Historically, Canadian citizens could only pass on their citizenship to their children born abroad for one generation. This means that if a Canadian citizen born abroad had a child overseas, that child would not automatically receive Canadian citizenship.

This rule, known as the first-generation limit (FGL), may soon be revised by the Canadian government to include a second-generation cutoff if Bill C-71 gains Royal Assent. If these amendments to Canada’s Citizenship Act are made, more foreign nationals in this scenario will be eligible for Canadian citizenship. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is expected to announce permanent changes to the FGL rule on June 19, 2024, as mandated by the Ontario Supreme Court.

In anticipation of these changes, IRCC has introduced interim measures allowing some eligible foreign nationals to gain citizenship. Click here to learn more about who the FGL rule applies to.

What Are IRCC’s New Interim Measures? 

The new measures apply to those who have applied for proof of citizenship under urgent processing and are impacted by the FGL rule. Specifically, they cover the following scenarios:

    1. The applicant has submitted a proof of citizenship application subject to the FGL rule change and has requested urgent processing.
    2. The applicant has a proof of citizenship application in process, affected by the FGL rule, and has requested urgent processing.

In both cases, IRCC will review the request and verify eligibility for urgent processing. Eligible applicants will be informed that the FGL rule is still in effect and given information on how to apply for a “discretionary grant of citizenship.” The Immigration Minister or a delegated decision-maker will process these applications, potentially granting citizenship if the criteria are met.

Who Is Eligible for Urgent Processing?

IRCC allows three groups of applicants to request urgent processing for citizenship certificates:

    1. Those needing access to benefits such as a pension, healthcare, or a Social Insurance Number (SIN)
    2. Those needing proof of Canadian citizenship for employment
    3. Those needing to travel due to a death or serious illness in the family

IRCC notes that even if an applicant qualifies for urgent processing, timely receipt of the citizenship certificate is not guaranteed.

What Must I Include in My Request for Urgent Citizenship Certificate Processing?

Applicants should include:

    • An explanation letter
    • Supporting documents (e.g., a plane ticket with proof of payment, a letter from an employer or school, a doctor’s note, or a death certificate)

Applying for Urgent Citizenship Certificate Processing

Eligible applicants can apply online or on paper. However, IRCC cautions against submitting duplicate applications, as only one will be processed.

If I’ve Lost My Citizenship Certificate, What Other Documents Can I Use as Proof of Status?

Canadian citizens who lose their citizenship certificate can apply for a new one from IRCC. Other valid proof of citizenship documents include:

    • Citizenship cards
    • Some Canadian birth certificates (with exceptions listed on the Government of Canada website)
    • Naturalization certificates (issued before January 1, 1947)
    • Registration of birth abroad certificates and certificates of retention (issued between January 1, 1947, and February 14, 1977)

Invalid proof of citizenship documents include:

    • Citizenship record letters (for those who apply for a search of citizenship records)
    • Commemorative certificates
    • Some Canadian birth certificates (with exceptions listed on the Government of Canada website)


—-> We are Leading Canada Immigration Experts from Ahmedabad

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