New Canadian Citizenship

Marc Miller Introduced A New Canadian Citizenship By Descent Bill C-71

March 23, 2024, witnessed a showdown in the House of Commons of Canada with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Minister Marc Miller introducing a new bill to amend the Citizenship Act. The bill named Bill C-71: An Act to Amend the Citizenship Act (2024) was expected for a while with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice striking down the “First generation limit” on December 19, 2023. This act is supposed to unleash new Canadian citizenship logistics with significant policy strides. Second-generation Canadians born abroad to Canadian citizens who are also born abroad will be the main spectators who eagerly awaited this legislation. 

This bill mainly deals with the citizenship of two categories of people; namely “Lost Canadians” and “Lost Canadians who come under the First Generation Limit”. It attempts to put an end to year-old criticisms of the Citizenship Act which derailed the life of many Canadians by robbing them of their citizenship. Unlike Canada’s Skilled Migration, this topic has been at the top of contentions. The below sections deal with this bill in detail.

The Lost Canadians

It is a concept that refers to Canadians who have lost or failed to acquire Canadian citizenship owing to many loopholes that existed in the Citizenship Act for years. In the amendment acts of 2009 and 2015, there were relief measures to reinstate their citizenship. However, this doesn’t cover the entire “Lost Canadians”. Fortunately, Bill C-17 has provisions to cover the entire category. Even though the government is unaware of the number of Canadians expecting an automatic award of citizenship this is a positive initiative to protect the constitutional values of Canada.

Lost Canadians Who Come under First Generation Limit

The 2009 amendment of the Canadian Citizenship Act is of relevance here. It was made by the Conservative government of the time owing to certain political pressures. What it did was to revoke the citizenship of second-generation Canadians who were born overseas to Canadian citizen parents who were also born abroad. In this way, the amendment impacted the lives of many Canadians born abroad and put a stain on the constitutional values of Canada. 

The bright side is that a recent judgment by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice struck down this provision that limits citizenship to the first generation of Canadians. The rationale given by the court is that this provision is unconstitutional as it creates two classes of Canadians. The new Canadian citizenship logistics is the fresh lease of development in this direction.

As for this category of Lost Canadians, the Bill applies some provisions applicable in two phases:

Phase 1- Before the Act Comes to Force

  • As for Canadians born abroad to Canadian citizens who are also born abroad, in this phase, there will be an automatic award of citizenship. 
  •  In the case of Canadians born abroad and adopted by Canadians who were also born abroad, in this phase, they will be given a direct entry to Citizenship.

Phase 2- After the Act Comes into Force

The first difference for the section is the change of phase. The second difference concerns the condition that has to be satisfied to get any of the two benefits in phase one. The condition is that the parent should have lived in Canada for a cumulative period of 3 years or 1,095 days before they had or adopted the second generation.


Expectations are towards an expedited implementation of this act. Navigate Migrate is also keeping in touch with these changes so that we can serve our clientele by leveraging such opportunities.


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