Diaspora

New Canadian citizenship rule to benefit Indians

Wednesday, 29 May, 2024
The legislation has been brought forward by Canadian Immigration Minister Marc Miller. (Photo courtesy: MarcMiller@Facebook)

Ottawa: Bringing cheer to the Indian community in Canada, Immigration Minister Marc Miller has introduced a bill to extend citizenship by descent beyond the first generation, The Times of India reported. In 2009, amendments to the Citizenship Act introduced a 'first-generation limit,' restricting citizenship by descent. This meant that a parent who was born in Canada, or who had obtained naturalization before the birth of the kid, could only confer citizenship to a child born outside of the country.

Consequently, Canadian citizens born abroad faced hurdles in passing on citizenship to their own children born outside Canada. Moreover, they couldn't seek citizenship for children adopted from outside the country.

The proposed amendment stems from a recent court ruling that deemed the first-generation limit unconstitutional. Canada opted not to contest this decision, signaling a shift in immigration policy.

Pavan Dhillon, an immigration attorney, elucidates the impact of the first-generation limit. For instance, Mrs A, born in India and later a Canadian citizen, could transmit citizenship to her child 'B,' born outside Canada. However, 'B,' despite being a Canadian citizen, couldn't confer citizenship to 'C' if 'C' was born outside Canada.

Under the proposed changes, children born abroad to Canadians since 2009 would automatically receive citizenship. A new substantial connection test will be established for those born outside Canada after the law's implementation.

Indians eligible for Canadian citizenship under the new legislation must forfeit their Indian citizenship, as dual citizenship isn't permitted. The proposed provisions stipulate that parents born abroad must have spent at least 1,095 cumulative days in Canada before their child's birth or adoption to transmit citizenship.

Ken Nickel-Lane, an immigration expert, said, "This announcement could significantly impact numerous individuals worldwide, particularly Indian nationals, who constitute a substantial portion of new Canadians."

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