Risks of Dual Citizenship claims

Our office frequently assists people who are interested in “dual-citizenship”, or citizenship in both USA and Canada. The good news is that both countries recognize the right of an individual to have this duality of nationality. The bad news is that obtaining, and maintaining the right to, both passports requires some careful planning and proper legal advice.

A common scenario involves a person who has permanent residence in Canada now but decides (perhaps owing to a job offer) to move to the USA and eventually become a citizenship there. In Canada, to keep your status as a permanent resident, you must live in Canada for at least two years within a five-year period with few exceptions. To become a Canadian citizen, you must have lived in Canada for at least three years in the past four years before you apply.

It follows that the move to the USA can have a direct impact of the merit of the application for citizenship in Canada. Unless the proper residence requirement is maintained, the person’s citizenship case in Canada will be compromised.

Unfortunately, this scenario has given rise to something called “residence fraud.” CIC has announced that nearly 11,000 people from more than 100 countries have potential links to investigations of residence fraud in Canada. The fraud involves people suspected of lying about their presence in Canada to keep their permanent resident status or to become Canadian citizens.

CIC takes residence fraud very seriously. Penalties for lying include losing permanent resident status or Canadian citizenship and/or deportation. In the most serious cases, persons who engage in this type of fraud may face criminal charges. Some people have already lost their Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status as a result of these investigations. The government is acting on every case of fraud.

As part of your PR or Citizenship case, you should be aware that You may be asked to prove that you were in Canada for the time period you claim by immigration, citizenship or border services officers.

Our Canadian Law Group is trained to provide accurate and well versed advice to those who are interested in a dual citizenship. Our goal is to make that happen for you, in a way that is legal, and well planned.