Immigration: How to Choose: PR Route or Direct Citizenship


This webpage is written and maintained by Douglas Chalke, a British Columbia lawyer.  It is intended to provide adoption immigration information to prospective adopting parents who are adopting a child from another country.  


Q. What are the two routes?


A.  Parents can take their choice of Direct Citizenship under the 2008 law, or the Immigration PR Visa Process (obtaining a Permanent Residence Visa leading to citizenship under the old system). Both routes lead to Canadian citizenship.


Q. How do I decide which route to follow?


A. You need to ask yourself two questions in the following order:

   (i) Am I adopting from a country in which I can take either route or only one route?  

   (ii) Is it important to me whether my child has Class A or Class B Canadian Citizenship?(Some parents don't care, while others care passionately.) Everything elseflows from this decision.  To understand the distinction between Class A and Class B Canadian Citizenship read our: What does Class B Citizenship mean for my child?


Q.  Is there a situation in which I must use the Immigration PR Visa Process?


A.  Yes. Whenever the child comes home to Canada before the final adoption order is granted it can only be on a PR Visa.  (These countries include Japan, USA, Philippines and all Muslim countries).


Q. Is there a situation in which I must apply for direct citizenship only?


A. Technically the answer is no.  Practically, however, it is yes.  If the country you are adopting from does not have a Canadian Designated Medical Practitioner (DMP) then you should use the Direct Citizenship route (no Immigration Medical is required as part of this process). In the rare situation where you have residency in Canada and in another country as well you must use the Direct Citizenship process.


Q. What is the fastest way to obtain Canadian Citizenship?


A. The answer to this question will depend on whether you are asking it in 2018, 2019 or 2020 as time frames are sure to change.  Speed is not necessarily the prime consideration. (See your answer to Questions 1 to 4 above).  However if speed to Canadian Citizenship is of primary importance, and you are concerned that Part 1 Approval for the Direct Citizenship may not arrive before your child proposal then you should:


  • Apply for both routes at the same time as early in the process as you can;

  • Use whichever process you have approval for when your child's proposal arrives and then monitor the time frames/delays for both routes for the final stage of obtaining citizenship.


Q. What do I need to know?


A. In order to become educated as to which is the best route for you please read these links.  After you have reviewed these notes you will have enough information to make a decision.