Honorary Canadian citizenship

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Honorary Canadian citizenship (French: citoyenneté canadienne honoraire) is an honour bestowed on foreigners of exceptional merit following a joint resolution by both Houses of the Parliament of Canada.

Honorary Canadian citizenship is purely symbolic; the recipient does not receive any of the rights, privileges, or duties typically held by a Canadian citizen.[1]

Recipients of honorary Canadian citizenship[edit]

     Honorary Canadian citizenship revoked by Parliamentary vote
# Name Image Award date Country Notes
1 Raoul Wallenberg Raoul Wallenberg.jpg 1985
 Sweden Diplomat and humanitarian.[2]
2 Nelson Mandela Nelson Mandela-2008 (edit).jpg 2001  South Africa Anti-apartheid activist, former President of South Africa, and recipient of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.[3]
3 Tenzin Gyatso Tenzin Gyatso - Trento 2013 01.JPG 2006  India
(born in  Tibet)
The 14th Dalai Lama and recipient of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize.[4]
4 Aung San Suu Kyi Aung San Suu Kyi 17 November 2011.jpg 2007  Myanmar Opposition leader and recipient of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize.[5] Revoked by parliamentary vote in 2018.
5 Karim Aga Khan IV Agha-Khan-IV.jpg 2010  United Kingdom 49th Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims.[6][7]
6 Malala Yousafzai Malala Yousafzai at Oval Office 2013 cropped.jpg 2014[8][a]  Pakistan Women's rights and education activist, and recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.[10]


In response to UN allegations that the 2017 Rohingya persecution in Myanmar was a form of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya, an ethno-religious minority group in Burma, Canadian civil society groups and other protestors called for the revocation Aung San Suu Kyi's honorary citizenship.[11][12] This included an online Change.org petition to the Prime Minister and the House of Commons of Canada.[13] The House of Commons voted unanimously on September 27, 2018 to revoke her honorary citizenship.[14] The Senate of Canada approved the same motion unanimously on October 2, 2018.[15] With revocation motions passed by both houses, the Government of Canada stated that it recognized Parliament's decision to revoke the honour.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Received award in 2017[9]


  1. ^ Levitz, Stephanie (October 22, 2014). "Five things to know about honorary Canadian citizenship". Global News. The Canadian Press. Retrieved 2017-04-12.
  2. ^ Government of Canada Honours Canadian Honorary Citizen Raoul Wallenberg, Department of Canadian Heritage News Release, January 16, 2003
  3. ^ "NELSON MANDELA". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 2001-06-12.
  4. ^ "Dalai Lama". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 2006-06-22.
  5. ^ "Aung San Suu Kyi". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 2007-10-17.
  6. ^ "Hon. Jay Hill (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC):". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 2009-06-19.
  7. ^ "Mawlana Hazar Imam is made an honorary citizen of Canada". TheIsmaili.org. 22 June 2009. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
  8. ^ "Senate of Canada - Debates". Senate of Canada. Retrieved 2017-04-12.
  9. ^ CAMPION-SMITH, BRUCE; BOUTILIER, ALEX (April 12, 2017). "Malala Yousafzai has become an honorary Canadian citizen | Toronto Star". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2017-04-12.
  10. ^ "Malala Yousafzai to get honorary Canadian citizenship". CBC. October 15, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  11. ^ Safi, Michael (September 11, 2017). "Myanmar treatment of Rohingya looks like 'textbook ethnic cleansing', says UN". The Guardian.
  12. ^ Tang, Justin (September 17, 2017). "Protesters call for Canada to revoke Aung San Suu Kyi's honorary citizenship". The Globe and Mail.
  13. ^ Abedi, Maham (October 17, 2017). "43,000 sign petition demanding Canada revoke Myanmar leader's honorary citizenship". Global News.
  14. ^ Aiello, Rachel (September 27, 2018). "MPs vote to revoke Aung San Suu Kyi's honorary Canadian citizenship". CTV News. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  15. ^ a b Curry, Bill (October 2, 2018). "Senate votes unanimously to strip Aung San Suu Kyi's honorary Canadian citizenship". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved March 10, 2019.