Apply for Canadian citizenship
Citizenship by birth
Citizenship by naturalization
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.
The Essence of Canadian Citizenship
Becoming a Canadian citizen is a significant milestone that offers numerous advantages and opportunities. Whether you are an immigrant seeking to establish a new life in Canada or a temporary resident looking to solidify your ties to the country, Canadian citizenship opens doors to a wide range of benefits. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the details of Canadian citizenship, exploring the requirements, application process, and the privileges bestowed upon Canadian citizens. Let's embark on this informative journey and uncover the path to Canadian citizenship.
Requirements for Canadian Citizenship
To be eligible for Canadian citizenship, applicants must meet certain requirements. These criteria ensure that individuals have a genuine connection to Canada and possess the necessary knowledge and language skills to integrate into Canadian society. The primary requirements for Canadian citizenship include:
Residency Requirement: Applicants must have accumulated a specific number of days physically present in Canada within a specified time period to demonstrate their commitment and attachment to the country.
Age Requirement: Applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply for Canadian citizenship. Minors can be included in their parent's application.
Language Proficiency: Proficiency in English or French is essential for Canadian citizenship. Applicants must provide evidence of their language skills through approved language tests.
Knowledge of Canada: Applicants must demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of Canada's history, culture, rights, and responsibilities by passing the Canadian citizenship test.
Tax Obligations: Individuals must meet their personal income tax filing obligations to be eligible for Canadian citizenship.
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.
Rights and Responsibilities
Canadian citizenship comes with various rights and responsibilities. Citizens have the right to vote, run for public office, and enjoy the protection of Canadian law. They can also apply for a Canadian passport, access social benefits, and receive consular assistance while abroad. Alongside these rights, citizens have responsibilities to uphold. These include obeying Canadian laws, participating in the democratic process, and respecting the rights and freedoms of others.
Benefits of Canadian Citizenship
Canadian citizenship bestows numerous benefits upon its holders. Let's explore some of the advantages that come with being a Canadian citizen:
Right to Vote: Canadian citizens have the right to vote in federal, provincial, and municipal elections, allowing them to actively participate in shaping the country's future.
Access to Social Benefits: Canadian citizens are eligible for various social benefits, including healthcare coverage, education grants, and unemployment benefits.
Mobility and Travel: Canadian citizens can travel freely with a Canadian passport, benefiting from visa-free or visa-on-arrival entry to numerous countries worldwide.
Protection and Consular Services: Canadian citizens are entitled to consular assistance and protection from Canadian embassies and consulates abroad.
Employment Opportunities: Canadian citizenship enhances employment prospects, as certain government jobs and security clearances are reserved for citizens.
Right to Sponsor Family Members: Canadian citizens can sponsor eligible family members for immigration, facilitating family reunification.
The Canadian Citizenship Application Process
Now that we have explored the requirements, let's dive into the application process for Canadian citizenship. The process consists of several steps that ensure thorough assessment and verification of an applicant's eligibility. Here's an overview of the Canadian citizenship application process:
1. Gather Required Documents
Before starting the application, gather all the necessary documents, including proof of residency, identity documents, language test results, and other supporting materials.
2. Complete the Application Form
Fill out the Canadian citizenship application form accurately and provide all required information. Ensure that you meet all eligibility criteria before proceeding.
3. Submit the Application
Submit the completed application form, along with the supporting documents and the required application fee, to the designated government office. Keep a copy of the application for your records.
4. Processing and Background Check
Once the application is received, the government will process the application, conduct background checks, and verify the information provided.
5. Citizenship Test and Interview
If your application is approved, you will be invited to take the Canadian citizenship test and attend an interview to assess your knowledge, language skills, and commitment to Canadian values.
6. Oath of Citizenship
Upon successfully passing the citizenship test and interview, you will be scheduled to attend a citizenship ceremony where you will take the Oath of Citizenship and receive your Canadian citizenship certificate.
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 Canadian citizenship?
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:
your Canadian parent was born outside Canada to a Canadian parent.
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?
While the goal of many individuals is to obtain Canadian citizenship, it is essential to be aware that not all applications are approved. The Canadian government carefully evaluates each application to ensure eligibility and adherence to the necessary requirements. There are several grounds on which a Canadian citizenship application may be refused. Let's explore some of the common reasons:
Criminal Convictions: If you have been convicted of a serious crime, such as a felony or an offense involving moral turpitude, your application may be refused. Criminality raises concerns regarding the individual's character and their ability to uphold Canadian laws and values.
Misrepresentation: Providing false or misleading information on your application or during the citizenship process can lead to refusal. The Canadian government places great importance on honesty and integrity throughout the application process.
Failure to Meet Residency Requirements: To be eligible for Canadian citizenship, applicants must meet specific residency requirements, including physical presence in Canada for a certain period. Failing to meet the required number of days can result in the refusal of the application.
Inadequate Language Skills: Proficiency in English or French is a vital requirement for Canadian citizenship. If an applicant fails to demonstrate the necessary language skills through approved language tests, their application may be refused.
Failure to Meet Knowledge of Canada Requirement: Applicants are required to pass the Canadian citizenship test, which assesses their knowledge of Canada's history, culture, rights, and responsibilities. If an applicant fails to demonstrate sufficient knowledge, their application may be refused.
Inability to Meet Financial Obligations: Applicants must meet their personal income tax filing obligations. Failure to fulfill financial obligations can raise concerns regarding an individual's commitment to fulfilling their responsibilities as a Canadian citizen.
Non-Compliance with Citizenship Act and Regulations: Failure to comply with the Citizenship Act and associated regulations can result in the refusal of an application. It is crucial to thoroughly understand and adhere to the requirements outlined by the Canadian government.
Security Concerns: If an individual poses a threat to national security or has engaged in activities that raise concerns about their loyalty to Canada, their citizenship application may be refused.
It is important to note that if your Canadian citizenship application is refused, you have the option to appeal the decision within a specified timeframe. The appeals process allows you to provide additional information, address any concerns raised during the initial application, or present your case for reconsideration.
When applying for Canadian citizenship, it is crucial to ensure that you meet all the requirements and provide accurate and truthful information. Seeking professional advice and assistance throughout the application process can help increase the chances of a successful outcome.
Remember, obtaining Canadian citizenship is a privilege, and it is essential to approach the process with honesty, integrity, and a genuine commitment to embracing Canadian values and contributing to the country's growth and development.
Renouncing Canadian Citizenship
While Canadian citizenship holds numerous advantages, some individuals may choose to renounce it for personal reasons. Common reasons for renunciation include acquiring citizenship in another country, tax implications, or personal beliefs. The process of renunciation involves submitting an application, paying a fee, and attending a citizenship ceremony. Renouncing Canadian citizenship has implications, such as losing the right to vote and losing certain benefits associated with citizenship.
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).