Canadian immigration lawyers Maynard Kischer Stojicevic have a long history helping their clients navigate through all sorts of immigration law. But it is not often that the Canadian immigration law firm hears of a case where, instead of applying for citizenship to a country, a person wants to denounce their citizenship.
Just such a case is making making headlines in American media. Ted Cruz, Senator of Texas and potential presidential candidate, has faced criticism for his recently-discovered Canadian-American citizenship. While Cruz was born to American parents and has been an American citizen all his life, he was born while his parents were living in Canada. Unbeknownst to him, this means he is officially a Canadian citizen as well as an American.
The Canadian Citizenship Act states that unless a child’s parents are foreign diplomats, that child is automatically considered a citizen at birth. And they will stay that way until they decide to formally renounce their citizenship to that country.
In a recent article in Washington, D.C.-based magazine The Atlantic, Cruz’s dual nationality was highlighted as a possible hindrance to achieving his presidential ambitions. Apparently, being seen as Canadian-American would not be as beneficial as being seen as Cuban-American when it comes to gaining voter support. So, Cruz’s best course of action, The Atlantic suggests, is to go through the formal process of denouncing his Canadian citizenship for good.
Because of his expertise in Canadian immigration law, Rudolf Kischer of MKS Lawyers in Vancouver was asked by The Atlantic to comment on the case, and his advice was that Cruz had better start the paperwork now. Though Cruz appears to meet the eligibility requirements, and the documents are easily found online, Kischer says that application processing can take up to two years. That’s a long time for someone who is vying for a presidential bid in the near future.
Kischer also points out that denouncing citizenship is a rare practice and usually done to ease financial complications. “The ones I see, most are for tax reasons,” Kischer told The Atlantic.
The latest update on Cruz, according to The Atlantic, is that he has confirmed he will denounce his Canadian citizenship, meaning no offense to the Great White North, of course.