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You’ve probably visited another country and wished, somehow, that you could live there and still be able to return to your home country at any time. For some people, that dream is accessible through dual citizenship.
Those who meet specific requirements for the United States and Canada are eligible for Canadian-American dual citizenship and become legal residents of each country. However, not everyone qualifies for this unique status.
If you’re interested in learning more about the requirements for getting Canadian-American dual citizenship, read on. It’s ideal to know how to obtain this dual status if you spend a significant time in both places.
How Does Someone Become A Canadian Or American Citizen?
Before getting dual citizenship, it’s critical to understand the basic requirements of becoming a legal citizen in America or Canada. Be a citizen of either country before attempting to push forward with dual citizenship.
Neither country has unique offerings for permanent immigration. To become a citizen in either country, you must fit specific immigration laws to become a citizen. Most people must live in the country for years and prove themselves to be upstanding people before applying.
The easiest way to become a citizen is to be born in Canada or America. The location of your parents' birth will also impact how easy it is for you to access dual citizenship.
The United States and Canada each have different immigration rules. Keep these in your mind if you’re interested in becoming a legal citizen of both locations.
United States Immigration Rules
The common way people become citizens of the United States is through their parents’ birth or their own birth in the country. Those who don’t fall under either of these requirements will go through the immigration process to become citizens.
There are a few steps in the immigration journey:
- First, interested parties apply for a green card which allows them to live in the United States permanently.
- To access a green card, applicants must have one million dollars to invest in a United States business, have close family members who are citizens, or have a U.S. job offer.
- Once you’ve been in the United States for five years, you can apply to be a citizen.
- In this process, you will attend interviews, take tests, and take an oath of allegiance before you are effectively a naturalized citizen.
The United States immigration process is a long journey.
Canada also has an intricate system for citizenship for those who were not born in the country. They offer a slightly easier route than the United States.
Canada Immigration Rules
Again, the easiest way to become a Canadian citizen is to be born there or have parents born in Canada. Otherwise, you must go through their immigration system.
There are several steps in the Canadian immigration process:
- Potential citizens may apply for residency based on close family members, jobs, or investment opportunities.
- Once you are in Canada for at least three years and haven’t committed any severe crimes, you can apply for Canadian citizenship.
- You must take a test to show you know the history, rights, and duties of Canada and its citizens and an exam proving your ability to speak English or French.
The Canadian immigration process is a journey, too.
There are many things just to become a citizen of one of these countries. What do the requirements for Canadian-American dual citizenship look like for interested people?
Requirements for Canadian-American Dual Citizenship
The requirements for Canadian-American dual citizenship are simple. You must be a citizen of one country and gain access to citizenship in the other country. This access may occur through birth, naturalization, or marriage.
If you were born in the United States, you are a citizen of the country. However, there is no way for you to earn Canadian citizenship by birth. You either need to marry someone from Canada or go through the naturalization process for access. The same goes for the United States of America.
Once you have two citizenships, you have Canadian-American dual citizenship. Access will be harder for some than for others.
Is It Necessary To File For Canadian-American Dual-Citizenship?
It might sound like dual citizenship is a fancy status you need to apply for if you have citizenship in two countries. However, that’s far from the case. If you are a citizen of Canada and the United States, you have Canadian-American dual citizenship automatically. You don’t need to fill out any additional paperwork to complete your status.
Once you’ve gone through the complications of getting each citizenship, you have dual access. It’s a simple solution and there is no need for complications.
Can You Get Canadian Citizenship If Your Grandparents Were Canadian?
If you want to become a citizen of Canada, it’s helpful to look at all possibilities through family members for citizenship. There is one helpful consideration in Canadian law that potentially allows individuals to gain citizenship through their grandparents.
Individuals born in the United States with one or multiple grandparents born in Canada have the chance to enroll in dual citizenship based on descent in Canada. It’s worth a look if you have relatives born over the border and you are a citizen of the United States.
Can You Get Canadian Citizenship If Your Parents Were Canadian?
If your parents were Canadian but you were not born there, there is a high chance you will be able to obtain citizenship. Most people who have parents from Canada and applied for citizenship were granted their request by the government.
Family is an excellent avenue to citizenship in certain countries. If you’re not sure where your parents were born, do some research to determine if citizenship through your relatives is a possibility.
Advantages of Dual Citizenship
Being a dual citizen is more than having a unique title. There are also other unique benefits you will find with your newfound membership to another country. These will open up new options for your life.
There are several advantages to dual citizenship:
- __Social services: __You will receive benefits from every country where you are a citizen, reaping the best of both worlds.
- __Double passports: __Citizens will have access to two passport options.
- __Political rights: __You get to take part in the political life of two countries with dual citizenship, shaping the future in excellent ways.
- Education: You get to experience a rich culture at all times, learning and growing in unique ways.
- __Property rights: __You get property rights in Canada and the United States.
- __Travel and work abilities: __Dual citizenship makes it much easier to travel to and from work locations.
It’s an exciting opportunity for some people.
Many excellent things come with dual citizenship. You get access to social services, double the passports, a cultural education, more political rights, and more. It’s a gateway to a whole new world.
It isn’t all sunshine and roses, however. It’s also ideal to look at the bad things that come with Canadian-American dual citizenship.
Disadvantages of Dual Citizenship
Of course, where there are advantages, there are always disadvantages. Is it worth the hassle of going for dual citizenship, or should you save your time and stick with what you already have?
There are some disadvantages to dual citizenship:
- __Two times the taxes: __Two living locations mean double the taxes.
- __Limits to some employment: __Some employers place limits on where and how you may work with dual citizenship.
- __More obligations: __Two residencies means more obligations rest on your shoulders.
- __Tricky process: __It can be tricky to obtain dual citizenship, which might not be worth it for some.
These are critical to keep in mind if you want to call two places home.
There are good things and bad about being a dual citizen. You have a much heavier weight on your shoulders, multiple taxes, and it will take effort to achieve your dual status. It takes a dedicated person to achieve this item for their lives.
Do You Need Two Passports With Dual Citizenship?
Although you don’t necessarily have to carry two passports as a dual citizen, you are allowed to do so. Those who are citizens of Canada and the United States are permitted to have a passport from Canada and the United States, and it’s perfectly legal.
It’s a good idea to look up the travel requirements before crossing borders, even if you have dual citizenship. It isn’t worth getting stuck in another country until you feel confident about the travel necessities.
Is A Lawyer Necessary For Dual Citizenship?
You don’t need a lawyer to apply for or obtain dual citizenship. As mentioned earlier, all it takes is access to two legal forms of citizenship for Canada and the United States of America, and you are good to go.
The only time you would need to bring in a lawyer is if you were having trouble obtaining your status. If this even occurred, an immigration attorney is a helpful addition to your team. They will help you work through the issues and gather your dual status.
Reference Legal Explanations
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"Requirements For Getting Canadian-American Dual Citizenship". Legal Explanations. Accessed on October 3, 2023. https://legal-explanations.com/blog/requirements-for-getting-canadian-american-dual-citizenship/.
"Requirements For Getting Canadian-American Dual Citizenship". Legal Explanations, https://legal-explanations.com/blog/requirements-for-getting-canadian-american-dual-citizenship/. Accessed 3 October, 2023
Requirements For Getting Canadian-American Dual Citizenship. Legal Explanations. Retrieved from https://legal-explanations.com/blog/requirements-for-getting-canadian-american-dual-citizenship/.