If you receive Canadian citizenship, you are allowed to keep your original citizenship. Before we dive into details, let's define second and dual citizenship and the difference between them.
A person can become a citizen of two countries and have two passports by birth when they are born to citizens of two different countries. There are other routes to second citizenship, such as naturalisation, marriage, investment, etc. If the laws of the country where you obtain second citizenship do not require you to renounce your original passport, you simply become a citizen of two countries.
In this case, you do not have to notify your country of origin that you are now a dual citizen. Each state considers you their citizen and grants you all the accompanying rights and responsibilities.
Being a dual national has a number of advantages. Firstly, you have more freedom to travel as a citizen of two countries. Furthermore, you can buy properties, work, do business, study and enjoy your rights as a citizen in both states.
However, you should remember that dual nationals also have two sets of responsibilities. For example, both countries will require a dual national to pay taxes and may require them to serve in the military.
Québec. Photo: Joy Real (Unsplash)
There are a number of bilateral agreements between countries which recognise the dual citizen's rights and responsibilities in the other country.
This means that dual citizens pay taxes, serve in the military and receive state benefits in just one country, while the second country takes that into account.
However, there are not many countries with bilateral agreements on dual citizenship. These agreements usually exist between a country and its former colonies or when two states have close historical ties. For instance, Canada has an agreement on dual citizenship with France and the UK.
Science World, Vancouver. Photo: Aditya Chinchure (Unsplash)
Multiple Citizenship in Canada
Canada allows its citizens to obtain another citizenship, which is a source of pride. The right to have multiple citizenships emphasises that Canada is a multicultural country populated by descendants of immigrants and foreigners.
If a Canadian citizen receives a second citizenship or a foreigner receives Canadian citizenship, both are allowed to have two passports. You are not required to undergo any special procedures. According to Canadian laws, you are a law-abiding citizen with two passports.
Other countries view this differently. Some allow their citizens to have as many passports as they want, while others make exceptions only in rare cases and some even forbid dual citizenship entirely. It is a good idea to study the citizenship legislation of your country before applying for Canadian citizenship so as not to violate any laws and lose your first citizenship as a result. If your country of origin does not allow dual citizenship, consider whether you are ready to renounce your original citizenship.
Gooderham Building, Toronto. Photo: Ferdinand Stöhr (Unsplash)
In a Nutshell
You can be a dual citizen in Canada but make sure this is also allowed by the laws of your own country.
Cover photo: Neil Rosenstech (Unsplash)