US and Canadian immigration laws allow citizens to have dual citizenship, meaning you don't have to give up citizenship if you want to acquire a second foreign citizenship. If you are already a citizen of one of these countries, you can obtain citizenship of the other without giving up your original citizenship. However, the methods of obtaining dual citizenship in Canada and the United States are different. The methods are discussed in detail here. If you have dual citizenship, you swear allegiance to both countries and must obey the laws of both countries.
Key areas covered
1. How to Obtain Citizenship - General Methods to Become a Citizen 2. How to Obtain Dual Citizenship in Canada and the United States - US Citizenship and Canadian Citizenship
How to get citizenship
Since the US and Canada are bordering countries, they have a lot in common. One of the main similarities is their legal system, meaning that both countries follow the Anglo Law System. Under this system, there are three main ways to become a citizen:
Citizenship by birth
If you were born in one of these countries, you will automatically be granted citizenship in your country of birth.
Citizenship through marriage
If your spouse is a citizen of the United States or Canada, you can apply for citizenship. Note that marriage does not automatically give you citizenship status.
Citizenship through naturalization
Naturalization is the legal act by which a non-citizen of a country can acquire citizenship or citizenship of that country.
How to Get Dual Citizenship in Canada and the United States
There is no specific procedure for obtaining dual citizenship in Canada and the US. If you are already a citizen of one of these countries, you can acquire citizenship of the other without giving up your original citizenship. For example, if you are Canadian, you can apply for US citizenship without giving up your Canadian citizenship. Acquiring these two citizenships makes you a dual citizen. However, obtaining dual citizenship is a complicated process that takes time.
How to become a US citizen
If you were not born in the US and do not have US citizenship parents, you will have to go through a complicated process. First of all, you have to apply for a Green Card, which gives you unlimited residence status. There are three criteria that qualify you for a green card:
- Have close relatives who are US citizens or permanent residents
- You have been offered a position in the United States where the employer cannot find a qualified US worker to fill the position
- Invest more than $ 1 million in a US company
You can apply for citizenship after 5 years of permanent residence (at least half of this period must be spent in the US). However, you must meet several requirements to be considered eligible for US citizenship.
You can determine whether you are eligible for citizenship by completing this “ Eligibility Worksheet ” issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
This naturalization process also includes attending an interview and exam that tests your knowledge of English, US history, and government.
How to become a Canadian citizen
The process of obtaining Canadian citizenship is similar to acquiring US citizenship. Before starting the application process, you need to obtain permanent residence status. You must also have been physically present in Canada for at least 1,095 days in the five years prior to filing your citizenship application.
Since Canada is a bilingual country with two official languages, citizenship applicants must also provide evidence of their language skills in English or French. Applicants must also pass a Canadian Culture, Government, and History test. More information on applying for Canadian citizenship can be found here.
Once the government approves your application and grants you citizenship status, you will be a dual citizen of Canada and the United States. When you become dual citizens, you undertake to remain loyal to both countries. You are also expected to comply with and obey the laws of both countries.
1. “Passports” (Public Domain) via PublicDomainPictures.net 2. “Flags-of-usa-and-canada” by Makaristos - Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia