Canada - immediate citizenship for some overseas adoptions
21 January 2008
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New legislation went into effect at the end of December 2007 which allows children adopted abroad by Canadian citizens to obtain Canadian citizenship without first having to become permanent residents.
As of 23 December 2007, citizenship may be granted to adopted children if an application for citizenship is submitted and certain legislative requirements are met. These include adoption requirements specific to the province in Canada that the child will live in and adoption requirements in the child's home country.
"Canadian families open their hearts to adopt foreign-born children and we want to support them by making it easier for their adopted children to become Canadian citizens," said Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, during her announcement of the new legislation. "Canadian families welcome foreign-born children into their homes and we want to welcome them into the country. The new citizenship process means that citizenship can be granted to adopted children after the adoption is complete."
Previous to the new legislation, a Canadian citizen adopting an overseas child had to first apply to sponsor the child to come to Canada and then apply for the child to obtain permanent residence. Once this was complete, they could finally apply for citizenship.
Now, Canadian citizens can apply for the child's Canadian citizenship from abroad, rather than going through the process of sponsorship and permanent residence. The change was meant to make the process easier, save time and paperwork, and bring the process in line with how children born abroad to a Canadian parent are treated.
According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), each adoption case is different and some children may still be required to go through the sponsorship and permanent residence process. For example, if the adoption is completed in Canada or the case is a guardianship arrangement, rather than an adoption.