Lesson 6: Federal Courts

Topic 3: Citizenship Court

This is not a trial court. This court examines all applications for Canadian citizenship. Judges may interview landed immigrants who apply to become Canadians. The court holds citizenship ceremonies for new Canadians.

Applying for Citizenship

You can be born a Canadian citizen if your birthplace is Canada or if you were born outside of Canada but one or both parents are Canadian citizens.

If you were not born a citizen then you must apply for a grant of citizenship. To qualify for a grant of citizenship you must be 18 years of age, make an application for citizenship and must be a permanent resident (landed immigrant) for at least three of the last four years.

You may not apply for Canadian citizenship if you are under 18 years of age, under a probation order, a paroled inmate, inmate of any prison, jail, reformatory or penitentiary, have been charged with an offence under the Citizenship Act or an indictable offence or are under investigation by CSIS or the RCMP for war crimes or crimes against humanity.

A citizenship application involves filing the necessary papers, taking a citizenship test, sitting for an oral interview or citizenship hearing, attending a citizenship ceremony and taking an oath of citizenship.

Prior to 1977 Canada did not allow dual citizenship and persons from other countries either lost citizenship to their native home or were not granted Canadian citizenship.

You may lose your citizenship if you renounce it formally by application, by making a fraudulent application or if you were born outside of Canada to Canadian parents after February 1977 and attained the age of 28 without making application to retain your citizenship.

For more information visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website at http://www.cic.gc.ca.