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How to Apply for Canadian Citizenship

Becoming a Canadian citizen is a true honour. There are a lot of great benefits of Canadian citizenship, not least that it’s well-respected all over the world. That said, the process to become a citizen can be more complicated than you might think, and is a completely different application from your application to immigrate to Canada.

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Only some types of individuals are eligible to apply for citizenship:

  1. Canadian permanent residents over the age of 18 can apply for themselves or their minor children;
  2. A past citizen who wants to regain their citizenship;
  3. A current citizen applying on behalf of their adopted child born outside Canada; or
  4. A current or former member of the Canadian Armed Force applying under the fast-track program.

Permanent residents applying for Canadian citizenship also have to meet the citizenship eligibility criteria:

Canadian Citizenship Application Eligibility Requirements for Permanent Residents:

Please note that a recent change to Canada’s Citizenship Act (Bill C-6) changed some of the eligibility criteria. Some of these changes have already taken effect, but others will only be implemented as of fall 2017. Upcoming changes are included below:

1. Be a landed permanent resident of Canada.

2. Be physically present in Canada for four out of the six years before the date of submitting the citizenship application.


To calculate whether you have met the residency requirements for Canadian citizenship, you must count each day you spent in Canada after becoming a permanent resident as one full day.

You must have been physically present in Canada for at least 1,460 days (four years) out of the last six years.

Further, applicants had to be physically present in Canada for 183 days in four out of the six years preceding the application.


As of fall 2017, each day spent in Canada before becoming a permanent resident – as a temporary resident or protected person – can be counted as a half-day towards meeting the residency requirement, up to 365 full-days! The required residency period will be changed to 1,095 days (three years) out of five years. Applicants will also no longer be required to meet the 183 day out of each year requirement.

3. If applicable,the applicant must have filed Canadian income taxes for four out of the six years prior to the date of application.


As of fall 2017, the required period will be three out of five years.

4. Those aged between 14 and 64 years must meet language requirements (Canadian Language Benchmark 4) in speaking and listening in English or French.


As of fall 2017, the applicants between 18 and 54 years will have to meet language requirements.

5. All adult applicants aged below 65 years, most children between 14 and 17, must undergo a written or oral knowledge test about Canadian values, history, symbols, institutions, and rights and duties of citizens.

Application Procedure

The Canadian citizenship application procedure can be broken down into three steps: gathering your documentation, submitting your application, and review and decision.

1. Documentation

Each of the following documents must be submitted along with your Canadian citizenship application. You should submit copies of these documents, unless originals are required, since you will not be getting them back and you may need them in the future.

  1. Record of Landing or Confirmation of Permanent Residence;
  2. Permanent Residence Card;
  3. Proof of language proficiency, if applicable;
  4. Biographical pages of your passport or travel documents covering six years of date of application or grant of permanent residence, whichever is more recent;
  5. Two personal identification documents bearing the applicant’s photograph;
  6. Two original citizenship photos;
  7. Proof of compliance with physical presence in Canada requirement;
  8. Original Police Certificate from each country in which applicant was present for 183 days or more during a period of four years preceding the date of application; and
  9. Proof of payment of applicable fees.

All documents not in English or French must be accompanied by an English or French translation along with an affidavit by the translator and a certified copy of the original document.

2. Submission

The complete and accurate application, along with all the required documents, should be mailed to the Case Processing Centre in Sydney. If the applicant is submitting Canadian citizenship applications for all family members, be sure that each individual applicant fulfills all the requirements. If even one application is incomplete, all applications submitted together will be returned.

3. Review and Decision

Once the application is reviewed and has been checked for compliance with minimum eligibility requirements, payment of necessary fees, and submission of all necessary documents, the applicant’s file will be created and processing will begin.

After a personal interview, which may include the test for knowledge about Canada, the final decision will be communicated by the IRCC office. If the application is accepted, the applicant will be asked to take the oath of citizenship followed by issue of the Certificate of Citizenship!

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The Canadim Team!

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