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Dual citizenship canadian/american Naturalization, Citizenship

Discussion in 'Green Card, Residency, Naturalization' started by samwise, Feb 29, 2004.

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  1. samwise

    samwise Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am a Canadian citizen and have been married to an american for 4 years. I have been living in the United States since then. Can I get dual citizenship (canadian/american)?
    Thanks,
    Samwise
     
  2. NYClex

    NYClex New Member

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    You can apply for American citizenship, if you have been living those years in the U.S.

    I don't know if Canadian law allows dual citizenship. The Americans tolerate it.
     
  3. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    While the Canadians do recognize dual citizenship (I should know - I'm a dual Canadian/American citizen) I don't believe you can get dual citizenship in your circumstances.

    I have it because my father is a Canadian; my mother an American. I was born in Canada to a Canadian parent so Canada considers me a citizen; the US considers me a citizen-born-abroad since my mother is an American citizen and I have lived in the US since I was 11 years old. Canada has informed me that since they recognize dual citizenship (while the US reluctantly acknowledges that other countries recognize dual citizenship but does not really believe it it) they will continue to recognize me as a citizen until or unless I sign something renouncing my Canadian citizenship in favor of the US citizenship.

    But if you were to apply for US citizenship, I'm about 99.9% certain the US government would require you to renounce the Canadian citizenship. You can check with the State Department or the Canadian consulate, but I don't think there's any way the US will grant you citizenship while still holding onto your citizenship in another country.
     
  4. NYClex

    NYClex New Member

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    no, for a couple of years the U.S. have already been tolerating it. The CIS does not require any certification of having your former citicenship renounced.

    You apply for American citizenship based on marriage and eventually you will be invited ofr an interview and then for the naturalization ceremony. While you have to surrender your green card at that moment that is all. You have to swear to abrogate any ties to your former citizenship, but as I said, the American government does not enforce that. They know very well that many new citizens keep their old citizenship.
     
  5. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    I understand that they have been "tolerating" it. They've tolerated me for years.

    What I am questioning is whether they will permit someone who is not a "natural" citizen of both countries to retain both. It is my understanding that the US will only "tolerate", to use your word, dual citizenships when the individual in question has a birthright to both countries. I very seriously doubt, especially in these post 9-11 days that they will agree to grant citizenship to anyone who was not born to it, unless that person agrees to renounce any other citizenship they may hold. Your own post seems to agree with that.

    The Canadian Consulate made it very clear to me that if I ever signed anything renouncing my citizenship, they would no longer recognize me as a citizen. That being the case, the question of whether or not the US would "enforce" the renouncing becomes moot. The US might look the other way, but in those circumstances, Canada would not.

    But the original poster does not need to take my, or your, word for it. They can get the answer to their question quite easily by contacting the State Department and/or the Canadian Consulate.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2004
  6. NYClex

    NYClex New Member

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    that is true, but you can believe me. I have handled enough of those cases that I know what I am saying.

    It is kind of a no tell policy. If you don't tell the CIS they won't ask. You still have to do the oath, if you can do that with a good conscience and still keep the old citizenship nobody will complain.
     
  7. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    From the timing, I think you read my initial response and not my edited response. Canada told me in no uncertain terms that they would no longer recognize me if I ever signed anything renoucing my citizenship. That makes it totally immaterial whether the US would look the other way or not.
     
  8. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    I think the issue really is whether becoming an American citizen would require you to renounce your Canadien citizenship.

    I have heard that if you are an American citizen and would like to obtain Canadien citizenship, it is much easier to do so that way. I think that NYClex is correct in that while the State Department had required you to renounce your citizenship, they have not been pursuing it at all. I don't think anyone can guarantee you that they will never pursue it but I'd find it hard to believe that if you and many others have relied upon the inaction for such a long period of time that it would ever be challenged. Imagine the ruckus that would cause... and the lobbying.
     
  9. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    Just for the record; the State Department sure pursued it when my sister wanted to join the US Military. She was required to renouce her Canadian citizenship in order to do so. And yes, they followed through and made sure she did it.
     
  10. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    IMHO I think that the military represents a completely different circumstance and a much different attitude than that within a civilian context. I don't think that you can compare the two. When lives are on the line as is the defense of your country being at stake, the military may take a position that they need to know where you stand with regard to where your loyalties are. For example, what happens if a person is a dual citizen of two countries at war? Would you want that person within your military? I think you'd find a similar challenge in any position within an embassy or as a diplomat. If you are trying to obtain employment in an area that your nationality specifically defines the position then I think that it is obvious that certain choices must be made because that is the nature of the business.
     
  11. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    What you all don't seem to understand is that this is not theoretical with me; I've lived it. I've been through it; talked to the consulate and State Department; answered the questions; filled out the forms; talked to the immigration officials at the borders.

    I find it hard to believe that if they won't accept a dual citizenship in the military, they'll then turn around and fail to enforce a requirement that someone who is requesting citizenship renounce any other loyalties they may have. There have been at least two occasions when I've been visiting relatives in Canada and been subjected to such rigorous questioning at the US border, returning, that I was seriously forced to wonder if I was going to be allowed back in the country. They do NOT take dual citizenships lightly, no matter what you may think. And this was BEFORE the 9-11 paranoia set in.

    But since everyone seems determined to disregard my experience in favor of their own theories, fine. Disregard me. There's very little point to my continuing to add to this thread.
     
  12. NYClex

    NYClex New Member

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    Well, since this is exactly the field I am earning my living in, I hope I should know. :)


    The military actually is a totally different story. Most countries in the world have regulations that once you enter the military of another country you lose your citizenship in your country and that they require you to give up any foreign citizenship before you enter the military in your country. So it totally makes sense that the U.S. no longer "tolerates" a second citizenship once you apply for the military.

    But for people in the civilian world things are different. I would assume at least a third of the population of New York City holds dual citizenship, actually my neighbor's kids hold three citizenships (they are born American, the father is a Brazilian, the mother is Austrian, therefore they are citizens in both of these countries, too. Go figure)
     
  13. nacel555

    nacel555 New Member

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    I am currently in the US military and I am a dual national. It seems the military applies it's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Does anyone know the actual laws regarding dual citizenship and the military?
     
  14. NYClex

    NYClex New Member

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    it depends on which military you are in and from which countries your citizenships are. I assume you mean you are serving in the U.S. military.

    Many countries have a provision, that once you serve voluntarily in the military of another country, you automatically lose the citizenship in their country. So without knowing it you might not even be a dual citizen any more.

    On the American side the policy is like you said, as long as you are an American citizen you can serve in the American military, but a second citizenship might have influence over security clearance questions.
     
  15. Rewop

    Rewop New Member

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    I hold duel citizenships of Canada and the United States. My US citizenship was aquired on the basis of my parents birth in the USA. I was born and have spent my whole life in Canada except for brief vacations etc to the USA and Europe. I am married to a Canadian citizen who was born and raised in Canada. We are now retired and would like to move to the warmer climes probably Florida. I am sixty four years of age; my husband sixty six. My question is: As a US citizen am I entitled to any AGE related benifits from the US government ie social security, medicade etc when we move there even though I have not at anyt time had permanent residency in the US .
     
  16. NYClex

    NYClex New Member

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    You are entitled to Social Security and Medicare benefits only if you have contributed for a certain minimum number of years and a certain minimum amount of "credits" .

    If the United States have a reciprocy treaty with another country, sometimes years in which you have paid will be counted towards the minimum.

    You will find more information to this on the Social Security website: www.ssa.gov
     
  17. slowsteam

    slowsteam New Member

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    This will help...

    When becoming an American (US Citizen), at the ceremony, you need to recite an oath that says you renounce your Canadian or other Citizenship in order to get your US citizenship. (This goes for no matter what route you take via US Green Card or Birth or Other)

    However, Canada does not consider this a renouncement of your Canadian citizenship. To renounce your Canadian citizenship you must fill out forms with the Canadian government.

    Therefore, it is possible to hold dual citizenships as long as your not stupid.

    It is not illegal to hold both citizenships. You just need to be smart about what information you provide at border crossings or at your ceremony to become a US citizen.

    When you take the oath, do so knowing that you not going to fill out the forms actually renouncing your Canadian citizenship and therefore you are retaining both.

    BUT...

    When you enter the United States, enter with your US passport. Otherwise, you are letting them know that you consider yourself a Canadian citizen which they won't like and most likely will hold you for questioning.

    Same goes for when you enter Canada, use your Canadian passport.

    Do not mention that you are a dual citizen.

    When asked where you were, say vacation and now your coming home. You are a citizen, your entering with a passport, they have no right to question you as long as your not commiting a crime by smuggling something in or entering with another passport. If you enter or show another passport, then your no longer a citizen in their eyes. (This goes both ways, when entering either country)

    Make sure you pay your taxes to both countries by filing annual returns. (if you pay 30% to states, you are only liable to pay 10% to Canada)

    Make sure you travel to both countries frequently. (If you are out of Canada for more than 6 months, you give up your health card)

    Make sure you meet the travel and residency requirements of your US Green Card before you get your citizenship. (It requires 5 years in the States with atleast half being physical and other requirements)

    If you need more reassurance check out this website that outlines all the laws.

    http://www.1866usvisas.com/Citizenship.shtml

    Hope this helps and makes it obvious what you need to do.
     

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