Steps & Tips for obtaining your Citizenship
Note: The Canadian Citizenship Act recently changed, check out the new rules for obtaining the Canadian Citizenship.
How to obtain Canadian Citizenship is one of the most frequently asked questions by our clients. Here is a summary of the main steps and some tips on how to achieve Canadian Citizenship.
- Get your Permanent Residency – to be eligible for Canadian Citizenship, you must being born in Canada, have a parent that is Canadian or first be granted Permanent Residency. Canada has over 60 programs for Permanent Residency, most of which focus on Skilled workers with a job offer or experience in Canada or business investors and entrepreneurs. Once you are eligible and apply for permanent residency, processing times are between 1 to 3 years, depending on the program.
- Meet the Residency Obligation – Once you are approved and land in Canada as a Permanent Resident, To Maintain permanent residency, you must:
- Live in Canada for at lease 2 years (730 days) within a five-year period. Permanent residents must prove they’ve met this residency requirement when applying for Canadian citizenship.
- There are some exceptions, where you can count time spent outside Canada towards permanent residency. These include:
- Accompanying a Canadian spouse or parent outside Canada
- Working outside Canada for a Canadian business or Canadian public service
- Accompanying permanent resident spouse or parent outside Canada who is employed full-time by a Canadian business or Canadian public service
- Apply for Canadian Citizenship – to apply for citizenship, you must:
- Live physically in Canada 4 of the last 6 years prior to submitting an application for Citizenship. Part of the time spent as a permanent resident can count if it is within the 6 years.
- To calculate your residence for citizenship application, you can check out CIC ‘s guide form for calculating your residence. Click here, or Contact us for help.
- The Canadian Citizenship Act has been recently reformed by CIC, check out the new rules for obtaining the Canadian Citizenship.
Other conditions for applying Canadian Citizenship
To be eligible to become a Canadian Citizen, you must also meet other conditions besides the residence requirement:
- Age: You must be at least 18 years of age. For Children under 18, the children’s parent, adoptive parent or legal guardian would be able to apply for them.
- Permanent Resident Status: You must be holding a valid Permanent Resident, which means you must not be currently under review for an immigration fraud reason, or a removal order.
- Language Skills: You must show that you know at least one of Canada’s two official Languages – English and French. A proof of language skills may be required for a citizenship application.
- Criminal History: You must not currently under any kind of criminal charge, such as a offence under the Citizenship Act, or a removal order. This is a prohibition for Canadian Citizenship application.
- Understand Canada: By meaning Understand Canada, not only do you need to know the history, the values, the institution and symbols of Canada, but also, you must understand the rights, responsibilities and privileges of citizenship, such as voting in elections and obeying the law. You can have a quick review of these information by reading the study guide from CIC: Discover Canada.
You may already be a Canadian Citizen without applying to be one if :
- You were born in Canada
- Have a parent that was born in Canada or has Canadian citizenship
You can use the “Am I a Canadian Citizen” tool designed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, or, simply contact us to access your situation.
For more information about Canadian Citizenship, please contact us.