Honorary Canadian citizenship

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Honorary Canadian citizenship (French: Citoyenneté canadienne honoraire) is an honour bestowed on foreigners of exceptional merit by Canada.[1] The honour is granted by the Parliament of Canada, with precedent requiring both the House of Commons and the Senate pass a motion approving the grant.[2]

It is an entirely symbolic honour; the recipient of honorary Canadian citizenship does not take the Oath of Citizenship and thus does not receive any rights, privileges, or duties typically held by a Canadian citizen.[1][2]

Recipients of honorary Canadian citizenship[edit]

# Name Image Award date Information
1 Raoul Wallenberg Raoul Wallenberg.jpg 1985
Swedish diplomat and humanitarian.[3]
2 Nelson Mandela Nelson Mandela-2008 (edit).jpg 2001 Anti-apartheid activist, former President of South Africa, and recipient of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.[4]
3 Tenzin Gyatso Tenzin Gyatso - Trento 2013 01.JPG 2006 The 14th Dalai Lama and recipient of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize.[5]
4 Aung San Suu Kyi Aung San Suu Kyi 17 November 2011.jpg 2007 Burmese opposition leader and recipient of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize.[6] In response to UN allegations[7] of "ethnic cleansing" against the Rohingya, an ethno-religious minority group in Burma, there have been calls to revoke Suu Kyi of her honorary citizenship.[8][9]
5 Karim Aga Khan IV Agha-Khan-IV.jpg 2010 49th Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims.[10][11]
6 Malala Yousafzai Malala Yousafzai at Oval Office 2013 cropped.jpg Awarded in 2014,[12] received in 2017[13] Pakistani women's rights and education activist, and recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Canadian Immigration and Citizenship Indexing Terms - H". Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Archived from the original on February 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Levitz, Stephanie (October 22, 2014). "Five things to know about honorary Canadian citizenship". Global News. The Canadian Press. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
  3. ^ Government of Canada Honours Canadian Honorary Citizen Raoul Wallenberg, Department of Canadian Heritage News Release, January 16, 2003
  4. ^ "NELSON MANDELA". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 2001-06-12. 
  5. ^ "Dalai Lama". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 2006-06-22. 
  6. ^ "Aung San Suu Kyi". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 2007-10-17. 
  7. ^ Safi, Michael (September 11, 2017). "Myanmar treatment of Rohingya looks like 'textbook ethnic cleansing', says UN". The Guardian. 
  8. ^ Tang, Justin (September 17, 2017). "Protesters call for Canada to revoke Aung San Suu Kyi's honorary citizenship". The Globe and Mail. 
  9. ^ Abedi, Maham (October 17, 2017). "43,000 sign petition demanding Canada revoke Myanmar leader's honorary citizenship". Global News. 
  10. ^ "Hon. Jay Hill (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC):". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 2009-06-19. 
  11. ^ "Mawlana Hazar Imam is made an honorary citizen of Canada". TheIsmaili.org. 22 June 2009. Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  12. ^ "Senate of Canada - Debates". Senate of Canada. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
  13. ^ CAMPION-SMITH, BRUCE; BOUTILIER, ALEX (April 12, 2017). "Malala Yousafzai has become an honorary Canadian citizen | Toronto Star". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
  14. ^ "Malala Yousafzai to get honorary Canadian citizenship". CBC. October 15, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2013.