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Canadian Citizenship Consultation

Over 85% of Canadian immigrants become citizens, one of the highest rates in the world.

Benefits of Canadian citizenship include being able to live permanently in one of the world’s most peaceful and economically, socially, and politically stable societies, enjoying one of the world’s most powerful passports, and having the right to vote, Includes among many other benefits.

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Thus it should come as no surprise that hundreds of thousands of permanent residents apply to become Canadian citizens every year.

To be eligible for Canadian citizenship, you must meet several conditions:

  • become a permanent resident
  • Meet Canada’s physical presence requirements
  • Enter your taxes if necessary
  • Pass a Canadian citizenship test
  • Prove your language skills
  • Permanent resident status

Whatever your age, you must have Canadian permanent resident status if you want to apply for Canadian citizenship. This means that you are not subject to review for immigration reasons or fraud, are not subject to an eviction order, and have not met the conditions related to your permanent resident status (for example, you have not completed a medical screening). You do not need to have a valid PR card to apply for citizenship and you can apply with an expired PR card.


Canada’s Physical Presence Requirements

You must be physically present in Canada for at least 1,095 days (three years) during the five years preceding the date you sign your Canadian citizenship application. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) encourage you to apply for stays in Canada for more than 1,095 days if there is a problem with your calculations.

People who lived in Canada as temporary residents or protected persons before becoming permanent residents can count some of that time towards their residency requirements. Each day you have spent as a temporary resident or protected person in Canada in the past five years counts as half a day when you count your physical presence. The IRCC allows you to use up to 365 days as a temporary resident or protected person for your time spent in Canada. Temporary residents include visitors, students, workers, or temporary resident permit holders. Protected persons are those who require protection or convention refugees by the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) or who have received a favorable decision from the IRCC on a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment.

Generally speaking, time spent outside Canada does not count towards your physical presence requirements, but there are some exceptions. For example, permanent residents working in the United States may be eligible for their physical presence requirement in the U.S. They May be able to count the days spent in the U.S., as long as they live in Canada and return to Canada for at least part of the day.

Try CanadaVisa’s Citizenship Calculator

Enter your taxes if necessary

Tax filing may be a requirement for at least three years within the five years prior to applying for citizenship in Canada.

Even if you have lived in Canada for only one year, you may be required to file an income tax return if you:

  • Must pay tax for the whole year
  • Want to claim a refund
  • Want to receive benefits and credit payments

Pass a Canadian citizenship test

People aged 18 to 54 on the day they signed their Canadian citizenship application must take a citizenship test on the rights and responsibilities of Canada’s history, geography, economy, government, laws, and symbols. The test is 30 minutes long in English or French, contains multiple-choice and true or false questions, and carries a passing score of 15 out of 20.

Prove your language skills

People between the ages of 18 and 54 must also demonstrate that they can speak and hear English or French at a specific level. This indicates that you meet a level 4 or higher of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB). The IRCC assesses your language proficiency in several ways, such as:

  • Reviewing the evidence you submitted with your application
  • Seeing how well you communicate with citizenship authorities during the application process
  • Assess your language skills during the hearing with the citizenship officer, if necessary

An example of proof is proof that you attended a secondary or post-secondary educational program in English or French. The program can take place abroad or inside Canada. Proof of this may be your academic credentials or a transcript submitted in English or French (IRCC accepts certified translations).

IRCC also accepts the results of an English or French language test you have completed, for example, as part of your Canadian permanent residency application, or have completed a language training program in Canada.