Dwayne Thomas received his Canadian citizenship papers last week just before travelling to Jamaica for his grandmother's funeral.
Thomas's wife, Heather, told CBC News the couple spoke with immigration officers and Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers who told them Thomas could return to Canada with his citizenship certificate and Jamaican passport.
"We were assured that was going to be enough," she said. "The guy almost laughed and said, 'Well yeah, you're a Canadian citizen now.'"
But when Thomas tried to fly home, his wife says Air Canada wouldn't allow him on the plane without a Canadian passport.
Now, Thomas is stuck in Jamaica until his passport arrives in two or three weeks.
"I have to get back to my job," Thomas said. "I have bills to pay. My kids miss me. They are crying all night."
When contacted by CBC News, Air Canada, the CBSA and Citizen and Immigration Canada would not comment about Thomas's case.
A CBSA spokesperson said Canadians need a Canadian passport to ensure they are not denied re-entry.