.

Al Parsai

This article has been expertly crafted by Al Parsai, a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al’s academic accomplishments include a prestigious adjunct professorship at Queen’s University Law School, Ashton College and a Master of Laws degree from York University. Al is a respected member of CICC, CAPIC and his experiences as CEO of Parsai Immigration Services have further enriched his insights. Al’s articles are a treasure trove of knowledge for readers. He has guided thousands of applicants from more than 55 countries through the immigration procedure since 2011.

‘ Credit:
Original content by “Proposed changes to remove the First-Generation Citizen Rule”
Read the complete article at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *