What You Need to Know About Adult Canadian Citizenship Applications

Canada is rich with culture and opportunity. Many adult permanent residents want to stay in Canada for the rest of their lives as citizens, and the Adult Canadian Citizenship Application can help them pursue that dream.

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Who is the Adult Citizenship Application For?

This application is for permanent residents 18 years of age or older who wish to become Canadian citizens.

What Does the Adult Citizenship Application Provide?

The Adult Citizenship Application provides a means to requesting Canadian citizenship by providing Citizenship and Immigration Canada with the information CIC needs to determine eligibility.

Who is Eligible for an Adult Citizenship Application?

According to the current rules of Canadian immigration, you may be eligible through the Adult Citizenship Application if you:

  • Have been in Canada for the requisite length of time (a minimum of 1460 days in the six years since you became a permanent resident immediately prior to applying for citizenship and 183 days of any four years fully or partly within those six years)
  • Have met any requirements to file income taxes for any four tax years partially or fully within the six years prior to your application
  • Plan to reside in Canada, or meet certain requirements regarding working with or accompanying family members in the Canadian Armed Forces, the federal public administration or the public service of a province outside Canada; and…
  • Are able to speak and understand either English or French and demonstrate knowledge of Canada and the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship (if you are 65 or over, this requirement does not apply)

Furthermore, the following issues could affect your eligibility:

  • You have outstanding terms and conditions on your permanent resident status
  • You have a criminal record or face charges inside or outside Canada for a criminal offense
  • You have received an order to leave Canada
  • You have been refused Canadian citizenship because of misrepresentation; or
  • Your Canadian citizenship has been revoked.

The Adult Citizenship Application Process

First, you will need to obtain an application packet. This packet will include an instruction guide and all of the necessary forms for you to fill out. It will also include a checklist that will help you ensure you have all the supporting documentation for your application. You will choose the application packet that matches your current situation (i.e. adult, the parent applying for a child, an adult who has served in the Canadian armed forces, etc.). Make sure the information packet is dated from October 2017 or later. This date can be found in the bottom left-hand corner of the packet. If you submit an out of date form, your application will be returned and you will need to re-complete the forms. If you application is returned because it is incomplete, you can simply fill in the missing information on your form and return it.

Pay the Application Fees

The amount of fees you will need pay is dependent on if you are an adult (over the age of 18) or a child (under the age of 18). These fees might include a processing fee and the right of citizenship fee. If you are submitting multiple applications, you are able to pay all of the fees at once. You will be paying your fees online and will then include the receipt in your application.

Submit Your Application:
Once you have completed your application, you will need to submit it. If you want multiple applications to be processed at the same time, you will need to include all the applications in one envelope. The applications are submitted either by mail or courier mail.

Regular Mail:
Case Processing Centre -Sydney Citizenship Grants
P.O. Box 7000
Sydney, Nova Scotia B1P 6V6

Courier Mail:
Case Processing Centre- Sydney Citizenship Grants
47-49 Dorchester Street
Sydney, Nova Scotia B1P 5Z2

Application Processing:

On average, it takes 12 months for a complete application to be processed. Each application is reviewed to ensure that all the questions on the form have been answered, all documentation was included and the fees paid. If the application is complete, you will receive an acknowledgement of receipt letter and your application will be processed. If you include your email in the application, you will be contacted by email. If you do not receive this letter, your incomplete application will be returned to you.

Can I travel outside of Canada after submitting my citizenship application?

Yes. However, you must maintain your permanent resident status and be able to respond to communications regarding your application. You will also need to be in Canada for the citizenship test, interview and ceremony.

Who Needs to Take the Canadian Citizenship Test?

Age/ Situation
Needs to Take the Test
Adult 18-54Yes
Adult 55+Yes
Minor Under 18 with a Canadian Parent or Parent Applying at the Same TimeNo
Minor 14- 17 without a Canadian Parent or Parent Applying at the Same TimeNo
Minor under 14 without a Canadian Parent or Parent Applying at the Same TimeNo

The citizenship test is designed to allow you to demonstrate what you know about Canada. There are 20 questions which cover: 

  • Rights and Responsibilities of Canadians
  • History 
  • Geography 
  • Economy 
  • Government 
  • Laws 
  • Symbols 

The test is adminsterd in either French or English and is 30 minutes long. The test is both multiple choice and true/ false questions.  In special cases, the test may be administered orally. You can use the government’s free resources to study for this exam.

You will be invited to take the citizenship test after receiving confirmation that your completed application has started being processed. You will be given a date and time to attend the exam. If you are unable to attend the exam, you will need to right to the government and explain why they need to give you a new date. If you do not have a valid reason, your application may be terminated. If you need to ask for a new date and have a valid reason, you will be given a new date and time. 

After the test, you will meet with an official for an interview. 

Who Needs to Attend an Interview?

Age/ Situation
Needs to Attend the Interview
Adult 18-54Yes
Adult 55+Yes
Minor Under 18 with a Canadian Parent or Parent Applying at the Same Time
No (except in some cases)
Minor 14- 17 without a Canadian Parent or Parent Applying at the Same TimeYes
Minor under 14 without a Canadian Parent or Parent Applying at the Same Time
No (except in some cases)

The interview will take place after you have taken your test. During the interview you will be given your test results. If you pass your test, you will be given a date for your citizenship ceremony. The interview will also cover: your language skills, verify your application/ documentation, and ensure that you meet the requirements for citizenship. 

However, if you do not pass your test but meet the other requirements for citizenship, you will be scheduled to take the test again. If you do not pass the second time, you will meet with a citizenship official for another interview. If you do not pass the test after three tries, your application will be refused. 

Oath of Citizenship:

The oath of citizenship is the final stage of citizenship process. You will typically receive your ceremony date two weeks before the ceremony. If you are unable to attend, you will need to provide a reason as to why you cannot attend and a new date can be scheduled. The ceremonies take place all across Canada and throughout the year. Special oath ceremonies are held on Canada Day and during Citizenship Week.

Who Needs to Swear the Oath?

Adults and children 14 or older need to attend the citizenship ceremony and take the oath. Children under 14 are able to attend the ceremony but are not required to swear the oath.

What Do I Need to Bring?

  • Ceremony Notice
  • Signed copy of the Permission Release and Consent form (this is included with your notice)
  • permanent resident card or confirmation of permanent residence 
  • Record of landing (if you arrived before June 28, 2002)
  • Two Pieces of Personal Identification 
  • All passports and travel documents 

What Happens At the Oath Ceremony?

At the ceremony you will be: 

  • Taking the Oath of Citizenship
  • Receiving your Citizenship Certificate 
  • Signing the Oath 
  • Singing the National Anthem

A judge or official will preside over the ceremony which will be held with many other applicants. The oath will be read in French and English. You must recite the oath in one of the two languages. You can choose to affirm the oath (done without reference to religious beliefs) or swear the oath (done with reference to religious beliefs). Although both the oath and the national anthem will be provided at the ceremony, you can choose to practice them before the ceremony. 

Applying for a Passport: 

Once you are a citizen, you are able to apply for a Canadian passport. You will need this as an official travel document and can apply anytime two business days after your ceremony. 

We are Adult Citizenship Application Experts

We know the immigration system, so we are aware of the changes that have been made recently to the Adult Citizenship Application and the changes that will soon be made to the payment process. We are familiar with the requirements and skilled at improving an applicant’s chances of approval.

Work with a Firm That Understands the Adult Citizenship Application Process

We have helped thousands of permanent residents successfully become Canadian citizens and we can help you too. Our firm boasts 15 years of experience in working with adult permanent residents. We know what the Canadian immigration department requires, and how to meet all deadlines and expectations.