Under the Citizenship Act, a person is a citizen of Canada if they: were born in Canada after February 14, 1977; were born outside Canada after February 14, 1977, and at the time of their birth, at least one of their parents was born in Canada, or was a naturalised Canadian citizen; were born in Canada before February 14, 1977, or born outside Canada to a Canadian citizen parent before February 14, 1977 (in certain cases); or were a citizen or entitled to become a citizen immediately before February 15, 1977. Persons who previously lost their Canadian citizenship may also be eligible.
Individuals who do not meet one of the above-noted criteria may become Canadian citizens by applying for a grant of citizenship. In order for a permanent resident to apply for Canadian citizenship, he or she must have at least 1,095 days (three years) of physical presence in Canada in the five years immediately prior to filing the application, and after becoming a permanent resident. Applicants may count some of their time spent in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person prior to obtaining permanent resident status, within the last five years immediately prior to filing their citizenship application. Each day spent as a temporary resident will count as one half day towards the residency requirement, with a maximum of 365 days.
A minor child of a Canadian citizen is entitled to citizenship, provided that the application for citizenship is made on behalf of the child by his or her parent or any other authorized person. In order for a person born outside of Canada to qualify for Canadian citizenship, his or her parent must be Canadian citizen by virtue of being born in Canada themselves or having immigrated to Canada and subsequently been naturalized. This means that the right to claim Canadian citizenship cannot pass beyond the first generation of children born abroad.
Furthermore, Canada permits dual and multiple citizenships with no legal repercussions.