Canadian citizenship is a status that gives an individual certain rights and privileges in Canada, including the right to live, work, and study in Canada, the right to vote and hold public office, and the right to receive protection from the Canadian government while abroad. In order to become a Canadian citizen, an individual must meet certain eligibility requirements and go through a process known as “naturalization.”
Canadian Citizenship Requirements
To be eligible for Canadian citizenship, an individual must:
- Be at least 18 years old (minors can also become citizens if they meet certain requirements)
- Have permanent resident status in Canada
- Have lived in Canada as a permanent resident for at least 1,095 days in the five years before applying for citizenship
- Have adequate knowledge of English or French
- Have knowledge of Canadian history, values, and symbols
- Have filed Canadian income taxes, if required to do so
- Have not been convicted of a crime or had a removal order issued against them
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Ineligibility for Citizenship
On the other hand, they will reject citizenship petitions for those who:
- Not citizens or permanent residents of Canada;
- Do not satisfy the minimal residency criteria or are unable to provide proof of such.
- Does not possess the required level of proficiency in either French or English;
- Failing their interview or test for Canadian citizenship.
- Have received a mandate to depart Canada.
- Have been found guilty of a crime within the previous three years.
- Possess lost their citizenship.
- Are incarcerated, on parole, probation, or both.
- Have either already been found guilty of or are being investigated for a war crime or crime against humanity.
Canadian Citizen vs. Permanent Resident
A person with a permanent residency permit in Canada qualifies as a permanent resident and gets privileges accorded to citizens.
The key distinction is that Canadian citizens who are permanent residents are not permitted to vote, receive a Canadian passport, or leave the country for an extended period of time (such as several months) without jeopardizing their residency.
However, a permanent resident can apply for citizenship in Canada and become a full citizen after meeting Canadian citizenship requirements.
|Canadian Citizenship||Permanent Residence|
|This is got after having a permanent residence for a few years.||It would be best if you first got a temporary residence permit that leads to permanent residency.|
|You must have lived in Canada for three out of five years.||You need to renew your permit yearly.|
|There is no need to renew your citizenship.||You can live and work and access healthcare, social benefits, and education.|
|You can vote and be employed in governmental and high-security positions.||You cannot vote or run for seats in local, municipal, or governmental positions.|
|You will be eligible to travel visa-free to 185 countries in the world.|
Documents Required to Apply for Canadian Citizenship
You can start the application process if you fulfill the Canadian citizenship requirements. You will need to provide specific paperwork, pay fees, and fill out forms in order to apply. Depending on your age and circumstance, you may need specific documents. For instance, Canadian citizenship requirements for minors applying on their own will require some additional paperwork from an adult and vice versa.
To apply for Canadian citizenship, you will need to provide the following documents:
- Proof of permanent resident status in Canada: You will need to provide a copy of your permanent resident card or a Record of Landing (IMM 1000) form.
- Proof of language proficiency: You will need to provide evidence that you meet the language requirements for Canadian citizenship: English or French. This could include a language test certificate, diploma, or degree from a Canadian school where the language of instruction was English or French.
- Proof of physical presence in Canada: You will need to provide evidence that you have lived in Canada for at least 1,095 days during the five years immediately before the date you apply for citizenship. This could include copies of passport stamps, work records, and rent receipts.
- Proof of income tax filing: You will need to provide proof that you have filed income tax returns for at least three tax years during the five years immediately before the date you apply for citizenship.
- Fees: You will need to pay the applicable fees for processing your citizenship application. The current fee for applying for Canadian citizenship is CAD$630.
- Other documents: Depending on your situation, you may also be required to provide additional documents, such as a police clearance certificate or evidence of your relationship to a Canadian parent or grandparent.
It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and you may be required to provide additional documents as part of your citizenship application. It’s always best to check the Government of Canada’s website for the most up-to-date information on Canadian citizenship requirements.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the fastest way to become a Canadian citizen?
Canada’s fastest and most well-liked immigration program is Express Entry. Candidates who submit an application through the Express Entry system may be granted permanent residency as soon as six months after doing so. Canada wants to welcome 500,000 immigrants by 2025.
How many years do you have to be in Canada to become a citizen?
To apply for Canadian citizenship, an individual must submit an application, pay the required fees, and pass a citizenship test if they are between the ages of 18 and 54.
The citizenship test is a written exam covering various topics, including Canadian history, values, and symbols. If an individual meets all the Canadian citizenship requirements and successfully completes the naturalization process, they will be granted Canadian citizenship.