How To Apply For Canadian Citizenship
Applying for Canadian citizenship requires that you are a Permanent Resident of Canada and you have been living in Canada for at least 1,095 days during the five (5) year period before submitting your citizenship application. Our authorized Immigration Consultants can help determine your eligibility to become a Canadian Citizen.
Eligibility To Become A Canadian Citizen
Those who wish to become Canadian citizens must meet a number of different criteria in order to be eligible for citizenship. These criteria include age requirements, language proficiency requirements, and permanent resident status requirements. Applicants must also take an oath of citizenship and demonstrate their knowledge of Canadian history and laws.
The most important thing to remember is that you need to have been physically present in Canada for no less than 1,095 days as a permanent resident in order to qualify. Any time spent outside Canada, or time spent as part of sentencing for a crime, cannot be included as a physical presence. There is also a citizenship fee that must be paid.
Applicants must also have submitted their personal income taxes on time in three taxation years that are entirely or partly within the five years immediately prior to the application date. Income taxes filed outside five years immediately prior to application do not count.
The following situations have distinct or additional requirements:
- Applicants under 18 years of age
- A Canadian applying for their adopted child who was born outside Canada, or a member of the current or former Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) applying through the fast-track procedure
Proof Of Language Proficiency
The official languages of Canada are English and French. If you are 18-54 years of age, you need to be able to speak and understand one of these languages fluently in order to become a Canadian citizen. There are a number of ways that you can prove your proficiency:
- Submit evidence of having successfully completed secondary or postsecondary schooling in English or French.
- IELTS or CELPIP with CLB level 4 in Speaking and Listening abilities are acceptable as proof of language skill (expired results are acceptable).
- LINC or other government-funded English as a Second Language school proof of successful completion with a CLB level of 4 in Speaking and Listening Skills
Successful applicants who are younger than 18 years of age, or older than 54 years of age are exempted from the language requirements.
Becoming A Permanent Resident
You must be a Canadian resident with permanent resident (PR) status, have all necessary requirements for that status satisfied, and your PR status cannot be in jeopardy. This implies that you cannot:
- Be the subject of an investigation for immigration fraud
- Be the subject of a removal order, which directs you to leave Canada
- Have unmet requirements relating to your PR status
A PR card is not required to qualify for citizenship. Even if your PR card has expired, you are still eligible to file for citizenship.
Please note that each day you were physically present in Canada as an authorized temporary resident or protected person before you became a permanent resident counts as half a day (up to a maximum of 365 days).
Taking The Citizenship Test
Once your application is processed, you will receive a letter scheduling a test assessing your knowledge of Canadian rights and responsibilities as a citizen. The test will be in English or French and it will consist of 20 multiple-choice and true or false questions that you will have to complete within 30 minutes. You must pass 15 questions to pass this test.
If you fail your first written test, they will schedule you for a second test. If you are unable to pass the test, they will schedule a hearing with a citizenship officer. During this hearing, the citizenship officer will assess your citizenship eligibility, and your knowledge of Canada, along with assessing your proficiency in English or French. This will be considered an oral test.
Children Of Canadian Citizens
If you are the child of a Canadian citizen (naturalized citizen or citizen by birth) but you were born outside of Canada, you do not have to apply for Canadian Citizenship, you will have to apply for a Citizenship Certificate.
If you are a Canadian parent or adoptive parent to a child outside of Canada or you have a common law partner outside Canada and you are a resident of Canada, you must sponsor your child or partner to come to Canada. This includes adoptive parents.
You can only apply online if:
- You are qualified to file for citizenship in Canada
- You have a valid email address
- You’re at least 18 years old when you file your online application (excluding time spent working as a crown servant outside of Canada or time spent in Canada as part of sentencing for a crime)
You cannot apply online at this moment if you don’t fit the aforementioned requirements.
If you have been found guilty of committing a crime outside or inside Canada:
- You may not be eligible for Canadian citizenship
- Time spent serving a sentence for a crime cannot be counted towards time spent living in Canada
If you are unsure about whether or not this prohibition applies to your situation, you should contact your lawyer or arresting officer. It is important to ensure this prohibition does not apply to you prior to submitting your application.
All applications are processed on a case-by-case basis.