Idiot’s Guide to Citizenship by Birth in Canada

Canada is one of the few countries in the world that grants citizenship by birth, also known as jus soli. This means that anyone who is born in Canada, regardless of their parents’ citizenship or immigration status, automatically becomes a Canadian citizen. Sounds simple, right? Well, not quite. There are some exceptions, conditions, and implications that you should be aware of before you pack your bags and head to the Great White North. Here is a guide to help you understand the basics of citizenship by birth in Canada.

Who is eligible for citizenship by birth in Canada?

According to the Citizenship Act, you are likely a Canadian citizen by birth if you:

• were born in Canada

• became a citizen because of changes to the Citizenship Act

• applied for and received your Canadian citizenship (became a naturalized citizen)

• received Canadian citizenship as a minor when a parent or legal guardian applied for your citizenship

• were born outside Canada and at least one of your parents (legal parent at birth or biological parent) either was born in Canada, or became a naturalized citizen before you were born

You are likely not a Canadian citizen by birth if you:

• were born in Canada to foreign diplomats

• had your citizenship taken away (revoked)

• renounced your Canadian citizenship and never applied to get it back

You are not automatically a Canadian citizen by birth if you:

• marry a Canadian citizen

• are adopted by a Canadian citizen

• have your refugee claim accepted

• live in Canada as a permanent resident for many years

• were born outside Canada to Canadian parents on or after April 17, 2009, but neither parent was born or naturalized in Canada

To find out if you have a claim to Canadian citizenship, you can use the Am I a Canadian? tool or apply for proof of Canadian citizenship. However, be aware that the application fees are not refundable, even if you find out that you are not a citizen.

How much does it cost to give birth in Canada?

If you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, you don’t have to worry about the cost of giving birth in Canada, as the health care system covers most of the expenses. However, if you are a foreigner without a permanent residence permit, you have to pay for everything out of your own pocket. This includes not only the medical services, but also the accommodation, travel, and other expenses related to your stay in Canada.

According to one source, the average cost of giving birth in Canada for foreigners is about 40,000 USD, depending on the clinic and province/territory you choose. This amount can increase by about 40% if you have a multiple pregnancy. Here is a breakdown of some of the costs you can expect to pay:

• Payment for the doctor who delivers the baby: min. 1,500 USD

• A 24-hour hospital stay: min. 2,800 USD

• Anesthesia (optional): 590 USD

• Pediatric services: min. 2,000 USD

• A visit to the doctor before the delivery: 118 USD

• Taking medical tests: 450 USD

• Surgical services if necessary: 395 USD

As you can see, giving birth in Canada is not cheap for foreigners, so you have to make sure that you have enough funds to cover all the expenses. You also have to obtain a visitor’s visa, which requires you to prove that you have a valid reason to visit Canada, that you have enough money to support yourself and your child, and that you will return to your country of citizenship after the birth.

What are the benefits of citizenship by birth in Canada?

Citizenship by birth in Canada comes with many benefits, such as:

• The right to live, work, and study in Canada without any restrictions

• The right to vote and run for office in federal, provincial, and municipal elections

• The right to apply for a Canadian passport, which allows you to travel to many countries without a visa

• The right to access the health care system, the education system, and the social security system

• The right to receive consular assistance from Canadian embassies and consulates abroad

• The right to pass on your citizenship to your children, if they are born outside Canada

However, citizenship by birth in Canada also comes with some responsibilities, such as:

• Respecting the laws, values, and institutions of Canada

• Paying taxes and filing tax returns

• Serving on a jury, if summoned

• Defending Canada, if required

What are the drawbacks of citizenship by birth in Canada?

Citizenship by birth in Canada is not without its drawbacks, especially if you have dual or multiple citizenships. Some of the challenges you may face are:

• Having to comply with the laws and obligations of both Canada and your other country of citizenship, which may sometimes conflict or overlap

• Having to renounce or lose your other citizenship, if your other country does not allow dual or multiple citizenships

• Having to pay taxes to both Canada and your other country of citizenship, depending on your residency status and income sources

• Having to obtain a visa or a travel authorization to visit your other country of citizenship, if it does not recognize your Canadian passport

• Having to deal with the political and social issues of both Canada and your other country of citizenship, which may affect your rights and freedoms


Citizenship by birth in Canada is a privilege that many people around the world aspire to have. However, it is not a simple or straightforward process, and it involves many factors that you have to consider before you decide to pursue it. Whether you are planning to give birth in Canada, or you are already a Canadian citizen by birth, you should be aware of the benefits, responsibilities, and challenges that come with it. Citizenship by birth in Canada is a gift, but it is also a commitment.

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