Apply for Canadian citizenship

  • Citizenship by birth

  • Citizenship by naturalization

Canadian Citizenship

Canada is ranked as one of the best countries to live in. Naturally, Canadians take pride in being Canadian and are considered as some of the politest people in the world.

In addition to that, Canada is a beautiful country with abundant natural beauty. 

Canada welcomes thousands of immigrants each year. Many of them transition to becoming Canadian citizens. 

Glossary of terms used on this page.

What are the requirements for becoming a Canadian citizen?

 

To become a Canadian citizen, you must:

  • be a permanent resident

  • have lived in Canada for 3 out of the last 5 years

  • have filed your taxes, if you need to

  • pass a test on your rights, responsibilities and knowledge of Canada

  • prove your language skills

 

Depending on your situation, there may be additional requirements.

What is eligibility criteria to apply for Canadian citizenship?

In addition to the above, you need to:

  • Meet the Citizenship Language Requirement, if between the ages of 18 and 54;

  • Not be under a removal order;

  • Not have a criminal prohibition;

  • Pay processing fees.

Do I Need to take a Language Test to apply for citizenship in Canada?

Canada has two official languages: English and French. If you’re 18 to 54 years of age on the day you sign your application, you

must show that you can speak and listen at a specific level in one of these languages. To become a citizen, you need to meet the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) Level 4 or higher.

Language tests currently approved by IRCC for citizenship application purposes are: 

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS); 

  • Canadian English Language-Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP General and LS); 

  • TEF, TEFAQ (Test d’évaluation de français pour l’accès au Québec) or TEF pour la naturalization; 

  • Test d’évaluation du français adapté au Québec (TEFAQ).

  • TEF pour la naturalization

In order to prove language proficiency, applicants must submit one of the following documents:

  • Results from an approved third party test - such as IELTS or CELPIP or LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) training. Or the Cours de langue pour les immigrants au Canada (CLIC).

  • Transcripts or a diploma from a secondary or post-secondary education in English or French; or

  • Evidence of achieving Canadian Level Benchmark (CLB) 4 or higher in certain government language programs.

 

What are the residency requirements to apply for citizenship in Canada? 

You (and some minors, if applicable) must have been physically in Canada for at least 1,095 days (3 years) during the 5 years before the date you sign your application.

In your calculation, you may be able to include some of the time you spent

  • in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person

  • outside Canada if you were a Crown servant or a family member of a Crown servant.

Calculate how much time you have lived in Canada.

What is the Canadian citizenship processing time?

 

The citizenship application processing time is 12 months. This includes processing of the complete application, the citizenship test, interview and ceremony.

Who has to take the citizenship test?

Everyone between the ages of 18 and 54 at the time they apply for citizenship must take the citizenship test. If you are 55 or older when you apply, you do not have to take the test. If you turn 55 during the processing of your application, you still have to take the test since you were under 55 when you signed your application.

I was born outside Canada to a Canadian parent(s). Am I a Canadian citizen? 

You are most likely a Canadian citizen if one of your parents (biological or legal) were: 

1. Born in Canada

2. Became naturalized Canadian citizens before you were born. 

3. You were born on or after April 17, 2009, and at least one of your birth parents was a Canadian citizen when you were born.

You are probably NOT a Canadian citizen if you: 

 

Were born on or after April 17, 2009, and at least one of your birth parents was a Canadian citizen when you were born BUT:

  1. your Canadian parent was born outside Canada to a Canadian parent.

  2. your Canadian parent was born outside Canada and granted Canadian citizenship through the adoptive grant provisions of the Citizenship Act before you were born.

On what grounds can my Canadian citizenship application be refused?

Here are some of the main reasons why your application could be refused: 

 

  1. you are under review for immigration or fraud reasons

  2. you have been asked by Canadian officials to leave Canada (removal order)

  3. you have unfulfilled conditions related to your PR status, for example: medical screening

  4. you have been found guilty of misrepresentation 

  5. you had your Canadian citizenship revoked.

How Can I Avoid a Canadian Immigration Refusal?

Refusal or denial can be painful and stressful. Most people think that they know what they're doing and will do it right. Not all of them can actually claim that they will not make a mistake. Immigration applications to Canada are a 1-time opportunity. A mistake can lead to irreparable damage to your profile. Therefore, you may want to consider hiring a professional immigration consultant who has the knowledge and expertise in matters of Canadian immigration laws. 

Contact us now to connect with our Regulated Canadian  Immigration Consultant (RCIC).

Frequently asked questions

How many years of tax returns do i need to submit for Canadian citizenship application?


You may need to file taxes in Canada for at least 3 years during the 5 years right before the date you apply.




How much does it cost to apply for Canadian citizenship?


Adult (18 and over) - Processing fee ($530) and right of citizenship fee ($100) = $630 Stateless adult (18 or over) born to Canadian parent Right of citizenship fee ($100) = $100 Minor (under 18) - Processing fee ($100) = $100




Can i leave Canada after applying for citizenship?


Yes, you are allowed to leave the country while you study in Canada. Please make sure that you maintain all requirements of your PR status. Please also make sure that your PR card is still valid and not expired as you would need that to return to Canada.




I got married to a Canadian. Does that automatically give me Canadian citizenship?


NO. You need to follow the steps like every one else. You need to first become a permanent residenet and after you meet the eligibility requirements of PR, you can apply for Canadian citizenship.




My citizenship application was refused. What are my options now?


You can apply for Canadian citizenship again. This new application must include all the required forms and documents, including a new application fee. There is no waiting period before you can reapply. However, you should make sure you meet the requirements for Canadian citizenship before you reapply.




If i take Canadian citizenship, do i have to surrender the citizenship of another coutnry?


NO, Canada allows dual citizenship.




I am a 1st generation Canadian citizen. Does my child automatically get Canadian citizenship if he/she was born outside Canada?


The rule of 2nd generation would apply in this case. Please contact us as we would need more information to assist your query.




I was born in Canada, but have not lived in Canada for a long time. Am i still a Canadian citizen?


Anyone born in Canada is most likely a Canadian citizen by birth. If you are unsure of your legal status in Canada, reach out to us and we will help you verify it.




I failed my Canadian citizenship test, what are my options now?


If you failed your test in your 1st attempt, you can reschedule a 2nd attempt. If you are unable to appear on the dates provided or fail in your 2nd attempt as well, you may be called for an oral interview.




I recently changed my name. How do i update it on my citizenship certificate?


You will need to apply for a new certificate of citizenship along with proof of legal name change amongst other required documents.




Can i give up my Canadian citizenship?


Yes, you can renounce your Canadian citizenship. You need to do it formally though, by informing the IRCC.




I am a Canadian permanent resident. Is it mandatory to apply for Canadian Citizenship?


NO. You can remain a permanent resident as long as you keep fulfiling the requirements & obligations for permanent residency in Canada.




Do i need to be physically present in Canada for my online citizenship test and oath there after?


YES. You need to be inside Canada even if you are appearing in an online exam for Canadian Citizenship.




Can I maintain dual citizenship?


Absolutely. As long as the other country permits you to hold dual citizenship, you are able to maintain or gain citizenship of a 2nd country while being a Canadian Citizen.




I lost my lost my Canadian citizenship certificate What do I do now?


If your citizenship certificate was lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed, you can apply for a replacement.