Landmark Ruling Ends Second-Generation Cut-Off Rule for Canadian Citizenship

In a significant legal decision, an Ontario Superior Court ruling has declared the “second-generation cut-off rule” unconstitutional. This rule denied automatic citizenship to children born abroad if their Canadian parents were also born abroad.

Toronto lawyer Sujit Choudhry filed a constitutional challenge in December 2021 against the federal government, arguing that the rule violated Charter rights. Last month, the court sided with Choudhry’s clients, emphasizing the discriminatory nature of the rule.

The federal government has opted not to appeal the decision, recognizing the rule’s adverse effects on Canadians with children born outside the country. The government now has six months to repeal the rule from the Citizenship Act.

This ruling has significant implications, especially for the approximately 200,000 “Lost Canadians” affected by gaps in citizenship law. It represents a step towards ensuring equal citizenship rights for all Canadians.

The government’s response to this ruling will shape future citizenship policies, reflecting Canada’s commitment to diversity and inclusion

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