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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I just finished aquiring my french citizenship as my father was born in france (I have US by birth). I am now considering applying for Canadian as my mother was born in Canada.
I have done "internet" research a little and it appears France, Canada, and the US dont promote multi citizenship but they also dont punish for multiples. I am curious if anyone has done this or maybe might have insight plus or minuses?
I just want to open the option to be a Canadian citizen since you never know.

Thanks Dan.
 

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Hi Xrac - we seem to be in very similar situations. I was born in the US to a Canadian father and an Irish mother. I even have two birth certificates - one American and one from the Republic of Ireland. This has been very useful when I've lived and worked in France.

Actually, you became a Canadian citizen in 2009, even if you did not realize it. Let me explain how.

Regarding Canadian citizenship, the laws have been overhauled a few times over the past few decades and again in 2009. Until 1947, Canadians were also British citizens (I'm assuming that you were not born prior to then). More recently, up until 2009, if you were born outside of Canada to a parent who was a Canadian citizen (regardless if by birth or naturalization), you could fill out the paperwork and receive Canadian citizenship via "descent". If you acquired this citizenship via descent prior to the birth of any children, then your children would also be allowed to claim Canadian citizenship by filing similar forms, even if they were not born in Canada. If your children made their application for descent, they would then be a Canadian citizen via descent, like you, but they would not be able to pass along to their children (your grandkids) the ability to claim Canadian citizenship. They would need to be born in Canada or naturalized as immigrants to be Canadian. In other words, citizenship via descent was only possible for 2 generations born outside of Canada. This has since changed.

In 2009 a new law came into effect that did away with citizenship via descent for a 2nd generation born outside of Canada. In other words, even if you claim Canadian citizenship prior to the birth of any children, they cannot receive citizenship via descent. They must be born in Canada or naturalized.

The new law though, also did away with the need for you to apply for citizenship via descent. Now, any person born to a Canadian citizen who was born in Canada or has a parent who became a naturalized citizen before his/her birth is automatically a Canadian citizen. You do, though, still need to fill out an application for a citizenship certificate. This certificate effectively works in lieu of a birth certificate (most countries only issue birth certificates to babies born there, although some, such as Ireland, do issue birth certificates for person eligible for Irish citizenship who are born outside of Ireland. This is why I have a 2nd birth certificate, a "certificate of foreign birth" actually). The certificate makes you eligible to:

- Vote,
- Get a passport,
- Get a driver’s licence or other identity card,
- Get a Social Insurance number to then get a job in Canada,
- Get government services, such as health care or a pension or attend university as a Canadian student (fyi - Canadian universities, including elite schools like McGill, are a fraction of the cost of most American universities for Canadian citizens).

For more information about applying for a Canadian citizenship certificate, google the Canadian bureau called "Citizenship and Immigration Canada" for a proof of citizenship form. It can take up to 6 months for the forms to be processed (although, it might be possible to get it expedited in some cases if you have a good reason such as an offer of employment and appeal to a sympathetic member of Parliament, from the area in Canada you would be living or where you have family).

Regarding how the US views dual or multiple citizenship: it is allowed with Canada and a list of other countries, whether citizenship is acquired via a birth, ancestry, or even naturalization in Canada or the other allowed countries. You do not lose your American citizenship by acquiring citizenship with countries with whom we allow dual citizenship. To lose your US citizenship, you would have to actually go to an embassy or consulate and fill out forms to rescind your citizenship, as well as swear in person that you are rescinding your citizenship. A few hundred people per year do this. It is almost always for tax purposes as the US taxes American citizens on global income instead of only income made in the US.

Most of the time, dual or multiple citizenship in allowed countries does not cause conflict issues, but it can/could occur in some situations. If you want to work for certain parts of the US government, you can only have US citizenship. Also, as my attorney friend at the Justice Dept pointed out to me a few years ago, you don't want to be in a hostage situation or fighting any type of extradition issues, if you have more than one citizenship. The US is known to go to great lengths to protect and rescue its citizens. Just ask Jessica Buchanan - a US aid worker who was held hostage in Somalia and rescued by the famous "Seal Team 6". They would not have shown up to rescue her and her Danish co-worker if she had not been a US citizen.

Please excuse the long response. Hope the info helps!
 

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One more thing

One more thing that I forgot to mention about the 2009 law and 2nd generation citizenship. While your kids born outside of Canada won't be Canadian citizens by birth, they can acquire citizenship quite easily, if you move to Canada with them. You would be the Canadian citizen sponsoring them to become naturalized Canadian citizens. If the sponsor is a Canadian parent, the process is easy and citizenship is granted immediately.

Also, to clarify about multi-citizenship - obviously, multiple citizenship makes for a messy situation when it comes to rescuing someone (if you're a dual citizen and stuck in your 2nd country of citizenship, the chances of the Seals coming to rescue you are greatly diminished). However, it also can complicate custody issues, not to mention would be a big problem if one of those countries ever implements any mandatory military service requirements. (This is why I know that you must be female or younger than early 40's because France used to have mandatory service and the US wouldn't allow dual citizenship after age 18 in that case. You had to choose a citizenship country).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the great response Killeen, I was hoping my son could claim citizen after me but alas that doesn't seem possible anymore, but at least I can and he can move there with me if I ever decide to and then we apply. I too have two birth certificates the US and just recieved my French birth certificate and French ID card and passport is on its way.
I already have my Canadian citizenship request paperwork filled out I was just looking for confirmation that there wasn't any negative effects from having them all. But I am a male aged 42, but I was born with US cert and France never requested any military info when I applied.

@Liam : Good to hear of someone already doing it. Good luck on the aussie citizen I've heard its not an easy one to obtain, friend of mine wanted to move there and decided against it when he looked into it.
 
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