Requirements for obtaining Canadian citizenship
Canadian citizenship is the end goal for many immigrants who come to Canada every year. As a Canadian citizen, you can live and work in Canada, leave and re-enter Canada, vote in elections, hold public office and have a Canadian passport.
Obtaining Canadian citizenship requires much more than passing a citizenship test, although that is a requirement of obtaining your Canadian citizenship.
Steps to becoming a Canadian citizen
In order to become a Canadian citizen, you must:
1. Be a permanent resident of Canada who is 18 or older.
2. Have lived in Canada for three years. This is the residency requirement for Canadian citizenship, where you must have lived in Canada for three of the four years before you apply for citizenship. Permanent resident status also counts, where each day you were in Canada before obtaining permanent resident status only counts as half a day spent in Canada.
3. You must speak the language. Adults who are between the ages of 18 and 54that are applying for citizenship will have demonstrate that they have an adequate knowledge of English or French.
4. You must demonstrate knowledge of Canada. Demonstrating knowledge of Canada, including the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship, is done using a citizenship test.
There are also many exceptions as to who cannot become a Canadian citizen even if they meet the above requirements, including people in prison or people who have been convicted of a war crime.
If you are thinking of applying for Canadian citizenship, congratulations! We would love to help you achieve this goal. Remember, you will have to submit an application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada with the relevant documentation, as well as pass a citizenship test. You may also be asked to fill out a residency questionnaire, which can add a significant amount of time to your application’s processing.
About Michael Niren
Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more
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