How to Get Canadian Citizenship (Requirements, Benefits, Apply)

How to Get Canadian Citizenship (Requirements, Benefits, Apply)

Canadian citizenship is a legal status granted to individuals who meet the eligibility criteria set by the Canadian government. To become a Canadian citizen, one typically needs to have permanent resident status, fulfill residency requirements, demonstrate language proficiency in English or French, and pass a citizenship test on Canadian history, values, institutions, and symbols. Citizenship can be obtained through naturalization, a process that involves submitting an application, undergoing a background check, and attending a citizenship ceremony.

Once granted, Canadian citizens enjoy various rights and privileges, including the ability to vote in federal, provincial, and municipal elections, as well as access to social benefits and protection under Canadian law. Embracing diversity and multiculturalism, Canada places a strong emphasis on the values of inclusivity, equality, and respect for individual rights within its citizenship framework.

Canadian Citizenship Requirements

To obtain Canadian citizenship, you need to:

  1. Be a permanent resident.
  2. Reside in Canada for at least 3 out of the last 5 years.
  3. File your taxes if required.
  4. Demonstrate proficiency in English or French.
  5. Successfully pass a citizenship test.
  6. Take the oath of citizenship

1. Permanent Resident Status in Canada

To become a Canadian citizen, you must:

  • Have permanent resident (PR) status in Canada, regardless of your age.
  • Ensure you are not under review for immigration or fraud reasons.
  • Have not been asked by Canadian officials to leave Canada (removal order).
  • Fulfill any conditions related to your PR status, such as medical screening.
  • Before applying, review the documents received during your permanent resident status to confirm eligibility.
  • It’s not necessary to have a valid PR card; you can apply for citizenship even if your PR card has expired

2. Physical presence You’ve lived in Canada

You (and your kids, if they apply) need to have been in Canada for at least 1,095 days (3 years) within the 5 years before you sign your application. It’s a good idea to apply with more than 1,095 days, just in case there’s a mistake in the calculation.

When figuring out the time you spent in Canada, you might be able to count:

  1. The days you were here as a visitor or refugee.
  2. Days outside Canada if you were a government worker or a family member of a government worker

3. Filing Income Tax

You may need to file taxes in Canada for at least 3 years during the 5 years right before the date you apply.

4. Language skills

If you’re aged 18 to 54 when you apply for citizenship, you must demonstrate adequate English or French proficiency by:

  1. Engaging in short, everyday conversations on common topics.
  2. Understanding simple instructions, questions, and directions.
  3. Using basic grammar, including simple structures and tenses.
  4. Demonstrating knowledge of enough common words and phrases to express yourself.

These language skills should be at the level 4 equivalent of the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) for English or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadien (NCLC) for French. Your language skills will be assessed by reviewing the language proof submitted with your application, observing your speaking abilities during interactions with citizenship officials, and evaluating your language level during a citizenship test, if necessary. Various certificates, diplomas, and tests are accepted as proof of language skills

5. Pass a citizenship test

If you’re aged 18 to 54 when you apply for citizenship, you must:

  1. Take the citizenship test, which will include questions on:
    • The rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizens.
    • Canada’s history, geography, economy, government, laws, and symbols.
  2. You will be invited to take the test after submitting your citizenship application

6. Oath of citizenship

You need to take the oath of citizenship if:

  1. You are at least 14 years old when you sign your application, and
  2. Your application has been approved

How to Apply for Canadian Citizenship

1. Check Eligibility Requirements for Canada Citizenship

  • Be a permanent resident of Canada.
  • Reside in Canada for at least 1,095 days (3 years) within the last 5 years.
  • File income taxes for at least 3 years within the last 5 years.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in English or French (if aged 18 to 54).

2. Maintain your Permanent Resident Status

  • Ensure you have permanent resident (PR) status.
  • Confirm no ongoing review for immigration or fraud reasons.
  • Have no removal orders or unfulfilled PR status conditions.

3. Gather your documents

Examine documents received during your permanent resident status for eligibility.

4. Pass Language Proficiency

If aged 18 to 54, demonstrate English or French proficiency at level 4 of CLB (English) or NCLC (French).

Engage in everyday conversations, understand instructions, use basic grammar, and know common words and phrases.

Submit language proof with your application.

5. Take Citizenship Test

If aged 18 to 54, take the citizenship test.

The test covers rights, responsibilities, and knowledge of Canada’s history, geography, economy, government, laws, and symbols.

Invited to take the test after submitting your application.

6. Check your Physical Presence

Confirm you have been physically present in Canada for at least 1,095 days within the last 5 years.

Include time spent as a temporary resident or outside Canada as a Crown servant or family member.

7. Filing Income Tax

File income taxes for at least 3 years within the last 5 years before applying.

8. Submit an Application

Submit the citizenship application, including required documentation and fees.

9. Citizenship Ceremony

If approved, attend a citizenship ceremony.

Take the oath of citizenship if you are at least 14 years old.

10. Enjoy Citizenship Rights

Upon successful completion, enjoy rights and privileges such as voting and access to social benefits under Canadian law

Benefits of Canada citizenship (Canadian Passport)

There may be many benefits for Canadian citizenship, but below are the some of the best benefits of having Canadian Passport:

  1. Vote in Elections: Canadian citizens, aged 18 and above, can vote in federal, provincial, and municipal elections. This means they have a say in choosing leaders for their country, province, territory, and town.
  2. Participate in Elections: Citizens can go beyond voting; they can run for office in municipal, provincial, or federal elections. Joining a political party or running independently are ways citizens can actively participate in shaping their community.
  3. Traveling: Citizens can easily obtain a Canadian passport, which allows them to travel to many countries without a visa. Unlike permanent resident cards, passports only need renewal every 5-10 years, making travel more convenient.
  4. Pass Citizenship to Kids: Children of first-generation Canadian citizens automatically become citizens, whether born in Canada or abroad. This simplifies the process, unlike children of permanent residents who may need sponsorship if born outside Canada.
  5. Live Anywhere in the World: Canadian citizens can live anywhere globally without losing their citizenship. Unlike permanent residents, there are no residency requirements. The only limitation is losing the right to vote in federal elections if living abroad for more than five years

Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs )

What is Canadian Citizenship Cost?

The fees for Canadian citizenship for a single applicant are $630 CAD for adults and $100 CAD for children. This is itemized as follows:

  1. Processing Fees:
    • Adults: $530
    • Children: $100
  2. Right of Citizenship Fee:
    • Adults: $100

Is it possible to have dual citizenship in Canada?

Certainly. Canada acknowledges dual citizenship, allowing new citizens to retain their previous nationality. However, individuals who are permanent residents aiming to become Canadian citizens should confirm whether their current home country accepts dual or multiple citizenships

Can I hold dual citizenship in Canada?

Yes, Canada allows dual citizenship. You can be a citizen of Canada and another country simultaneously without having any interference from Canadian government. Learn more about Dual Citizenship here.

Can Canadian citizenship can be revoked or lost?

Yes, Canadian citizenship can be revoked or lost under the provisions of the Canadian Citizenship Act. The government has the authority to take such action if an individual’s citizenship was obtained through misrepresentation, fraud, or knowingly concealing material circumstance.

Will holding dual citizenship affect my rights as a Canadian citizen?

No, holding dual citizenship should not affect your rights as a Canadian citizen. You will still enjoy all the rights and privileges granted to Canadian citizens.

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