How to Become a Canadian Citizen: Do you want to learn more about how to become a Canadian citizen?
Canada is a country brimming with opportunities for anyone looking to make a home there. There are many ways to achieve your immigration goals, whether you’re coming to study, visit, or work.
Many foreigners, in some situations, decide they want to become permanent residents and eventually Canadian citizens.
Whether you want to study, travel, or work in Canada, there are numerous options available to people who wish to live there.
While becoming a Canadian citizen can be extremely gratifying, it may also be a difficult and time-consuming process.
So, if you really want to be a citizen, here’s what you need to do.
Is it Hard to Become a Canadian Citizen?
Yes, it is difficult to become a Canadian citizen. You must first be a permanent resident and have spent three of the previous five years in Canada, among other conditions.
However, every year, hundreds of people strive to become permanent residents and obtain their PR card in Canada, which is a nation of opportunity.
In fact, the number of successful candidates in Canada has been increasing year after year.
This has prompted Canadian government to be linient in the process of becoming a Canadian citizen.
In fact, in 2021, the Canadian government aims to invite 351,000 people to become permanent citizens, and that figure is expected to rise!
What are the Benefits of Becoming a Canadian Citizen?
There are a few reasons why someone permanently living in Canada may want to become a citizen.
Some of these benefits include:
Being able to exert greater political influence over the country is an incredible benefit of being a Canadian.
Canadian citizens have the right to vote in all types of elections.
You can vote in federal, provincial, and municipal elections as a result of this.
Moreover, Canadian residents have the opportunity to run for office and get more involved in political activity.
One of the best aspects of becoming a Canadian citizen is the ability to preserve dual citizenship.
To put it another way, Canada does not force you to choose between becoming a Canadian citizen and being a citizen of your native country.
You may or may not be required to make that option, depending on your country of origin.
A passport is more convenient than a permanent residency card for Canadian nationals.
Passports are easier to renew than permanent resident cards, and they must be renewed less frequently.
You can also count on the assistance of Canadian consulates and embassies around the world, which provides added security.
Eligibility for More Jobs
Some high-level security clearance jobs, such as those in the federal government, require you to be a Canadian citizen.
Such job opportunities can be beneficial because they pay well and provide a variety of other benefits.
Citizenship to Your Children
Children born to Canadian citizens automatically become Canadian citizens as well.
They will not have to go through any sort of application process as a result of this.
What are the Requirements for Becoming a Canadian Citizen?
To become a Canadian citizen, you must meet the following requirements. And to apply, you must:
- have permanent residence status regardless of age;
- have lived in Canada as a permanent resident for at least 1,095 days (three years) during the five years before the date of your application, regardless of age. Each day you were physically present in Canada as an authorized temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident within the last five years counts as half a day (up to 365 days), whereas each day you were physically present in Canada after becoming a permanent resident counts as one day.
- if applicable, file income taxes
- show evidence of your ability to communicate and listen in English or French (applicants aged 18 to 54);
- is there a knowledge test in English or French for Canada? (applies to applicants aged 18 to 54).
There are some circumstances that may warrant different requirements:
- requesting a minor (under age 18)
- a Canadian applying for your adopted child born outside of Canada,
- a current or former member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) applying under the fast-track process, or
- a former Canadian citizen seeking to reclaim their citizenship (including current and former CAF members)
Physical Presence Requirement
Without a minimum of two (2) years as a permanent resident, you will not be able to meet the physical presence criterion.
When a parent or guardian applies on behalf of a kid under the age of 18, the minimum physical presence requirements do not apply.
Even if you do not fulfil the requirements for the minimum time spent in Canada, you may be able to apply for citizenship if you meet the following criteria:
- You work for the Crown (or are the family member of a Crown servant)
How to Legally Move to Canada: Everything to Know Before Moving
#1. Immigrate to Canada as a Skilled Worker
Canada is a federal country, just like the United States.
Unlike the United States, however, Canada’s provincial and territorial governments share constitutional authority over immigration with the federal government.
As a result, Canada now has more than 100 merit-based immigration paths for talented migrants.
Candidates are evaluated based on their human capital, which includes factors such as age, education, language skills, work experience, and family ties in Canada, among others.
One prominent criterion is whether or not the candidate has a job offer in Canada; however, in most cases, a job offer is not required to secure permanent residency as a skilled worker.
Express Entry is the primary route for most immigrants and residents to seek permanent residency as skilled workers in Canada.
Express Entry is Canada’s premier skilled worker application management system. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, a government department, is in charge of it (IRCC).
IRCC organizes Express Entry lotteries every two weeks, allowing the top scorers to apply for permanent residency. The candidates next submit their permanent residence application to IRCC, which is expected to be processed in six months or less.
The Provincial Nominee Program is the next best option for obtaining permanent residency as a skilled worker (PNP).
#2. Get a Canadian Work Permit
Residents and citizens of the United States who desire to work in Canada have a variety of alternatives.
There are two types of work permits.
Work permits, for example, necessitate a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
The LMIA is a tool used by the Canadian government to assess how hiring a foreign national would affect Canadian employment.
Employers who want to hire a foreign worker under an LMIA-required work permit stream must first convince the federal government that the hire would not harm Canadian workers’ salaries or employment prospects.
An LMIA is not required for the second group. Due to Canada’s social and economic interests, a wide range of work permit streams exempt LMIAs. Because of Canada’s membership in the United States-Canada-Mexico Agreement, for example, U.S. citizens are eligible for a variety of work visa streams (USMCA).
In Canada, this agreement is called as “CUSMA,” and it was previously known as “NAFTA.”
The USMCA makes it easier for Americans to work in Canada if they have a job lined up, either with their present or a new company, or if they want to invest or trade heavily in the country.
In recent years, Canada’s Global Talent Stream, which offers priority work visa processing for tech talent, has become a popular alternative for workers in the United States.
#3. Immigrate to Canada under Family Sponsorship
Every year, family sponsorship brings almost a quarter of all new permanent immigrants to Canada.
Spouses and partners of Canadian citizens and permanent residents make up the majority of Canada’s family class immigrants.
Despite recent delays caused by COVID-19, the Canadian government normally seeks to process such applications within a year.
Canada also makes it easier for dependent children, parents, and grandparents to reunite with their families.
What is a Canadian Permanent Resident?
A permanent resident is someone who has been granted permanent resident status in Canada after immigrating, but who is not a Canadian citizen.
Citizens of other countries are permanent residents.
A temporary visitor to Canada, such as a student or a foreign worker, is not a permanent resident.
How Can I Become a Canadian Citizen Legally?
Citizenship is automatically granted to U.S. citizens and residents who have a Canadian parent.
Individuals in this situation must submit an application to the IRCC for “Proof of Citizenship.”
You can apply for Canadian citizenship if you do not have a Canadian parent and have resided in Canada as a permanent resident.
Permanent residents who have lived in Canada for at least three years (1,095 days) in the previous five years are eligible for citizenship. Approximately 85% of permanent residents in Canada eventually become citizens.
How to Apply for Canadian Citizenship
To apply for Canadian citizenship, you must follow four steps.
#1. Fill out an application for citizenship.
The “Application for Canadian Citizenship – Adults” form is required if you are an adult aged 18 or older. In addition, you must complete the “Physical Presence Calculator” online.
You must use the “Application for Canadian Citizenship – Minors” if you are applying for your child who is under the age of 18. You must fill out a separate form for each child if you have more than one.
To seek for citizenship, children do not need to have lived in Canada for three years.
As long as the parent is a Canadian citizen or is applying to become a citizen at the same time as the child, parents can apply for their children as soon as the child becomes a permanent residence.
#2. Pay the application fees
Your expenses will differ depending on whether you are an adult (above the age of 18) or a minor (under the age of 18).
Your fees may include the following:
- the cost of processing
- the citizenship right fee
If you’re submitting many applications at once, you can pay all of the fees at once.
You must pay your fees via the internet. Once you’re ready to submit your application, pay your fees. Make a copy of your fee receipt and attach it to your application.
#3. Complete and send the application
You must also send the application, give the appropriate pictures, and attach photocopies of the documents indicated on the document checklist in addition to the completed application.
If you are between the ages of 18 and 54, you must also provide proof that you can speak and listen in English or French.
On their website, the IRCC provides examples of what constitutes proof. At the time of your test and/or interview, as well as at the ceremony, you must present the original documents.
After you’ve finished the application form, send it to IRCC along with any supporting documentation.
On the IRCC website, you may find the address as well as application forms. If you’re applying for more than one individual, you can put all of the papers and documentation in one envelope and have them all processed at the same time.
#4. Be a Permanent Resident of Canada
To become a Canadian citizen, you must live in Canada permanently.
Fortunately, there are a slew of options for acquiring such status. You may, for example, choose to apply through a specific province.
Quebec has its own set of immigration rules, although the process is the same in all other provinces.
Another option is to have a Canadian family member assist you in obtaining permanent status. Individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada through family sponsorship must be related to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is at least 18 years old.
Although being a Canadian citizen has many advantages, permanent residency offers its own set of advantages.
Some of the fantastic privileges include healthcare coverage and the ability to work, study, and travel anywhere in the country.
Refer to this helpful tool if you’re not sure if you qualify for permanent residency in Canada. This tool was developed by the Canadian government to assist in matching the relevant immigration programs with the suitable applicants.
#5. Spend Some Time or Live in Canada
The next thing to do is to live in Canada for a while. You must have spent at least 1,095 days (3 years) physically in Canada during the five years before the date of your application.
However, applicants should aim for more than 1,095 days just in case they make a mistake. You might be eligible to mention your time as a temporary resident in Canada.
You may also be eligible to report time spent outside of Canada if you are a Crown Servant (or are connected to someone who is).
It’s critical to keep track of how much time you spend in Canada if you want to become a Canadian citizen. The government has a few services available to applicants to make things easier.
There’s the physical presence calculator, for starters. This calculator tool is all you’ll need to keep track of your time.
There’s also the travel journal, which allows you to keep track of your time spent outside of the country. Both of these materials will undoubtedly come in handy as you prepare to become a Canadian citizen.
#6. File Your Taxes (If You Need To)
Another important step in applying for Canadian citizenship is determining whether or not you owe any taxes.
You may be obliged to file taxes in Canada for at least three years in the five years before the application date. Check here to see if you need to file your taxes.
#7. Test Your Language Abilities
Canada is a multilingual country, which means that it has a number of official languages.
The official languages of Canada are English and French. As a result, if you want to become a Canadian citizen, you must be fluent in at least one of these languages.
If you are between the ages of 18 and 54 at the time you sign your application, you must demonstrate that you can speak and listen at a certain level in one of these languages.
The Canadian government assesses linguistic abilities in a number of ways:
- examining the documentation you submit with your citizenship application
- evaluating how well you communicate with a naturalization authority through the application process
- if necessary, analysing your language skills during a hearing with a citizenship official
You must meet the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) Level 4 or above to become a Canadian citizen.
#8. Take the citizenship test or meet with a representative.
Finally, obtaining Canadian citizenship necessitates passing a citizenship test (who’d have guessed?).
If you are between the ages of 18 and 54 and meet the basic requirements for citizenship, you will be scheduled for a citizenship test or possible interview to ensure that you have a basic comprehension of Canada and one of its official languages.
Ultimately, the test’s goal is for you to show that you have a full awareness of Canadians’ rights and obligations by answering questions about:
- Rights and Responsibilities of Canadians
The test is 30 minutes long and can be completed in English or French. In addition, there are 20 questions on the test.
There are both multiple-choice and true-or-false questions in this set. Because a passing score is 15 accurate answers, it’s a good idea to brush up on your Canadian knowledge ahead of time.
Remember to bring the original documents you photocopied and submitted with your application, as well as all passports and travel documents you have in your possession, to the written test or interview.
#9. Take the citizenship oath
If you complete all of the conditions to become a citizen, you will be notified of the location and date of your citizenship ceremony.
The citizenship oath is the final step in the citizenship process. Two weeks prior to the event, you will receive your ceremony date.
If you are unable to attend, please indicate a reason for your absence so that a new date can be established. The ceremonies are held all around Canada and at various times throughout the year.
On Canada Day and throughout Citizenship Week, special oath ceremonies are held.
Ultimately, you will take the citizenship oath and get your citizenship certificate at the event. You will then be entitled to all of the rights and privileges that come with being a Canadian citizen.
Who Needs to Swear the Oath?
The citizenship ceremony and oath must be attended by adults and children aged 14 and up. Children under the age of 14 are welcome to attend, but they are not obligated to take the oath.
What Do I Need to Bring? Ceremony Notice
- a copy of the Permission Release and Consent form that has been signed (this is included with your notice)
- permanent resident card or permanent residence confirmation
- Landing records (if you arrived before June 28, 2002)
- Personal Identification (two pieces)
- All passports and travel documents must be shown.
What Takes Place During the Oath Ceremony?
The following people will be present at the ceremony:
- Taking the Citizenship Oath
- Getting your Certificate of Citizenship
- Taking the Oath of Office
- Singing the National Anthem
The ceremony, which will be attended by many other applicants, will be presided over by a judge or official.
The oath will be read in both English and French. The oath must be taken in one of the two languages.
You can either affirm the oath (doing so without reference to religious views) or swear the oath (doing so with reference to religious beliefs) (done with reference to religious beliefs).
Although the oath and the national hymn will be delivered at the ceremony, you may wish to prepare them ahead of time.
#10. Obtaining a Passport:
You can apply for a Canadian passport once you have become a citizen. This is a formal travel document that you will require and can apply for two business days after your wedding.
Before you may become a Canadian citizen, you must complete a number of conditions. Even though it takes time, becoming a Canadian citizen could be one of the most life-changing decisions you and your family ever make.