While some Americans have expressed concern that Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a potential presidential candidate, is a citizen of both Canada and the U.S., Canadians are probably more sanguine about the prospect of a fellow countryman living in the White House.

Alas, Cruz says he plans to renounce his Canadian citizenship, so his northern neighbours may have to settle for all those references to "a Canadian-born contender," should the time come.

That the Texas senator is considering seeking the Republican nomination in 2016 is an open secret in Washington. And while he was born in Calgary in 1970, that does not make him ineligible for the White House job.

To be president, the U.S. Constitution stipulates one must be "a natural born citizen," but that designation applies to someone born outside the U.S. if he or she has at least one American parent, according to U.S. law.

Cruz's mother was born in Wilmington, Delaware. His father was born in Matanzas, Cuba, and moved to the U.S. in 1957. The family returned to the States from Calgary when Ted was four. On his Senate website, Cruz's biography mentions where his parents were born but not his own birthplace.

Because the issue of his Canadian citizenship may be a political, rather than a legal, obstacle on his road to the White House, Cruz said on Monday that he would renounce his Canadian citizenship. "Nothing against Canada," he added.

Should Cruz become president, he will — from a Canadian perspective at least — be following in the footsteps of Andrew Bonar Law, who was British prime minister in 1922-23. He was born in Kingston, N.B. in 1858 and that's where he grew up, until he was 12, when he was sent to live with relatives in Scotland.

Some Americans, it seems, are already gearing up for another "birther" controversy like the kind that dogged President Barack Obama from time to time because of his Kenyan father.

Cruz a Canadian citizen

Canada considers anyone born in Canada since 1947 a Canadian citizen, with minor exceptions, like children of foreign diplomats.

Before 1947, there were more significant exceptions, but that's another story.

Both Canadian and American laws permit someone to hold dual American and Canadian citizenship, so that's not a problem for Cruz.

But if he does go through with renouncing his Canadian citizenship, he will be one of about 200 Canadians who do so each year, based on the annual average over the past three years.

Why people renounce their citizenship

There are reasons besides a run for the U.S. presidency that lead people to renounce their citizenship. A big one is that some countries do not accept dual citizenship and make it a requirement that applicants renounce citizenships elsewhere if they want to be a citizen of these nations.

For Americans, especially, there are financial and tax reasons to renounce their citizenship. Nevertheless, the number of Americans who renounced their citizenship is proportionately similar to the number for Canadians — in 2011, 1,781 Americans and 183 Canadians did so. For 2012, the number of Canadian renouncers increased to 192.

For one prominent Canadian, the issue was that he wanted to accept a title.

That was in 2001, after media mogul Conrad Black had been offered a seat in the House of Lords by British Prime Minister Tony Blair three years earlier. Black was then resident in the U.K.

In Canada, the Jean Chrétien government raised objections, and pointed to a 1917 resolution that said Canadians should not be given titles. Black took his fight to the courts. But when he lost he chose to renounce his Canadian citizenship and accept the peerage, becoming Lord Black of Crossharbour.

In his 2011 book, A Matter of Principle, Black writes, "I may have made a mistake in renouncing my Canadian citizenship."

How it's done

Canadian citizens can give up their citizenship as long as they meet the following criteria: they are, or will become, citizens of another country if their application to renounce is approved; they are at least 18 years old; they live in Canada; and they are not considered "a threat to Canada’s security or part of a pattern of criminal activity," according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

The CIC rules add that you also must "understand the significance" of what you're doing.

Ted Cruz appears to meet those requirements. Here's how he would go about it:

- Fill out and send the "Application to Renounce Canadian Citizenship."

- Pay a $100 application fee.

- Wait. If it's a routine application and he doesn't forget to include any required document, it should take about four months. He can even check the status of his application on the CIC website.

- CIC may advise Cruz he "may have to be interviewed by a citizenship judge." Since he has a residence in Washington, a Canadian embassy official would contact him with information about how the interview will be conducted.

If Cruz's application is approved, CIC will send him a certificate of renunciation.

Since American media have published images of his Canadian birth certificate, it seems fair to assume they will want to publish that future certificate as well.

Also on HuffPost:

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  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) left, greets Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) after introducing her at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., Saturday, March 16, 2013. Diehard activists at the three-day conference are already picking favorites in what could be a crowded Republican presidential primary in 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2013 file photo Armed Services committee member, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), questions former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), President Barack Obama's choice for defense secretary, during Hagel's confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Weeks into his job, Texas Republicans are cheering Cruz's indelicate debut and embracing him as one of their own. The insurgent Republican elected with the tea party's blessing and bankroll, has run afoul of GOP mainstays, and prompted Democrats to compare his style to McCarthyism. Also seen from left are Sen.s Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Mike Lee, R-Utah. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

  • Ted Cruz, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks to the media, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, in Houston a day after defeating Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in a runoff. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

  • WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 13: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) holds a news conference to announce their plan to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, at the U.S. Capitol March 13, 2013 in Washington, DC. Although Cruz and his fellow sponsors expect the legislation to fail, they believe it is an important survey of who supports health care reform. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • Sen. Ted Cruz of (R-Texas) addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) answers questions from the media at a voting precinct Tuesday, July 31, 2012, in Houston. Cruz faces Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the Republican primary runoff election for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

  • Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) answers a question during an event held by the Austin Chamber of Commerce in Austin, Texas on Friday, April 5, 2013. Titled "A Conversation with Senator Ted Cruzon Business Issues," the event was held at the Four Seasons hotel and featured moderator John Holmes who asked Sen. Cruz questions from the audience. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Deborah Cannon) AUSTIN CHRONICLE OUT, COMMUNITY IMPACT OUT, MAGS OUT; NO SALES; INTERNET AND TV MUST CREDIT PHOTOGRAPHER AND STATESMAN.COM

  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks to the Spring Branch Republican Club Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Houston. Cruz is running against Democrat Paul Sadler to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) arrives to speak at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., Saturday, March 16, 2013. Diehard activists at the three-day conference are already picking favorites in what could be a crowded Republican presidential primary in 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 22: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) listens to testimony during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on April 22, 2013 in Washington, DC.The committee is hearing testimony on border security, economic opportunities and the Immigration Modernization Act. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) debates Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, not shown, at the King Street Patriots event hall, Monday, July 23, 2012, in Houston. The two Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate have repeatedly torn into each other during the third debate as early voting began across Texas. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Michael Paulsen)

  • WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 13: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) holds a news conference to announce their plan to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, at the U.S. Capitol March 13, 2013 in Washington, DC. Although Cruz and his fellow sponsors expect the legislation to fail, they believe it is an important survey of who supports health care reform. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) waves as he arrives at a polling station to speak to media and voters in Dallas, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. Cruz faces Democratic candidate Paul Sadler for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by fellow Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

  • Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks during a news conference at the Capitol in Austin, Texas, on Monday, April 1, 2013. Cruz, along with other Republican officials, announced that they believe that Medicaid is a broken system, and that expanding it under the Affordable Care Act is the wrong move for Texas. Shown, from left, are Governor Rick Perry, US Senator John Cornyn and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Deborah Cannon)

  • WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 22: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) talks with a reporter outside the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill March 22, 2013 in Washington, DC. The Senate voted on amendments to the budget resolution on Friday afternoon and into the evening. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), left, smiles as he listens to campaign chief consultant Jason Johnson go over election results as they come in Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Houston. Cruz is running against Democrat Paul Sadler to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)