Canadians With Dual Citizenship Warned Of Risk When Travelling Abroad

Canadians with dual citizenship warned of risks when travelling abroad

The Canadian Press
June 07, 2010 12:55 p.m.

OTTAWA – The federal government is warning Canadians with dual citizenship of the risks they could face when travelling abroad, and is urging them to use their Canadian passport.

The potential problems include being forced to register for military service, getting hit by tax obligations and facing increased scrutiny by immigration officials, the government says in the new publication “Dual Citizenship: What You Need to Know.”

The booklet gives the example of a woman who lived in Canada for over 30 years before returning to Uruguay.

“As a dual citizen, it never occurred to her that she was liable to pay taxes in Uruguay for income earned in Canada and that she was considered a tax evader in the land of her birth.”

In another example, an individual who did not use his Canadian passport on a visit to his birth country (unnamed) was arrested and jailed soon after his arrival over problems linked to a business venture. The Canadian government was denied access to him for more than four years.

“Always use your Canadian passport if possible, especially when entering the country of your second citizenship,” the government advises.

Some countries may not consider a marriage performed in Canada to be legal, or recognize divorce and child custody documents issued by Canadian courts, the booklet warns.

“Many international child abductions involve parents and children with dual citizenship,” it says.

The government suggests Canadians consider formally renouncing their other citizenship if doing so would eliminate certain risks.

To get a free copy of the booklet, published by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Foreign Affairs Department, call 1-800-267-8376, or download it