Depending on your nation’s policies you may be eligible to keep your current citizenship status, and become a Canadian citizen.
Many immigrants who pursue citizenship in Canada are able to hold two simultaneous passports, as Canada allows foreign nationals to maintain their original citizenship in addition to a Canadian one. This is called dual citizenship.
In fact, it is difficult and complicated for Canadians to lose their Canadian citizenship, meaning that immigrants who naturalize to the country will maintain two nationalities—if their country of origin allows it.
How does Dual Citizenship work?
Dual citizenship refers to when an individual holds two different passports at the same time—further affording them the legal status of a citizen of both countries.
The most obvious benefit of dual citizenship is that an individual can be eligible for the rights of both countries, including social programs, ease of travel between both countries (and relevant allied countries), and the ability to own property (among other freedoms).
There can however be certain drawbacks to dual citizenship as well. For example, some individuals may be under dual obligations to both countries (taxes, military service, etc.), which can be troublesome. In addition, the process of dual citizenship approval can be complicated and cumbersome, with bureaucracy often being a key part of an extended processing period.
Does my country allow for Dual Citizenship with Canada?
- Bangladesh: Though not technically allowed by law, individuals of Bangladeshi origins who are citizens of Canada, may apply for a Dual Nationality Certificate (DNC) with the Bangladeshi government. If approved, these individuals will have dual citizenship. If a DNC is not obtained Bangladeshis will lose their citizenship upon becoming naturalized Canadian citizens.
- India: India does not allow dual citizenship with any other country (as is written in the Indian Citizenship Act of 1955). It is considered a punishable offense to apply for, continue to hold or obtain an Indian passport after acquiring foreign citizenship. Indian nationals who obtain Canadian citizenship will not be eligible for dual citizenship.
- Nigeria: Nigeria allows dual citizenship with other countries, and even naturalization to another country while holding a Nigerian passport. Nigeria does not, however, allow people who have naturalized into another country, to also naturalize to Nigeria. Nigerian nationals pursuing Canadian citizenship will therefore be able to hold two passports.
- Pakistan: Pakistan does not allow dual citizenship for Pakistani nationals living abroad. While the country does have dual citizenship agreements with 19 countries (including Canada)— allowing nationals of these countries to become Pakistani while maintaining their initial nationality—Pakistani citizens who naturalize to another country must revoke their Pakistani citizenship. Pakistani citizens looking to naturalize to Canada must give up their Pakistani passports.
- Philippines: The Philippines allows dual citizenship with Canada. Filippino nationals who had been naturalized to other countries may apply to retain or regain their status; if they were born before 1973 and had at least one Filipino parent at the time of their birth. Individuals born in Canada, with at least one parent who is Filipino at the time, will already be considered dual citizens. Filipino nationals applying for Canadian citizenship can apply to retain both passports.
- U.K: The U.K does allow dual citizenship with Canada, meaning that U.K. citizens can pursue and avail of Canadian citizenship without any impact on their current nationality.
- U.S.A: The United States allows dual citizenship with other countries, including Canada, meaning that U.S. nationals can freely pursue Canadian citizenship without any impact on their American nationality.
- Saudi Arabia: Dual citizenship is not recognized in Saudi Arabia with any other country. Furthermore, if you are considered a Saudi Arabian citizen, you can lawfully be denied Canadian consular services in Saudi Arabia.
Source: CIC News