|Are you the child of a war bride and concerned about the status of your citizenship?
War Brides and Their Children
During the war, thousands of young women from outside Canada met and married Canadian servicemen. When the war ended, most of the women and their children followed their husbands to start a new life in Canada.
When the Canadian Citizenship Act came into force in 1947, it created citizenship status for war brides who:
• immigrated to Canada before January 1, 1947, and
• were married before January 1, 1947, to a man who was born in Canada, who was naturalized in Canada, or who was a British subject living in Canada for at least five years.
The new law also created citizenship status for a war bride’s child if the child was born outside Canada before January 1, 1947, and:
• had, at the time of birth, a parent who was born in Canada, or who was naturalized in Canada, or was a British subject living in Canada for at least five years. If the child was born in wedlock, the parent in question had to have been the father; if the child was born out of wedlock, the parent in question had to have been the mother.
If the child did not meet these provisions, the parents could apply for the child to acquire Canadian citizenship under other provisions.
Children born in Canada on or after January 1, 1947, automatically became Canadian citizens unless their parents were foreign diplomats.
Newfoundland and Labrador joined the Canadian federation on March 31, 1949.
Proof of Citizenship
Sometimes you need to prove that you are a Canadian citizen. You may need to do this when you:
• apply for a passport,
• apply for certain jobs, or
• apply to obtain certain government entitlements, such as old age pension.
If you were born in Canada, a birth certificate issued by the province or territory of your birth is often enough to prove you are a Canadian citizen.
If you were born outside Canada and one of your parents was a Canadian citizen when you were born, you need to apply for a citizenship certificate to prove you are a Canadian citizen. It is not the same as applying to become a citizen.
Details on how to apply for a citizenship certificate (proof of citizenship)
The processing time for a routine application may take several months from the time an application is received at Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s processing centre in Sydney, Nova Scotia. It is recommended that you find out what you have to do, start gathering the required documents, and apply well before your 60th birthday to ensure that the process doesn’t result in delays in you receiving your pension.
To ensure your application is processed as quickly as possible, carefully check to make sure all forms are completed correctly and the required documents and fee are included. (The fee is $75.)
Check here to find out how you can apply for proof of your Canadian citizenship:
Check here to find out how long it may take to obtain your citizenship certificate:
To find out more information about Canadian citizenship and applying for a proof of citizenship, persons in Canada can contact the CIC Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100.
A note on April, 2009 amendments to the Citizenship Act
Some war brides lost their Canadian citizenship if they left Canada and stayed out of Canada for ten or more years before 1967. They also could have lost their Canadian citizenship if they moved from Canada and became a citizen of another country between 1947 and when the current law came into effect on February 15, 1977. War Brides who lost their Canadian citizenship regained it when a new law amending the Citizenship Act came into effect on April 17, 2009. Citizenship is automatic and retroactive to the date of loss.
The above information was found on the websites of Veterans Affairs Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The information is intended solely for general guidance and reference purposes. In the event that any of the information conflicts with any provision in federal legislation, such as, the Citizenship Act or the Citizenship Regulations, federal legislation will apply.