If you have been residing in Canada for a few years now and are interested in learning how to obtain Canadian citizenship, the first step is to determine whether or not you are eligible for citizenship.
Whether or not you are qualified to apply for Canadian citizenship is determined by several different variables. You are also required to understand how applying for Canadian citizenship works, what you will need, and how to apply.
The following requirements must be met before you may apply for Canadian citizenship:
- Be a permanent resident
- Fulfill Canada’s physical presence requirement
- File your taxes (if necessary)
- Take and pass an exam on Canadian citizenship (if you are between the ages of 18-54)
- Prove your verbal talents (if you are between the ages of 18-54)
There are additional or distinct requirements if you are applying for a minor, if you are a Canadian citizen applying for your adopted child who was born outside of Canada, or if you were previously a citizen of Canada and you wish to reclaim your citizenship.
Permanent resident status
To apply for Canadian citizenship, you are required to be a permanent resident of the country, and you cannot be:
- Be under investigation for immigration or fraud-related grounds.
- Officials in Canada may request that you leave the country.
- Have any special requirements about your PR status, such as a medical examination?
- At the time of your application, you are not required to present a valid Permanent Residence (PR) card; in fact, the validity of your PR card may have already lapsed.
Physical presence requirements
Before you may apply for Canadian citizenship, you need to demonstrate that you have spent at least three years, or 1,095 days, residing in Canada during the five years before your application. Depending on the situation’s specifics, this rule might provide some room for flexibility.
You are eligible to count the days you spent living in Canada as a temporary resident or as a protected person toward meeting the physical presence requirement if you had either of those statuses before you became a permanent resident.
Each day you spent in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person in the five years preceding your application only counts as a half day. You can only spend 365 days as a protected person or temporary resident.
If you miscalculated the number of days required to apply for Canadian citizenship, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) suggest that you submit your application after you have spent more than 1,095 days living in Canada.
File your taxes
You may be required to file tax returns in Canada for at least three of the five years before submitting an application for Canadian citizenship. Even if you only spent a portion of the year in Canada, you may still be required to submit a tax return there if any of the following conditions are met:
- It is time to make your annual tax payment.
- Do you wish to submit a refund claim?
- Do you want to receive payments for your benefits and credits?
- Prove your linguistic talents
You must demonstrate to IRCC that your command of either English or French is equivalent to or higher than level 4 of the Canadian Language Benchmark.
If you apply for citizenship in Canada, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) may evaluate your language abilities by reviewing the evidence you submit to demonstrate your language abilities (for instance, proof that you are attending a secondary or post-secondary education program in English or French) or by making observations of how well you communicate with citizenship officials while you are applying for citizenship.
During an interview with a citizenship officer, the IRCC may evaluate your linguistic abilities if they deem it necessary.
You may be allowed citizenship in Canada if you satisfy these prerequisites. There are additional legal and criminality issues that could prevent you from being granted citizenship in Canada, such as the following examples:
- You have not been a citizen of the United States for at least the last five years.
- You were found guilty of committing a criminal offense during the last three years.
- You are either incarcerated, on parole, or probation at this time.
- You are under removal orders from Canada.
- You are being investigated for a war crime or a crime against humanity, or you have already been convicted of one of these offenses.
Contact CAN Pathways today to get a free consultation regarding Canada Citizenship!