For many immigrants who begin a new life in Canada, citizenship is the finish line at the end of a long journey.

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Many Canadian permanent residents who have weathered the immigration process look forward to being granted citizenship, and are eager for the day they can be sworn in as an official Canadian citizen. Before that day comes, there are a few final steps that need to be addressed before Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) approves their Canadian citizenship application.

Requirements for Canadian Citizenship

As with all Canadian immigration programs, permanent residents must meet a specific set of requirements to be deemed eligible to apply for citizenship. Among other requirements, applicants will also need to provide proof that they have been living in Canada for three years (1,095 days) out of the five years that precede their signed application.

Applying for Citizenship

Following amendments to the Citizen Act which came into effect in late 2017, Canadian permanent residents can now expect a faster, easier citizenship application process. Eligible applicants will be required to pass the Canadian citizenship test, and may be asked to undergo an interview before a citizenship judge, if requested by IRCC. Once approved, applicants will attend a Citizenship Ceremony to take the Oath of Citizenship, where they will officially become a Canadian citizen.

Dual Citizenship

As Canada recognizes dual citizenship, you will not be required to relinquish your natural citizenship once your application has been approved by IRCC.

Rights and Responsibilities

Once a permanent resident has been granted Canadian citizenship, they are entitled to the same rights and responsibilities of a natural Canadian citizen. Though permanent residents share many of the same rights as that of a citizen, the most notable differences would be the right to vote in federal, provincial, and municipal Canadian elections, and the elimination of residency obligations.

Citizenship FAQ

Does a child need to meet the three-year minimum residency requirement in order to be eligible for Canadian citizenship?

No. Permanent resident children under the age of 18 are not required to have been physically present in Canada for three years (1,095 days) to apply for citizenship.

Do I have to give up my natural citizenship in order to become a Canadian citizen?

No. As Canada recognizes dual citizenship, you will be able to maintain your former nationality. However, permanent residents wishing to become Canadian citizens should verify that the country of their current nationality recognizes dual or multi citizenships.

How long do I have to wait before I can apply for Canadian citizenship?

Permanent residents wishing to become Canadian citizens must first have resided in Canada for a minimum of 1,095 days in the five years preceding their application before they are eligible to apply. In special circumstances, citizenship may be granted to to those who do not meet the minimum residence requirement. Children under the age of 18 need not meet this requirement.

Do I have to apply for citizenship as soon as I become eligible?

No. As long as you meet the eligibility requirements, you can wait as long you like to apply for citizenship. Unlike particular permanent resident programs, there are no application windows or deadlines that need to be followed.

Does my time spent in Canada before becoming a permanent resident count toward the minimum residency requirements?

Yes. Each day spent in Canada as a temporary resident (student, visitor, worker) or protected person before obtaining permanent residence counts for one half day. Applicants may use up to 365 days to count toward the 1,095-day requirement.

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If you have questions or concerns relating to citizenship please contact us and a member of the Canadim Team will be happy to discuss your options.

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