Relinquishment by Naturalisation (INA, s. 349(a)(1)) by Person Born in US to Canadian parents: Cheryl’s Story. Relinquishing act (naturalisation) was her registering her birth abroad with the Canadian government in 1977 when she was an adult.
Cheryl broke new ground in her long fight with the US Department of State to obtain a CLN which recognises her relinquishment by naturalisation. Her detailed story contains information of particular interest to Canadians and general information which may also be useful to those of other countries and those with slightly different fact sets as well.
Table of Contents
#1 Finally My CLN
#2 Firstly There Are Many Brockers to Thank
#3 Help from John Richardson
#5 Confirmation from CIC & Success
#6 Summary of the Information Provided by CIC
#7 Is There Now a Relinquishment Case for an Individual Registered as a Child for a Birth Abroad by their Parent?
#8 Links to Laws and Documents used to Support my Case
#1 Finally My CLN
After a long 4 year struggle with the Department of State (DOS), the DOS has finally accepted that when I applied for and was registered as a Canadian Citizen Born Abroad (RBA) on Feb 14, 1977 at the age of 23, I performed an act of naturalization under S. 349 (a) (1) of the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act and as I intended to lose my U.S. citizenship, I relinquished it. As a result, I have now finally received a CLN dated Feb 14, 1977.
As a consular official stated that my RBA was a relinquishing act only because I made the application as an adult, this decision directly applies to anyone born in the U.S. who registered their own birth abroad as an adult with the intent to lose their U.S. citizenship. The last chance to be registered was Aug 14, 2004. I hope, however, that this decision may have wider applicability and provide relief to a broader group of Canadians born in the U.S. with Canadian parentage. I may be wrong about this but will discuss my thoughts on this in my comment #7.
It is complicated but ultimately only children born abroad prior to the Feb. 15, 1977 amendments to the 1946 Canada Citizenship Act (1946 ACT) required registration in order to become Canadian citizens. Furthermore after Aug 14, 2004, such registration was no longer accepted by the Government of Canada thus removing the path to citizenship for any unregistered children without special consideration by the minister. Finally, amendments to the 1946 ACT in 2009 retroactively conferred citizenship to any individuals who had NEVER REGISTERED their birth. Therefore, no child born to a Canadian parent prior to Feb. 15, 1977 was automatically a citizen of Canada at birth unless their birth was never registered.
The difficulty I experienced in getting this ruling, demonstrates how carefully the DOS interpretation of law should be scrutinized. They are not always right and in my case demonstrated a reluctance to change their viewpoint even after the legitimate interpretation of Canadian and U.S. citizenship law was presented to them.
My long battle was a consequence of my making serious mistakes in 2014 when my Canadian financial institution inquired about my U.S. place of birth and FATCA. I would not have made those mistakes if I had found the Brock website before taking any action.
As I was told I lost my U.S. citizenship at the time of my attaining Canadian citizenship, I believed that getting a back-dated CLN would be my best choice. Having already started the process, I ultimately felt that I actually needed a CLN.
In hindsight, I realize now that I could have and should have done nothing in 2014 but tell my financial institution that I was not a U.S. citizen as I had rightfully been told and continued happily on with my life in Canada. However, as difficult and stressful as the battle has been, it was very satisfying to finally win!
For those interested in more detail, I will briefly tell my CLN story over 7 more comments, including my thoughts on how this decision might help other Canadians born in the U.S. who had their births registered by a parent (#7) and a list of links for the Canadian and American Laws and other documents applicable to my case (# 8).
#2 Firstly There Are Many Brockers to Thank
Some of you may remember that I initially applied for a CLN based on S.350 of the 1952 INA and it was legitimately denied by the DOS in 2014.
Despite the denial, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the IBS community as a whole; without your support I would not have succeeded in my quest for a CLN.
In particular I am grateful to @Petros for giving my S.350 story its own post in 2014. Although it didn’t work out on its own merit, as a result of the discussion there, I gleaned information that eventually set me on the right course.
Also I would like to give a big thank you to @WhatamI. You were so diligent in trying to help me and did help a lot. Without my first attempting a S.350 relinquishment, I might never have ended up on the right course. Without a detailed understanding of my history you could not have known that S.350 did not apply to me. The error of not understanding the required sequence of events was mine.
Another thank you to @George the Original (simply @George then), without your repeated nudging me that my registration was an act of naturalization, I would NEVER have proceeded. I was warned that a consequence of my registration would be the loss of U.S. citizenship but as I believed that the commonly understood assessment of the DOS in 2014 was true, I initially didn’t think your assessment was correct. However, after carefully reading the 1946 Canada Citizenship Act, the applicable sections of the 1952 INA and relevant FAM documents; I realized that you were RIGHT!
Finally I would like to give a big thank you to @Pacifica777. Well after I was engaged with the DOS, you posted a link to the 2012 Court of Appeal Decision re: Fox v Clinton which was an extremely important legal precedent that along with the information I received from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) I believe sealed the deal for me with the DOS. This was an upper U.S. court decision that would be difficult to disregard. The appeal court was very critical of the DOS for their arbitrary decision in the Fox case which was the same mistake that I believe they repeated in mine.
#3 Help from John Richardson
When I finally researched S. 5 of the 1946 Canada Citizenship Act, I realized that I only had a claim to Canadian Citizenship at birth and became a citizen AFTER BIRTH ONLY AFTER MY BIRTH was registered. Therefore my registration was an act of naturalization under U.S. law. As an aside for those concerned about being dual citizens at birth, under Canadian law, CIC confirmed that my Canadian citizenship was then made RETROACTIVE TO BIRTH which explains the confusing term in the 1946 ACT “natural-born Canadian citizen”.
S.5 (b) of the 1946 ACT was central to my case and importantly determined that children born to a Canadian parent were not automatically Canadian citizens at birth. Registering as an adult, I had to meet two criteria included in part(i) and part (ii) of Section 5 (b). Please note the ”AND” between parts (i) and (ii) which is very important and determines that the citizenship was not automatic at birth requiring the act of registration first.
S. 5. Of the 1946 ACT: A person, born after the commencement of this Act, is a natural-born Canadian citizen:–
(a) if he is born in Canada or on a Canadian ship;
(b) if he is born outside of Canada elsewhere than on a Canadian ship, and
(i) his father, or in the case of a child born out of wedlock, his mother, at the time of that person’s birth, is a Canadian citizen by reason of having been born in Canada or on a Canadian ship, or having been granted a certificate of citizenship or having been a Canadian citizen at the commencement of this Act, AND
(ii) the fact of his birth is registered at a consulate or with the Minister, within two years after its occurrence or within such extended period as may be authorized in special cases by the Minister, in accordance with the regulations.
The 2007 Parliamentary Committee Report RECLAIMING CITIZENSHIP FOR CANADIANS — A REPORT ON THE LOSS OF CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP clarifies the changes in the timing of requirements for registration stating, “Starting in 1947 when the Canadian Citizenship Act came into effect, the birth of a child outside Canada to a Canadian parent had to be registered within two years in order for the child to be a “natural-born Canadian citizen.” Some births were never registered. To provide relief, government extended the registration deadline over the years. The final registration deadline for all births abroad that occurred before 1977 was August 14, 2004. Still, some births were never registered, with the result that such people are not Canadian citizens today.”
As I had previously misunderstood S.350, I was nervous attempting to continue on my own, so I asked John Richardson for his help with a S.349 application. He kindly agreed and I am very grateful he did. Without his help, expertise and support, especially in my darkest early days, I would never have been successful.
Surprisingly, the Obama DOS department under Division Chief Geoffrey Martineau, was willing to continue engaging with me after the S. 350 denial and agreed to review my application on the basis of S. 349. While he was involved, Mr. Martineau was very professional, respectful and prompt. I’m afraid, however, that my experience demonstrates that the Trump department, under Christine Fagan as Division Chief, was and will be much less helpful.
The subsequent S.349 review process turned out to be long, arduous and very stressful. The DOS had an entrenched view that my Canadian citizenship was automatic at birth and they were not easily dissuaded from that view even when clear facts in law were presented.
Our success required a lot of ongoing work researching the Canadian Citizenship Act in light of my history and searching for precedents and documents to support my case and make my situation crystal clear; consulting with CIC as well as responding to the DOS’s mistaken assumptions.
I also would never have succeeded without doing my own research, knowing the nuances of my own life history and taking the time to carefully review documents looking for applicability to my circumstances.
The DOS legal team allowed some back and forth discussion about my case but despite all the evidence we provided, they denied my relinquishment twice more.
As an example of the difficulties, initially on review in Feb, 2015, the DOS denied my S.349 relinquishment despite John Richardson finding the 1988 precedent setting decision of the DOS Board of Appellate Review Re: W.C.C. The W.C.C. case was almost identical to mine with the exception that she did not want to lose her U.S. citizenship. The Board stated: “There is no dispute that the appellant’s act in 1970 of registering her birth abroad to a Canadian father constituted naturalization within the meaning of the Immigration and Nationality Act”.
The DOS incorrectly and arbitrarily decided that the local consul at the time, the DOS itself and their own Board ruling were not valid. In their justifications it was apparent that they were not careful or rigorous in reviewing the decision; they simply looked for statements within it attributable to W.C.C. herself which, when taken out of context, appeared inconsistent.
Then in April, 2015, the DOS also discounted the ramifications of an uncommon feature of my citizenship history, information which I submitted in rebuttal of their denial. Documented in my RBA application and again when I applied for a replacement Certificate of Birth Abroad in 2004, my father became a naturalized American citizen when I was two. Pursuant to S. 17 & 18(1) of the 1946 Act, if I was automatically a Canadian citizen at birth, I would have lost my Canadian citizenship on that day as he did. It was obvious that, as the Canadian Government was aware of this situation in both instances, that I did not have Canadian citizenship to lose when he naturalized.
Although this was not enough to sway the DOS in my favour, these facts did cause them to suggest that I could only proceed by obtaining confirmation from Citizenship and Immigration Canada that the interpretation of my Citizenship Status, as we presented, was correct.
#5 Confirmation from CIC & Success
I did request the opinion of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
My initial contact with the CIC was through my conservative MP’s constituency office which dealt with me respectfully, professionally and kept me informed. Unfortunately the first letter I received from CIC just prior to the 2015 federal election was not sufficient ( They ignored my request for a conversation with them to discuss in detail my needs. This was demonstrated in the results of an Access to Information Request I later made ).
I then had to follow up with the constituency office of my newly elected liberal MP Jim Carr. It was a nightmare. After 10 more months of inaction, my only recourse was to start over and deal directly with CIC myself.
On Dec. 29, 2016 (20 months from beginning to end), I finally received all the information I required from CIC, confirming that our interpretation of the 1946 Act was correct and most importantly stating that I became a citizen of Canada AFTER BIRTH and my citizenship was then made retroactive to birth.
As Section 101(a) (23) (8 U.S.C 1101(a)(23)) of the 1952 INA defines Naturalization as: “the conferring of nationality of a state upon a person after birth, by any means whatsoever”, it then became indisputable that I performed an act of naturalization but it still was difficult to get the DOS to accept this and finalize my file.
After submitting to the DOS in Jan., 2017, the information from CIC and also referencing the2012 Fox Decision in support of my relinquishment, I waited more than 15 months for the Trump DOS to review my file but received no response despite several queries to Ms. Fagan. I finally wrote to the Director of American Citizen Services asking for help in resolving my case.
Two weeks later I received a request to reappear at the Calgary Consulate for another Relinquishment Appointment. Having no idea what this was about but hopeful it was a positive turn of events; I incurred more cost and flew to Calgary for the appointment in May, 2018 only to sign form 4081 (I don’t believe I signed this form in 2014) and be re-interviewed by the Vice Consul. Nothing else was required not even a new DS-4079 even though my previous 4079 was based on S. 350.
Interesting to me, the Consul General asked me two questions. Why I wanted to relinquish, as most dual nationals will do anything to keep their U.S. citizenship, to which I responded that I had already relinquished on Feb. 14, 1977 and did not want to owe allegiance to two countries then or now. He then asked why I wanted a CLN. This would seem to indicate that I did not really require a CLN in his opinion.
Finally I received my back dated CLN on Aug 17, 2018 almost exactly 4 years after my first relinquishment appointment.
#6 Summary of the Information Provided by CIC
Here is a summary of the important information I received from CIC:
• I only had a CLAIM to Canadian Citizenship at birth.
• I became a Canadian Citizen AFTER BIRTH and it was then made retroactive to birth.
• “Under the Canadian Citizenship Act (1946), children born outside Canada to a Canadian responsible parent between January 1, 1947 and February 14, 1977 (inclusively), acquired citizenship only if their birth was registered.”
• I was required to take affirmative action and make an application to be registered in order to become a Canadian citizen.
• If my birth was not registered, I would not have been a citizen of Canada until the Citizenship Act was changed in 2009.
• Changes made to the Canadian Citizenship Act in 1977 did not affect my citizenship as the changes were not retroactive and registration was still required for those born in the U.S. prior to Feb 15, 1977 until 2004 when that path to citizenship was closed.
• Changes made to the Canadian Citizenship Act in 2009 did not affect my citizenship as my birth was already registered.
#7 Is There Now a Relinquishment Case for an Individual Registered as a Child for a Birth Abroad by their Parent?
As I have already discussed in comment #3, prior to the decision in my case, the DOS in recent years ruled that Registration of a Birth Abroad was not a naturalizing act as they believed these individuals were automatically Canadian citizens at birth. With the decision in my case, this is now proven incorrect.
We now know, as the DOS has acknowledged in my case, that Registration of a Birth Abroad in Canada for all individuals, conferred citizenship AFTER BIRTH. This proper interpretation of S. 5(b) of the 1946 Canada Citizenship Act (1946 ACT) was confirmed by CIC. See comments 3, 5 & 6 for details.
In U.S. law, an act of naturalization is defined by S.101(a) (23) (8 U.S.C 1101(a)(23)) of the 1952 INA which defines naturalization as “the conferring of nationality of a state upon a person after birth, by any means whatsoever.” This is a very broad definition which was confirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeal in the 2012 Fox decision and by the DOS in my decision. With the DOS decision in my case I believe it is now indisputable that RBA was an act of naturalization in all cases.
As I applied for RBA as an adult, voluntarily and with intent, the DOS admits that I relinquished my U.S. citizenship when I became a Canadian citizen but a consular official at the time of my 2nd renunciation appointment stated that this path to relinquishment was limited to those applying for RBA as an adult. I wonder if this is another error by the DOS.
There are 3 groups of individuals who were registered for a birth abroad (RBA) pursuant to S.5 (b) of the 1946 ACT, whose path to Canadian citizenship differs. I believe that they all performed an act of naturalization when they became Canadian citizens but some or all may also have performed an act of relinquishment. I don’t know if my arguments have merit but I leave it to those of you in these situations to review and think about.
Group 1: Those like me who registered their own birth as an adult before or after Feb 25, 1977 relinquished their U.S. citizenship if they intended to lose U.S. citizenship when becoming Canadian. This is now accepted by the DOS. See Comment #3 for the details.
Group 2: Those individuals born in the U.S. to a Canadian father or out of wedlock to a Canadian mother before Feb. 15, 1977; whose birth was registered ON BEHALF OF THE CHILD BY THE PARENT and who as required by S.6 of the 1946 ACT, asserted the retention of their Canadian citizenship as an adult by Feb. 15, 1977. The time limitations on this group are the result of amendments to the 1946 ACT effective Feb.15, 1977.
For these individuals the question that remains is whether they can claim a prior relinquishment if they intended to lose U.S. citizenship when they asserted their retention of citizenship because the relevant law was previously interpreted incorrectly by the DOS and the DOS may not be fully informed about the 1946 ACT as it relates to RBA.
A careful review of the 1946 ACT shows that for this group of registrants, becoming a full, permanent citizen of Canada was a two-step process beginning in childhood with the parent applying for citizenship on behalf of the child by RBA (S. 5(b)) and ending in adulthood with the child asserting the retention of their own citizenship as required by S.6. The requirement for retention was relaxed over time to include submitting a declaration of retention to the Government of Canada between their 21st and 24th birthday or to be resident in Canada on their 24th birthday. If this act of retention was not completed then citizenship was lost.
So RBA in this instance was an act of naturalization but as a two step process was it also a potential relinquishing act?
S.6 of the 1946 ACT states: ”Notwithstanding anything contained in section four or section five of this Act, a person who is, at the commencement of the Act, a minor born outside of Canada elsewhere than on a Canadian ship and who has not been lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence, or who is born after the commencement of this Act and outside of Canada elsewhere than on a Canadian ship, shall cease to be a Canadian citizen upon the expiration of one year after he attains the age of twenty-one years unless after attaining that age and before the expiration of the said year
(a) he asserts his Canadian citizenship by a declaration of retention thereof, registered in accordance with the regulations; and
(b) if he is a national or citizen of a country other than Canada under the law of which he can, at the time of asserting his Canadian citizenship, divest himself of the nationality or citizenship of that country by making a declaration of alienage or otherwise, he divests himself of such nationality or citizenship;
Provided that in any special case the Minister may extend the time during which any such person may assert his Canadian citizenship and divest himself of the other nationality or citizenship, in which case upon so doing within the said time he shall thereupon again become a Canadian citizen.”
The 2007 Parliamentary Committee Report RECLAIMING CITIZENSHIP FOR CANADIANS — A REPORT ON THE LOSS OF CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP clarifies the retention requirement and changes made in the 1977 amendments to the 1946 ACT. It stated, “People who otherwise would have been subject to the requirement but had not yet turned 24 when the Act came into force, were relieved from complying. However, those born earlier who had failed to retain, and did not reside in the country on their 24th birthday, lost their Canadian citizenship.”
I am uncertain what the impact of Section 6 (b) in the 1946 Canada Citizenship ACT might be but it seems possible that this is consistent with a relinquishment if intent was present by the adult registrant.
S.349 (a) describes the potential expatriating act involved in this case and states,
From and after the effective date of this Act a person who is a national of the United States whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by—
(1)Obtaining naturalization in a foreign state upon his own application, upon an application filed in his behalf by a parent, guardian, or duly authorized agent, or through the naturalization of a parent having legal custody of such person: Provided, That nationality shall not be lost by any person under this section as the result of the naturalization of a parent or parents while such person is under the age of twenty-one years, or as the result of a naturalization obtained on behalf of a person under twenty-one years of age by a parent, guardian, or duly authorized agent, unless such person shall fail to enter the United States to establish a permanent residence prior to his twenty-fifth birthday: And provided further, That a person who shall have lost nationality prior to Jan 1, 1948, through the naturalization in a foreign state of a parent or parents, may, within one year from the effective date of this Act, apply for a visa and for admission to the United States as a nonquota immigrant under the provisions of section 101 (a) (27) (E…)
S. 349 (a) determined that RBA by a parent on behalf of a child was an act of relinquishment on its own prior to the implementation in 1986 of the Supreme Court decisions of Afroyim v. Rusk and Vance v. Terrazas retroactively requiring intent.
These Supreme Court decisions overruled the ability of congress to unilaterally remove citizenship from an individual unless the ACT OF EXPATRIATION was voluntary and with intent to lose U.S. citizenship. The implementation of these rulings in 1986 was made retroactive.
The decision of Vance v Terrazas stated, “In sum, we hold that in proving expatriation, an expatriating act and an intent to relinquish citizenship must be proved by a preponderance of the evidence. We also hold that when one of the statutory expatriating acts is proved, it is constitutional to presume it to have been a voluntary act until and unless proved otherwise by the actor. If he succeeds, there can be no expatriation. If he fails, the question remains whether on all the evidence the Government has satisfied its burden of proof that the expatriating act was performed with the necessary intent to relinquish citizenship”
Is this two-step process of RBA shared by the parent and child but completed by the child in adulthood consistent with a S. 349 (a) relinquishment if the registrant intended to lose U.S. citizenship when they asserted their retention of Canadian citizenship?
Or would the registrant’s action of becoming a full citizen of Canada by asserting retention of citizenship, by submitting a declaration of retention or even simply the required residence in Canada on their 24th birthday, be an expatriating act in its own right if performed with intent?
Group 3: Those individuals born in the U.S. to a Canadian father or out of wedlock to a Canadian mother before Feb. 15, 1977; whose birth was registered ON BEHALF OF THE CHILD BY THE PARENT but they failed to retain their Canadian citizenship or reach the age of 24 by Feb 15, 1977.
These individuals were no longer required to assert their citizenship after the amendments effective on Feb. 15, 1977 but their RBA was an act of naturalization and considered an expatriating act at the time as the Supreme Court Decisions were not yet implemented. I suspect that the DOS will not accept this as a relinquishing act.
This seems grossly unjust if the registrant intended to lose their U.S. citizenship and didn’t perform the actions required to maintain their U.S. citizenship as also required at the time. This seems to undermine their constitutional right to expatriate. Due to the constitutional right to expatriate and the U.S. Government making retroactive decisions negating former forced expatriation, it seems that an unjust forced citizenship occurs when citizens who wanted to expatriate at the time are retroactively forced to retain citizenship. I wonder if this in itself is not unconstitutional and a court challenge on this matter might be successful (expensive and stressful as it would be).
In the decision in the Afroyim v. Rusk an opinion from the early debates on forced expatriation is highlighted
“Cong.Globe, 40th Cong., 2d Sess., 1804 (1868). ”He insisted that inasmuch as the act of expatriation depends almost entirely upon a question of intention on the part of the citizen,” id. at 1801, the true question is, that not only the right of expatriation, but the whole power of its exercise, rests solely and exclusively in the will of the individual, id. at 1804.
This seems to give the citizen great power in expatriation not just retention of citizenship. Something to think about.
In the end, even if any of my proposals have merit, I believe it would meet with great resistance at the DOS and at a minimum might require further clarification from CIC (now Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada – IRCC) and a long battle.
However, if these proposals have merit, it also seems quite reasonable for individuals to with comfort document the law, have no reservations about declaring a relinquishment if necessary without going through the process of obtaining a CLN and move on with life as a Canadian citizen only.
Relevant to this, it is my understanding that S. 349(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, neither did nor does, make relinquishment of U.S. citizenship conditional on obtaining a “CLN”.
#8 Links to Laws and Documents used to Support my Case
The links to the relevant laws and other documents I used as evidence throughout my case with the DOS and/or CIC are listed below:
The complete 1946 Canadian Citizenship Act including S. 5, 6, 17 and 18(1). You have to look at the pages individually in this document. I used sections 17 & 18 to highlight to the DOS more supportive evidence that I was not a Canadian citizen automatically at birth. I believe this evidence did encourage them to suggest a CIC opinion.
The complete 1952 INA including S. 101(a) (23) (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(23)) and S. 349 were important in my case. file:///C:/Users/hp/Downloads/STATUTE-66-Pg163%20(4).pdf
The 1988 decision of the Board of Appellate Review: IN THE MATTER OF: W.C.C. – IN LOSS OF NATIONALITY PROCEEDINGS written by Board Members. This case was almost identical to mine. http://fall.fsulawrc.com/collection/publishedopinions/povol05/5_BAR_(PO)_17_(1988).pdf
The 2007 discussion paper of a Canadian Parliamentary Committee entitled RECLAIMING CITIZENSHIP FOR CANADIANS — A REPORT ON THE LOSS OF CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP which discusses citizenship issues arising from the 1946 Canada Citizenship Act and the 1976 Amendments to the Act which became effective on Feb.15, 1977. The report cited numerous examples of Canadians who never became citizens or lost their citizenship unbeknownst to them (the so called “Lost Canadians). This report discussed the dilemma of the “Lost Canadians” prior to amending the Canadian Citizenship Act in 2009. I used this document and its examples in an effort to persuade the DOS that they were mistaken in denying that I became a citizen after birth. I also used it with CIC.
The Supreme Court of Canada Decision re: Bennett vs. Canada. In this decision they used the example of a child whose birth was registered by a parent in countering concerns about another citizenship case but it laid out very nicely the legalities of registration of birth abroad prior to 1977 as it related to me. I used this case when approaching CIC. https://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/1482/index.do
The 2012 U.S. Court of Appeal, District of Colombia Circuit Decision re: Fox v. Clinton. In this case, Dr. Fox had a claim to Israeli citizenship by “Right of Return” similar to my claim to Canadian citizenship by “Registration of Birth Abroad” The DOS denied his naturalization and relinquishment because they believed he was a citizen of Israel automatically at birth just as they did in my case. https://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/opinions.nsf/0E0B84A6A298A92385257A1B004EF146/$file/11-5010-1378147.pdf
1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision Aftoyim v Rusk
1980 U.S. Supreme Court decision Vance v Terrazas
For those whose birth was registered by a parent here is what a 1967 RBA said
“On the front it says “Form CR 315”. My certificate was issued in Feb 1967. The back says:
Section 5 of the Canadian Citizenship Act provides that a person born outside of Canada after January 1, 1947, shall cease to be a Canadian citizen upon the date of the expiration of three years after the date on which he attains the age of 21 years unless he:
(a) has his PLACE OF DOMICILE in Canada at such date; or
(b) has, before such date and after attaining the age of 21 years, filed a Declaration of Retention of Canadian Citizenship with the Registrar of Canadian Citizenship, Ottawa, Canada.
“PLACE OF DOMICILE” means the place in which a person has his home or in which he resides or to which he returns as his place of permanent abode and does not mean a place in which he stays for a mere special or temporary purpose.”
Congratulations on your successful relinquishment battle!
I’m Group 2, and have a RBA certificate from 1967, obtained by my parents when we returned to Canada. The 1977 change, no longer requiring the filing of a Declaration of Retention at 21, is what kept me from being able to relinquish in 2012? 2013? I was only 12 in 1977.
Incidentally, my late mother became caught up in all of this citizenship crap in the early 2000s, as she was born in England, to a Welsh mother and Canadian soldier father, arriving in Canada as a baby, right around the time of the 1946 citizenship act. She went through a lot of grief and hoops, too. They were going to deny her CPP.
@The Mom Thanks so much. It was needless to say an amazing experience.
I would put you in Group 3; those whose birth was registered by a parent but were not required to assert your citizenship by an act of retention because if the 1977 changes to the citizenship act. I agree that the DOS is unlikely to accept your act as an act of relinquishment.
I do find it compelling though that the Supreme Court rulings re “intent” were based on the concern that citizenship was revoked against the will of some Americans but as far as I know there has never been a test of the constitutionality of forcing citizenship back on someone who lost their U.S. citizenship by law and were happy with that fact but the way I rent is interpreted they are out of luck.
It sounds like that is the case for you.
I am curious, were you aware in the past that those who reached age 24 before Feb 15, 1977 had relinquished their U.S. citizenship?
Cheryl, I am so glad I came back to Brock and found your post – hadn’t checked in for years.
I had read through your information several times but only today did I pick up on the words of @George the Original, that “registration was an act of naturalization”. This is alluded to in the first page of my file’s cover letter stating “… the following records: the physical citizenship/naturalization file, the certificate of retention and declaration of renunciation of the nationality/citizenship of USA.”
As I see nothing specifically stating anything re renunciation, I’m emailing CIC for clarification as to whether that is an all encompassing statement. And crossing my fingers that it is.
I will let you and all Brockers know the response, which I’m hoping will be in the affirmative.
My fingers are crossed. Good luck.
Thanks for your encouragement.
You need a huge medal for your persistence and determination.
Thanks. It was very hard for about 5 years but I had the support of John Richardson and many on Brock and I read and reread both citizenship acts as well as many useful links on Brock and Government of Canada Committee assessments.
There are subtle differences in many of our cases and for me it turned out that only through my knowledge of small details in my story and much research was I able to finally succeed.
Finally, if you’re sure you are right in your assessment, don’t let the initial assessors at the Department of State or IRCC stop you. Move up the chain. In the end it worked for me.
Hang in there.
Thank you Cheryl,
I knew, and know, I am not a US citizen.
I need a CLN for the banks.
I recently checked bank Power of Attorney and Executor requirements as I want things to go smoothly for my family when the time comes in the next 50 years. (I write that like I’m ordering a milkshake)
For myself I am not concerned. I haven’t been to the States for years. Too much to see and do here.
Did you ever ask Citizenship and Immigration Canada for a copy of your citizenship file?
It may be interesting to find out what is in it.
I just reread mine with a magnifying glass and picked up on things I had not noticed before as my mind was so fixed on one topic “citizenship”.
I’m assuming you received your Canadian citizenship through your father.
Can’t remember if your birth had been registered when you were born, but noted you asked for a Cdn birth certificate.
I was born prior to the Citizenship Act. In my case, I had one year after my 21st birthday up to, but not including, my 22nd birthday, to apply for Cdn citizenship.
I suspect you may have had three years.
Like you, I went to the US consulate at the time. Never received a CLN; didn’t know such a thing existed.
When I received my requested file documents, I read the cover letter, focusing on the words “physical citizenship file” and reading, but not registering, the rest of the sentence. Put in drawer.
The other day I reread the letter.
It was only then I realized what the process with CIC may have been as not only citizenship was mentioned but also “the certificate of retention and declaration of renunciation of the nationality/citizenship of USA”. (Eyes widen)
If it was as I suspect it was, and I had known, I would not have gone to the Consulate to renounce.
Was the form you filled out at CIC titled:
APPLICATION BY A CANADIAN CITIZEN FOR A CERTIFICATE OF CITIZENSHIP?
At the time I filled it in, and signed it at the Cdn Immigration office: I did not absorb the smaller print above the title (font size: 8?) or along the left side of the page (font size: 6?).
Above, in small bold print the form says: SECRETARY OF STATE DEPARTMENT.
Left of it is the Canadian Emblem with CANADA written under it.
Further down, against the left margin, above the area I filled in, it states:
“To the Secretary of State; [next line] – Having been duly sworn, I, the undersigned declare as follows:”
Then “The statements made are true to the best of my knowledge…….your applicant asks that a certificate of citizenship and/or a miniature be issued to him”
Notary Public’s area, my signature, then signature of the NP. I believe this was done the same day I completed it in the CIC office as there is no notarial stamp.
I too read the 1947 Act pertaining to this situation.
Nowhere could I find any procedural instructions other than to declare and renounce, which I understood as two separate acts in two different places.Then again there is a time lapse between my actions and yours.
After looking at the form closely, I suspect this Application was also a Renunciation and Declaration Form rolled into one, though I can’t find that stated anywhere.
Was the form you filled in similar?
I’ve requested an appointment for a CLN indicating the year and name of the document I signed and that it was addressed to the Secretary of State. I believe they should have my record on file somewhere.
So we will see. I hope it goes smoothly, too.
As backup – I have my file.
It sounds pretty good. One of the keys is that you took your actions as an adult and you intended to lose your U.S. citizenship. Both are important.
I did get my citizenship file and there were some pearls in there; one helped demonstrate my intent to lose U.S citizenship. There was a copy of my application for a copy of my lost Registration of Birth Abroad and one of the questions was “do you hold any other citizenships” my answer at the time was NO acknowledging that I was aware of my loss of U.S. citizenship.
My parents did not register my birth abroad when I was a child. When I moved to Canada I applied and received landed immigration status and was waiting fir the required time to pass. Along the way I found out that I could apply myself to be Registered as a Birth Abroad so I performed my expatriating act as an adult. They resisted accepting that but finally were forced to relent.
Your case sounds strong so good luck. Don’t give up. These government departments move slow.
Thanks for the info, Cheryl.
I am also in contact with Pacifica who is helping me.
The big question is will the US agree.
I correct my previous statement of I’ve requested an appointment as I have just received their information as to what is needed. Making the appointment is yet to take place.
I’m a little peeved that everything needs to be scanned as no matter what has been tried between the scanner, computer and the wireless universe, it simply will NOT scan; just makes it inconvenient.
That letter from CIC first mentioned “the physical citizenship/naturalization file,..retention…USA.
I am still uncertain if the last part of the sentence in previous communication could be valid.
Right now I begin the prep period.
Thank you for taking the time to respond to me.
Will keep you updated.