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Becoming a Canadian Citizen
What does it take to become a citizen of Canada? If you are presently living here or are thinking of immigration, you’ll want to know more about the process to make Canada your home. From living here a certain amount of time to passing a citizenship test, there are requirements that applicants will need to meet. As a certified immigration consultant, Canada Safe Haven Immigration Consultanting wants to help you learn more.
Please note: Because of COVID-19, you will need to take an online test and there is a limited capacity to schedule online tests and interviews. You can apply online or with a paper application. Processing time is approximately 12 months. (This includes the ceremony.)
Who Can Apply?
There are a number of requirements as to who can apply. You must:
- Be a permanent resident
- Have lived in Canada for at least 1,095 days
- Pass a citizenship test
- Have filed taxes if needed
- Prove language skills in French or English
Who may not apply
If you’ve committed a crime, your time spent in prison or on parole does not count towards the requirement for living in Canada of 1,095 days. There may also be just a period of time when you cannot apply; however, you can do so later.
Are You a Permanent Resident?
That is the first requirement for applying for citizenship. There are reasons that will disqualify you: You must not be under investigation for a case of fraud; you cannot have a removal order against you; or you may have not met all the conditions in regard to your permanent resident status.
You will need a permanent resident card to apply for citizenship.It does not need to be valid at the present time, you can apply with a card that has expired.
In order to count the time that you have lived in Canada you will need to know about the online physical presence calculator.
Physical Presence Calculation
You must have lived in Canada for 1,095 days, or three years. This is during the 5 years before you signed your application. (You cannot meet the physical presence requirement without a minimum of two (2) years as a permanent resident. )
If you have just 1,095 days of living here, it may be best to wait until you have more days, as there could be a problem in the calculation. This would delay your application and cause unwanted issues.
Fill in the calculator, entering the correct dates. It will help you to determine if you meet the requirements for physical presence.
Filing Income Tax
Did you need to file income taxes for Canada? If you needed to file, you must have done so. This is one of the requirements for becoming a citizen.
Pass a Citizenship Test
Those who are between the ages of 18 to 54 when they sign their citizenship application will be required to take a test. The test will consist of questions that relate to geography and history of Canada. Also required is knowledge of the economy and government as well as the laws and symbols of the country.
More about the test
It can be taken in English or French and is 30 minutes long. The test consists of 20 questions, of which you will need to get 15 right to pass. There will be multiple choice and true/false questions on the test.
The test is based on the citizenship study guide: Discover Canada. This exam is usually written but it may be an oral test.
What are Language Skills?
How does the government measure your language skills? They take note of the proof you sent in when you applied. They will also note how well you talk to an official during the application process. You may need to have a hearing with an official to asses your language skills.
Citizenship requires a Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) Level 4 or higher, which means: That you can participate in short everyday conversations; you can understand simple instructions and directions; you are able to use basic grammar; and you can show that you understand enough common phrases and terms that you can express yourself or answer questions.
They will accept diplomas, certificates and tests that prove your language abilities.
Why Become a Citizen?
What are the benefits awarded by being a citizen? This is a question that some residents may ask. They may be thinking that becoming a citizen of Canada automatically cancels citizenship in their home country. Read further to learn why many choose to become citizens of our country.
You’ll be able to participate in elections. Whether at the federal, municipal or local level, you’ll have a say in who runs the government. You will also be eligible to run for office, if this is one of your goals.
Employment opportunities will open up, if you are a citizen. Many jobs that require higher security clearance are available to citizens, including jobs at the federal level.
You may be able to keep your original citizenship and have dual citizenship. You will not need to choose between Canada and your country of origin. However, dual citizenship will depend on the rules of your home country.
Your children will automatically be Canadian citizens. Children born to parents of citizens of Canada need not go through the application process.
A Canadian passport is one of the best in the world. You will be able to travel more easily, with a Canadian passport being similar in rank with that of Australia, New Zealand, Malta and the Czech Republic.
Once you are a citizen, you will no longer have to worry about renewal. Immigration documentation does not need to be renewed, such as with the permanent resident card. There are no additional fees to pay. Citizenship is permanent indefinitely.
Want To Learn More?
As immigration consultants we can help you with citizenship questions as well as other immigration concerns or questions. Our professional and helpful staff is here to aid you. Whether you need answers, help with documentation or other immigration issues, we can be of assistance. CSHI is a notary public, certified for providing and witnessing documents. Contact us today and begin the path to becoming a proud citizen of Canada.