Automatic acquisition of citizenship under subsection 11(2)

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

This section is about the acquisition of citizenship by a woman who lost her British subject status as a result of marriage.

Who can acquire citizenship under subsection 11(2)?

A woman who lost her British subject status before January 1, 1947, by virtue of her marriage to a foreigner or by her husband acquiring a foreign nationality during their marriage may acquire citizenship under subsection 11(2) of the Citizenship Act.

Note: Under the legislative changes contained in the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act (Bill C-24), which came into force on June 11, 2015, a woman who lost her British subject status before January 1, 1947 (or April 1, 1949, in the case of Newfoundland and Labrador), by virtue of her marriage to a foreigner or by her husband acquiring a foreign nationality during their marriage, may have automatically acquired Canadian citizenship by operation of law. Such a woman, depending on her situation, will possibly become a citizen under either paragraph 3(1)(k) or (l), or one of paragraphs 3(1)(o) to (r) of the Citizenship Act. In these circumstances, she cannot acquire citizenship under subsection 11(2) and must submit an Application for a Citizenship Certificate form [CIT 0001] with the applicable documents and fees if she wishes to obtain a citizenship certificate.

This provision is covered here because it is found in section 11 of the Act and has historically been associated with resumption of citizenship.

Requirements

A woman may automatically acquire citizenship by notifying the Minister in writing that she elects to do so if she

  • ceased to be a British subject before January 1, 1947, upon or during marriage; and
  • would have been a citizen if the 1947 Act had come into force immediately before her marriage or the acquisition by her husband of a foreign nationality.

She may write directly to the Registrar of Canadian citizenship or send her letter via any citizenship office or mission. A sample statement is provided below.

There is no standard form for a woman to notify the Minister under subsection 11(2) that she wishes to be a citizen. However, if she wishes for proof of citizenship, she must submit an Application for a Citizenship Certificate form [CIT 0001] with the applicable documents and fees, either at the same time as her notice to the Minister or at a later date.

Sample statement

“I, being a woman who lost British subject status by virtue of my marriage to a non-British subject man, hereby declare my desire to become a Canadian citizen.”

Documents

In addition to the written statement, photocopies of the following documents are required:

  • evidence establishing British subject status prior to 1947, such as
    • a British birth certificate,
    • a British naturalization certificate, or
    • evidence to establish that the applicant would have acquired Canadian citizenship if the 1947 Act had come into force immediately before the marriage
  • applicant's marriage certificate;
  • evidence that the applicant's husband was not a British subject at the time of their marriage or evidence of foreign nationality acquired by her husband subsequent to their marriage.

The applicant may be requested to produce two additional documents to establish her identity, such as

  • a driver’s licence;
  • a provincial or territorial health card;
  • a provincial identification card.

Social insurance number (SIN) cards, bank cards and credit cards are not acceptable pieces of identification.

Other requirements

There is no fee for a woman to notify the Minister under subsection 11(2) that she wishes to be a citizen.

The person does not need to meet any prohibition, residence, language, or knowledge requirements.

A woman who acquires citizenship under subsection 11(2) is not required to take the Oath of Citizenship.

Effective date

The effective date is the date on which her notice in writing that she elects to be a citizen is received by CIC.

What the person will receive

Once the Case Processing Centre in Sydney receives the written notice and necessary documentation, a letter is issued confirming that citizenship has been acquired.

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