Dual citizenship in Canada

Dual citizenship in Canada

Having several passports is convenient, but difficulties may arise. You can, for example, lose your previous citizenship or become liable for military service. Read more in our article.

According to Statistics Canada, in 2011, about 945,000 people (3% of the total population of the country) had multiple citizenship. Almost 80% of them were immigrants. Among naturalized Canadian citizens, 14% held another citizenship, most often the United Kingdom, the United States and Poland.

You have dual citizenship or multiple citizenship when more than one country recognizes you as its citizen. In this article, we will talk about whether it is possible to have this status in Canada and what the advantages and disadvantages are.

Dual and second citizenship

The legislation of Russia distinguishes between the concepts of dual and second citizenship.

Dual citizenship means that the state knows that a citizen has a second passport and acknowledges this fact. The passport of the other state is valid in Russia. Such nuances as military service and payment of taxes are resolved at the place of permanent residence. Dual citizenship can be only for Russians with passports of Armenia or Tajikistan — only with these countries Russia has concluded special agreements.

Second citizenship means that a citizen of Russia received a passport of another country, which is neither Armenia nor Tajikistan. In this case, the person will be considered in Russia only as a citizen of the Russian Federation.

Further on in the article, both concepts will be referred to as dual citizenship for simplicity.

Dual citizenship in CIS countries

Some countries recognize dual citizenship, others do not. For example, a German citizen who acquires Canadian citizenship will be recognized in Germany as a citizen of both countries. The same in most other European countries as well as in Australia, USA and some others.

However, many states, including Azerbaijan, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, do not recognize dual citizenship. This means that a Canadian with a Belarusian, Russian or Ukrainian passport in these countries will be considered a citizen of Belarus, Russia or Ukraine, respectively. The authorities can limit his access to the consular services of Canada if he gets into trouble. But renouncing any citizenship in these countries would not be required.

Please note: if you are a citizen of Russia and at the same time a citizen or resident of another country, you must declare this citizenship or residency status to the local office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs within 30 days after arriving in Russia. Those who fail to notify the authorities face a fine of 200 thousand rubles and up to 400 hours of correctional labor.

A similar requirement applies to citizens of Azerbaijan. After acquiring the citizenship of another country, you must notify the authorities within one month. If you are in Azerbaijan, apply to State Migration Service, if you are out of the country — to Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan. For those who did not notify the authorities, fines of 3,000 to 5,000 manat and 360-480 hours of correctional labor are stipulated.

Dual citizenship in Canada

Canada allows you to have another citizenship (or more) in addition to your Canadian citizenship and does not have to renounce your first citizenship to obtain a Canadian passport. Canadians can only lose their citizenship if they voluntarily renounce it through a complicated legal process.

It is important to know that people with dual citizenship (one of which is Canadian) may only travel to or transit through Canada on a Canadian passport. If the other country of citizenship requires you to show your passport to that country upon departure, take both documents with you.

However, if you are a Canadian citizen with a valid US passport, you do not need a Canadian passport to enter Canada.

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