Canadian Citizenship Requirements

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

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Canada is a country filled with opportunities for all individuals seeking to settle down there. Whether you are coming to study, visit, or work, there are numerous pathways to reach your immigration goals. In some cases, many foreigners decide they would like to become a permanent resident and eventually a Canadian citizen down the road.

Processing time: 12 months

Benefits of Becoming a Canadian Citizen

There are a few reasons why someone permanently living in Canada may want to become a citizen. Some of these benefits include:

  • being eligible for more jobs
  • to vote and/or run for political office
  • to travel with a Canadian passport
  • never worry about losing your status
  • not needing to renew immigration documentation 

Canadian Citizenship Requirements

To become a Canadian citizen, most applicants must:

  • be a permanent resident
  • have lived in Canada for at least 3 out of the last 5 years (1,095 days)
  • have filed your taxes, if you need to
  • pass a citizenship test
  • prove your language skills in English or French

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
  • Your Canadian citizenship has been revoked

Permanent Resident Status (PR Card)

Regardless of your age, if you’re applying for citizenship, you must have a PR Card in Canada.

This means you must not:

  • be under review for immigration or fraud reasons
  • be asked by Canadian officials to leave Canada (removal order)
  • have unfulfilled conditions related to your PR status, for example, medical screening

How to Apply for Canadian Citizenship

– Get an application package

The application package includes the instruction guide and all the forms you need to fill out. Use the instruction guide and the document checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything. Make sure you use a version of the application form dated October 2017 or later. 

– Pay the application fees

Your fees depend on whether you’re an adult (age 18 and over) or a minor. Your fees may include:

  • the processing fee
  • the right of citizenship fee

If you’re submitting more than one application at the same time, you can pay all the fees together.

– Submit your application

You must be eligible for Canadian citizenship the day before you sign the application form.

Canadian Citizenship Test

Once your application has been approved, you may need to take a citizenship test. 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 administered 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 write 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. 

Dec 2020 Update: Canadian Citizenship Test taking has resumed after being paused during COVID-19. The IRCC is now allowing individuals to take online citizenship tests. 

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

Who Needs to Attend an Interview?

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 citizenshipyou 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. 

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)

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
  • A 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. 

Canadian Citizenship for Adults

Your citizenship application package will be based on your age and requirements will differ. For specifically permanent residents 18 years or older, requirements include:

  • been physically in Canada for at least 1,095 days in the five years before you apply
  • filed income taxes for any three taxation years that are fully or partially within the five years before you apply

Start your application package today!

Canadian Citizenship for Minors

Parent/Guardian Applying for Minor

The application under subsection 5(2) is intended for minors (persons under the age of 18) who are permanent residents of Canada who are applying at the same time as their parent or who already have a Canadian parent. The application form should be completed by the minor’s parent or guardian.

Minor Without Canadian Parent

This application under subsection is intended for minors (under 18) who are permanent residents and:

  • do not have a parent applying for citizenship at the same time as them
  • do not already have a Canadian parent

This application must be made by a person who has custody of the minor or who is empowered to act on their behalf by virtue of a court order or written agreement or by operation of law. The authorized person applying on behalf of the minor does not have to be a Canadian citizen.

Minors who do not have an authorized person to apply on their behalf can request a waiver of this requirement on the application form. 

Let VisaPlace Help You With Your Canadian Citizenship Application

We know the immigration system, so we are aware of the changes that have been made recently to the 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.

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.

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The first step towards moving to Canada is to get an assessment of your specific situation. Call us today at 1.866.449.5904 for an assessment to see if you are eligible to move to Canada, or fill out our online assessment form.