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The following are the most common ways to obtain Canadian citizenship:

  • Citizenship by Birth (Jus soli)
  • Citizenship by Descent (Jus sanguinis)
  • Citizenship by Naturalization
  • Resumption of Citizenship

A citizen of Canada may obtain Canadian Citizenship Certificate and Canadian Passport.

Citizenship by Birth (Jus soli)

A person born in Canada may be a Canadian citizen, except if person’s parent was a foreign diplomat in Canada at the time of such person’s birth.

Citizenship by Descent (Jus sanguinis)

A person born outside of Canada may be a Canadian citizen if such person’s parent (and in very limited cases a grandparent) was a Canadian citizen at the time of such person’s birth, provided that certain legal requirements can be met.

Citizenship by Naturalization

Eligibility for Canadian citizenship by naturalization:

  • be a permanent resident of Canada
  • have lived in Canada for at least 3 years out of the 5 years preceding the application for citizenship
  • have filed taxes in Canada, if required to do so
  • prove required level of English or French language skills
  • pass Canadian citizenship test
  • take the oath of Canadian citizenship

Some persons may be prohibited from obtaining Canadian citizenship. This normally happens when there are inadmissibility concerns in respect of such persons.

Resumption of Citizenship

A person who was previously a citizen of Canada may apply for resumption of Canadian citizenship by meeting the following eligibility requirements:

  • has previously been a citizen of Canada
  • has obtained permanent resident status in Canada after the loss of Canadian citizenship
  • has no unfulfilled conditions relating to permanent resident status in Canada
  • has been physically present in Canada permanent resident status for at least 365 days in the 2 years immediately prior to submitting application for resumption of Canadian citizenship
  • has met personal income tax filing obligations for the taxation year immediately prior to submitting
  • has submitted application for resumption of Canadian citizenship

Resumption of Canadian citizenship cannot be approved when a person:

  • has had Canadian citizenship revoked
  • is under a Canadian removal order
  • is prohibited from being granted citizenship, based on inadmissibility concerns

Canadian Citizenship for Services of Exceptional Value to Canada

Canadian Minister of Citizenship has the discretion to grant Canadian citizenship in some special cases when such person is not able to meet regular requirements for obtaining Canadian citizenship. One of such cases may be when the Minister decides to grant Canadian citizenship to a person as a reward for such person’s services of exceptional value to Canada.

Dual Citizenship or Multiple Citizenship

Dual citizenship occurs when an person concurrently holds two citizenships. When an person concurrently holds more than two citizenships, such person is usually considered to have multiple citizenships.

Canada allows its citizens to have dual citizenship and multiple citizenship. A growing number of countries around the world allow dual and multiple citizenship. However, some countries do not allow their citizens to have dual or multiple citizenship, and some countries allow dual or multiple citizenship under certain conditions.

What is the difference between Citizenship and Nationality?

Cambridge Dictionary provides the following definitions of Citizenship and Nationality:


  • “the state of being a member of a particular country and having rights because of it”


  • “the official right to belong to a particular country”
  • “a group of people of the same race, religion, traditions, etc.”

The term “nationality” is often used in some countries to mean “citizenship”. However, in Canada the term “citizenship” is not normally used interchangeably with the term “nationality”.

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