Canadian citizenship is a status that is greatly desired by countless individuals throughout the world. This is due to the quality of life that is found in Canada and the various important rights and privileges citizenship confers upon its citizens.
Canada is simply a great place to live and to be a citizen of this country carries with it benefits the likes of which can be found in few other nations around the world. If an individual has at least one Canadian parent they could be in the fortunate position of having a fast-tracked route through which a citizenship certificate can be obtained.
The most common path to Canadian citizenship taken by foreign nationals is through one of Canada’s various permanent residency programs. This path is a two-step process whereby one first becomes a Canadian permanent resident and then, after having satisfied certain residency requirements, they become eligible to apply for citizenship.
This process, though successful for many, presents potential obstacles and can take years, all of which might not be issues for offspring of Canadian citizens.
Firstly, Canada’s permanent residency programs are subject to certain eligibility criteria which must be satisfied in order to receive consideration as a candidate. These criteria differ from program to program but many of them pertain to age, language ability, education level and skilled work experience.
For those foreign nationals lacking in one or more of these areas, the prospect of acquiring Canadian permanent residency could be slim. Although new programs geared towards different demographics are consistently being introduced, certain individuals might find themselves without a pathway to permanent residency available to them.
Secondly, in order to transition from Canadian permanent residency to citizenship, there are certain residency requirements with which applicants must comply. Currently these requirements are that an individual must live in Canada for 3 out of 5 years as a permanent resident before being eligible for Canadian citizenship.
This time period can be subject to certain limited exceptions, but for the large part this is the case in order to be a viable candidate for citizenship in Canada. For many would-be applicants, these residency requirements could pose a problem; many individuals have obligations and responsibilities which necessarily entail them being outside of Canada.
Barring exceptional situations, which are few and far between, in such scenarios a permanent resident would not be able to successfully acquire Canadian citizenship.
The potential issues described above might not apply to those individuals who are fortunate enough to have at least one Canadian parent. In many scenarios, and often unbeknownst to them, such individuals might already be Canadian citizens simply by virtue of their parent’s nationality.
Recognition of this fact, and eligibility for the benefits it entails, is accomplished through an application called “Proof of Citizenship”. In this application, the applicant must demonstrate that he or she has a parent who is a Canadian citizen.
This process provides a facilitated route through which an individual might reap the benefits of Canadian citizenship. This is not a status that is granted lightly and therefore, these cases are usually scrutinized closely in order to ensure eligibility and that the required supporting documentation has been provided.
Having a Canadian citizen parent does not guarantee that an individual will qualify to apply for Proof of Citizenship as factors such as the process through which citizenship was acquired as well as when the parent(s) became a Canadian citizen play a role in determining eligibility for this application.
As the application process can be problematic if the appropriate paperwork is not submitted, would-be Canadian citizens are often best served to seek professional guidance in the context of this application.
If an applicant has any doubts with regard to the application it is in his or her interest to consult qualified and competent Canadian immigration attorneys so as to ensure that the process is as smooth and problem-free as possible.
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