Determining Your Eligibility

Posted in Canadian Citizenship

What are the requirements for becoming a Canadian citizen?

To apply for Canadian citizenship as an adult, you must:

  • Be a permanent resident of Canada
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Have lived in Canada for at least 1095 days in the four years
  • Have an adequate knowledge of either English or French
  • Have an adequate knowledge of Canada and responsibilities and privileges of citizenship
  • Not be under a removal order
  • Not be a security risk
  • Not be criminally prohibited
  • Attend a ceremony and take the oath of citizenship

What is dual citizenship?

Every country has its own policies and procedures for determining who is considered to be a citizen. If more than one country considers you to be a citizen, you have dual citizenship.

Dual citizenship is not a special application and there's no related certification or documentation required to be considered a dual citizen apart from having citizenship in more than one country.

Note, that before obtaining citizenship in another country you should check with your own country's rules and regulations on citizenship as some countries do not allow dual citizenship or multiple citizenship and you may be required to revoke your previous citizenship in order to obtain a new one.

If you are a permanent resident but not a Canadian citizen, ask the embassy of your country of citizenship about its rules before applying for Canadian citizenship

Do I become a Canadian when I marry a Canadian?

No, marrying a Canadian citizen does not give you citizenship in Canada. You must first apply for permanent resident status in Canada which can be obtained through Spousal Sponsorship application if you are legally married to your spouse who is a citizen or PR holder in Canada. You may also apply for permanent resident status on your own merits should you qualify for any other category. The point is, you must first be a permanent resident of Canada and meet certain residency obligations before you can even consider seeking Canadian citizenship. You must apply for Canadian citizenship, as any other application, and meet the requirements.

I am Canadian. My children were born outside Canada. Are they Canadian?

On April 17, 2009, the rules changed for people born outside of Canada. You still qualify if:

  • One parent was born in Canada or
  • One parent became a Canadian citizen by immigrating to Canada and was later granted citizenship, this is known as naturalization

Like most things in immigration there's an exemption to this rule. The above does not apply to children born outside of Canada in the second or subsequent generation if their parents are working outside of Canada as an employee of the Canadian government, Canadian Province or territory, or serving outside Canada with the Canadian forces.

Can I count any time I've spent outside of Canada toward the residence requirement?

You can only count time outside of Canada toward the residence requirement in certain circumstances. The time that can be considered outside of Canada towards your citizenship can only be if you spend time with a spouse who was a Canadian citizen working abroad at the time with the:

  • Federal public administration of Canada
  • Public service in a province
  • Canadian armed forces

If you have spent time outside of Canada in any of the way that is not listed above then unfortunately it does not count as time you can put towards your citizenship application. The above rules do not apply for residency obligations for permanent residents.

Contact Akrami & Associates Immigration Law firm


For further information with respect to your Canadian immigration we invite you to contact our experienced immigration representatives.

Tags: Canadian Citizenship Canadian Immigration Determining Your Eligibility

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