Dual Canada – U.S. citizenship
ou can be both American and Canadian at the same time. In fact, many new Canadians moving from the United States will likely choose to hang onto their U.S. citizenship, some of them all their lives. Does this mean you can choose to travel on either passport, depending on the situation and the destination? Basically, yes. However, as long as you retain your U.S. citizenship, Uncle Sam and the IRS will want to keep tabs on you, and also collect taxes. That’s when you’ll discover just how much you are paying in taxes in the USA.
When Canadians – and Americans – move across the border to live, some choose to give up the citizenship of their nation of birth, and others choose to be citizens of both countries. You can do that. Like anything else in life, however, there are trade-offs.
Let’s look at the scenario of being a dual citizen of both the United States and Canada. Citizens of the United States can become dual citizens of Canada in three ways:
Both Canada and the United States allow for birthright citizenship. If someone was born in either Canada or the United States, that person is automatically a citizen of their country of birth. Additionally, if a person has one parent who is a citizen of the other country (USA or Canada), then that person may be allowed to become a citizen of the other country, through an application process. Proof of citizenship documents and birth certificates are crucial to establishing a birthright case for citizenship.
Marriage/ Common-law/Conjugal Partner
An individual from either country may become a citizen of the other country by marrying a citizen or permanent resident of that country. This pathway is popular, but is fraught with danger if such marriages are not genuine.
Fraudulent marriages for immigration purposes are easily detected by highly trained officers, and perpetrators can be charged with having committed a crime.
Misrepresentation on immigration documents also leads to restrictions in terms of future travel plans to the other country, and an everlasting blemish on your record. In a nutshell, don’t even think about it.
Nonetheless, a genuine marriage is a real and viable pathway to permanent residency and ultimate citizenship. Indeed, millions of Canadians and Americans are related to one another through marriage. The two countries are in every sense, family members in our shared North American home. However, even if your marriage to a citizen of the other country is genuine in every way, you will need to take several steps to ensure sufficient evidence is available to establish your sponsorship case.
Common-law and conjugal partners must be able to prove that they have been living together for a minimum of 12 ongoing months, and have the same level of commitment and permanence as a marriage. Proof of such a union include joint finances, legal contractual agreements, jointly owned property, photographs, shared liabilities etc.
• Click here for a helpful link.
In Canada this pathway requires that the individual first become a permanent resident; fulfill his or her residency obligations; and then apply for citizenship. An American citizen does not have to relinquish his citizenship in order to become a naturalized Canadian citizen, and vice versa.
If there is a will, there is a way
There are likely no two nations on earth whose cultures, values and traditions are more widely shared and compatible with one another than between Canada and the United States. Through the decades, movement and resettlement – both ways – has been easy and effective.
Canada’s 2006 Census reported 316,350 Canadians who claimed the United States as their country of origin. Between 900,000 and two million Americans live in Canada at any given time, either as full-time and part-time residents.
As examples of Canadians who made a career in the United States:
- ABC television veteran new anchor Peter Jennings: Canadian;
- Bonanza patriarch Ben Cartwright: Lorne Greene, Canadian;
- Star Trek Captain James T. Kirk, and Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott: William Shatner and James Doohan, Canadians;
- Basketball star Steve Nash, Chicago Cubs Hall-of-Famer pitcher Ferguson Jenkins: Canadians;
- Award-winning Hollywood actors/actresses Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynolds, Rachel McAdams, Dan Akroyd, Michael Cera, Michael J. Fox, Seth Rogen, and even early Hollywood actress Mary Pickford: Canadian.
Similarly, coming to Canada, or staying in Canada, is a common career move for United States citizens. Whatever your own motive, if you want to come to Canada, you will find it a well-lit pathway to a friendly destination.