Canada offers citizenship through naturalization and by birth in Canada. Since Canada recognizes dual citizenship, you are not required by Canada to give up your previous citizenship once you become a Canadian citizen. Citizenship also allows you to fully participate in shaping Canada’s future. As a citizen you have the right to vote and run for political office. Citizenship also provides a certain amount of security because you no longer have to meet the residency requirement or have the fear of being deported.
Not ready to apply for citizenship? Visit our Immigrate page to learn more about applying for and obtaining Canadian permanent residence.
Requirements to apply for Grant of Canadian citizenship
- Permanent resident status: if applying for citizenship through naturalization, you must have permanent resident status in Canada to be able to apply for Canadian citizenship. This means you are not under review for fraud, have not been asked to leave Canada by Canadian officials and/or do not have any unfulfilled conditions related to your permanent resident status.
- Time lived in Canada: As of October 11, 2017, you can apply for Canadian citizenship if you have resided in Canada for three out of the last five years immediately prior to signing your citizenship application (1095 days). You must be able to demonstrate that you were physically present in Canada during these 1095 days. If you resided in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident, you can count half a day, up to a maximum of 365 days, towards meeting the physical presence requirement.
- 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.
- Language skills: Canada has two official languages: English and French. If you’re 18 to 54 years of age on the day you sign your application, you must show that you can speak and listen at a specific level in one of these languages.
- Pass a test on your rights, responsibilities and knowledge of Canada: If you’re 18 to 54 years of age on the day you sign your application, you need to take the citizenship test. You’ll need to answer questions about the rights and responsibilities of Canadians and Canada’s history, geography, economy, government, laws and symbols.
You may not be eligible to become a Canadian citizen for a period of time if you have committed a crime inside or outside Canada. In addition, time spent serving a prison term, on parole or on probation does not count towards the time lived in Canada.
Requirements to obtain Proof of Citizenship
Some people born outside Canada to a Canadian parent became citizens at birth, which is citizenship by decent. If this is your case, you may be able to apply for proof of citizenship, instead of having to apply for a grant of citizenship.
If you are not sure if you or your child are Canadian citizens, you can check by using the “Am I Canadian?” tool.
RU Law can assist you with:
- completing and submitting your citizenship application
- completing residency questionnaires
- preparing for citizenship interviews
- filing citizenship appeals if your citizenship application is refused
- representing you in citizenship revocation proceedings
Let Rafeena and Jelena of RU Law help you with your application for Canadian citizenship. Connect with us for a consultation today.