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New Law will allow to restore Canadian Citizenship

As of April 17, 2009, Canada's new citizenship law has undergone two major changes. Firstly, it has retroactively restored Canadian citizenship to many who had lost it due to obscure and outdated provisions in past legislation. Secondly, it protects the value of Canadian citizenship for the future by limiting citizenship by descent. Canadian Citizenship is now restored to anyone born in Canada or who became a Canadian citizen on or after January 1, 1947 (when the Citizenship Act was created), and then lost their citizenship.

Some of the affected individuals who will have their Canadian citizenship reinstated are children who were born abroad to Canadian parents; or they are children born in Canada but whose parents later became citizens of another country. Also receiving citizenship under the new law are foreign-born family members of Second World War veterans, who were granted citizenship when they moved to Canada after the war, but later lost it because they were not aware that it subsequently needed to be reaffirmed.

The government's intent of the second part of the new law is to protect the value of Canadian citizenship for the future by limiting citizenship by descent.  The implications for Canadians who were born abroad are that, if their children were born outside Canada, Canadian citizenship will not automatically be granted to these children. There are approximately 2.7 million Canadians currently living abroad who may be affected.

"This important change will ensure that future generations of Canadians have a real connection to this country and the remarkable benefits of Canadian citizenship," stated Rudyard Griffiths, author of Who We Are: A Citizen's Manifesto.

Exceptions will be made for children of parents who are working abroad with the Canadian Armed Forces or for the federal or provincial governments.

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