Table of Contents
- 1 Requirements To Become a Canadian Citizen
Requirements To Become a Canadian Citizen
Have you been a permanent resident of Canada for a while? Are you ready to become a citizen? There are a number of steps involved. We want to help you become a citizen of our country by learning the steps that are necessary.
If you are outside of the country and are just beginning your journey to live in Canada, know that you will first need to become a permanent resident. There are steps to achieve that goal. As a certified immigration consultant, CSHI may be able to help you in this first step.
There are many Canadian citizenship benefits, rather than a permanent resident. You’ll have a voice in voting, have greater access to jobs and have the benefits of a Canadian passport. More importantly, you children will be Canadian.
Becoming a Citizen
There are three necessary steps that you must take. They are the following:
- Take a citizenship test and go through an interview
- Participate in a ceremony and take an oath
What Are the Requirements?
If you are thinking of becoming a citizen, you must first have status as a permanent resident. You must have lived in Canada for 3 out of the last 5 years.
Calculating your time in Canada
The physical presence test calculator will be of help in this. You can fill out a physical presence calculator form online. The IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) has made it easy to test to see if you meet the required time in Canada. You must enter the dates correctly, filling out all the information.
It must be within the last five years. Each day that you have been a permanent resident counts as one day. If you were in Canada as an authorized temporary resident or as a protected person, that will count as a half day. When you spent no time in Canada, that will be considered as an absence.
A temporary resident with authorization includes the following:
- Temporary resident permit
What is a protected person? This means that you were found to be in need of protection or are a refugee. You may have been someone who was accepted under a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment from IRCC.
Any time that you spent as a prisoner, on parole or on probation does not count. However, there may be some exceptions.
You must have filed your taxes, if you were required to do so.
You must take a test if you are between the ages of 18 to 54 years of age. You must also go for an interview. If you are 55 or over, you will not need to take the test, but you will need to go to the interview. A minor under 18 with a Canadian parent does not usually have to take the test or go to the interview. A minor without a parent need not take the test but will need to go to the interview.
What is on this test?
The test is composed of 20 questions. They will be about Canada’s history, geography, government, economy, laws and symbols. You can study for the test beforehand with the Discover Canada study guide.
If you do not pass this written test, don’t worry, as they will schedule you for a second test, probably four to eight weeks later.
You must also prove your language skills. You will need to show proof that you can speak either English or French at the CLB/NCLC 4 level or higher. You must send one of the documents that are a requirement. If you attended a secondary or post-secondary school, either inside or outside Canada, you can send the following:
Your proof of language must be in English or French. It must be a certified translation, if in another language.
The citizen ceremony and oath
You must go to the ceremony and take an oath. Children over the age of 14 are also required to be at this ceremony. You will received a date of the event about two weeks before. It will have the location, date and time of the ceremony. This will probably be around three months after you have taken the test. If you’re not available on that date, you must send a message and explain why; you will then get another date.
The notice of the ceremony will tell you which language it will be in, either English or French.
You will be taking an Oath of Citizenship. You will then get your citizenship certificate and sign a form for Oath or Affirmation of Citizenship. After that you will sing the national anthem of Canada, O Canada. All provinces, except Quebec, use a bilingual version, English first, of the anthem. You can practice ahead of time.
What are the benefits of becoming a Canadian citizen?
There are a number of advantages of becoming a citizen, rather than remaining a permanent resident. These include the following:
You’ll have access to more jobs – some jobs require a higher amount of security clearance. As a citizen, you won’t be limited by those requirements. Government jobs (non-election) will now be open to you.
You can run for office – you may want more of a say in your local government or have dreams of influencing provincial and federal policies. Representing your Canadian constituents may give you the ability to influence issues of education, foreign policy or, even, taxes.
You can travel on a Canadian passport – many countries will welcome you without a visa. You can have dual citizenship, if that is your preference.
You won’t have to worry about losing status – you can travel outside of Canada and, unlike permanent residents, do not have to worry about how it will affect your residency requirements.
You will not have to think about renewal – citizenship is permanent, without the need to renew, as is permanent residency. Only your passport might need renewing, every 10 years.
Whether you are seeking to be a permanent resident or are ready to become a citizen, we can help you. We are a notary public and can help with documentation. Contact us to learn more about the path to being a citizen of our fine country.