The Benefits of Dual American and Canadian Citizenship

22 Mar 2023

There are a series of benefits that many American residents and citizens who are entitled to Canadian citizenship should consider.

There is a process associated with the process, as they like to say, but the most important benefit to being a dual citizen can be summed up in a single word. Freedom.

No residency requirements to stay in Canada

As a Canadian citizen, you are entitled to a Canadian passport. You can travel abroad for as long as you like and you will not lose your citizenship status, unlike Permanent Residents. If you’re a permanent resident, you must stay in Canada for 730 days (2 years) in any 5-year period to keep your status.

The Freedom of Travel

Your Canadian citizenship entitles you to travel to commonwealth countries without tourist visas (you will still need them to work!). Also, you will not have as many travel restrictions as if you travelled using travel documents. You will be less likely to have trouble re-entering Canada when you travel abroad using your Canadian passport than using another country’s passport.

Political Benefits

Canadian citizenship gives you the right to run for elected office in Canada. It also entitles you to engage in the political process. Canadian citizenship gives you the right to vote in any federal, provincial or municipal election.

You could be automatically added to the National Register of Electors, a database of Canadian electors who are qualified to vote in federal elections and referendums. This register gets your data from a variety of sources, such as provincial and territorial motor vehicle registrars, the CRA, or Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Help In Travel

If you happen to get into trouble while travelling, a Canadian passport may be a greater help than the other one you hold. A Canadian passport can get you assistance at other commonwealth embassies and consulates. For specifics, you’ll want to contact the embassy in the country you’re planning on visiting, and see what the protocols are special protocols for Canadian citizens, due to their status as citizens of a Commonwealth country.

Also, there are special privileges which Canadian citizens enjoy due to the nature of the Commonwealth.  If Canada doesn’t have an embassy in a country, a British embassy can and will act as your embassy, allowing for economic and diplomatic support as well as generally aiding Canadian citizens.  Any commonwealth nation can fulfill this role, a good example being the Canadian-Australian Consular agreement. Canada and Australia agree to provide consular assistance in the event one nation does not happen to have a consular or embassy in a nation.