Saturday, April 18, 2009

Waking up Canadian

A new Canadian law took effect on April 17 granting Canadian citizenship to potentially hundreds of thousands of people, whether they live in Canada or not. An amendment to Canada's Citizenship Act restores Canadian citizenship to people forced to renounce it when they became citizens of another country (like the US), and it also grants Canadian citizenship to their children.

While the US is hardly unique in forcing naturalised citizens to renounce their former citizenship, other countries—like New Zealand—don’t require it. The US has case law that recognises the existence of dual nationality (being a citizen of two countries) for US-born US citizens, and such citizens who become citizens of another country through naturalisation don’t threaten their US citizenship unless the US government can prove that the US citizen specifically intended to end their US citizenship by becoming naturalised in another country.

So the US still requiring that immigrants seeking naturalisation renounce their birth citizenship is clearly unfair, and it seems positively antique—which figures, since it’s an 18th Century concept designed to force a common nationality on citizens of the new nation. Still, there’s nothing in US law to prevent a naturalised US citizen from having their foreign citizenship restored; Canada has done the hard work for their citizens, including those who, as the announcer says, live “ootside Canada” (sorry, couldn’t resist…).

Well done, Canada! See? There are things about the Harper government that can be applauded, though I can’t think of any others off the top of my head…

1 comment:

Canada Realtor said...

You're very right about Harper. I too think this was an excellent choice and a very good job done on the video, that surprised me a lot. Going with the modern trend here, impressive. If only Mr. Harpers administration made more good decisions like this one.

Take care, Julie