It is the dream of many that come to Canada to receive Canadian Citizenship. Obtaining citizenship is not simply a matter of living in Canada, it is a matter of meeting the basic criteria required for such an application. Those who obtain citizenship in Canada are offered the luxuries of all Canadians and can enjoy the many benefits that Canada has to offer.
What is a citizenship application?
Applying for citizenship is the final step in the immigration process. It signifies a commitment to Canada and your intention to call Canada your home. Once you become a citizen of Canada you will never need to renew your status, and become a permanent member of the Canadian economy and society.
Do I qualify for citizenship in Canada?
In order to qualify for citizenship in Canada you must meet the basic criteria as listed below:
- Must be at least 18 years of age,
- You must be a permanent resident of Canada,
- You must have resided in Canada for at least three of the last four years,
- You must not have any inadmissibility,
- You must pass a citizenship test an interview
What documents will I require for a citizenship application?
You will need to provide documentation that attests to the basic requirements of the citizenship application. Among such documents can be proof of your permanent resident status in Canada; proof that you have resided in Canada for at least three of the last four years; and proof that you meet basic language requirements depending on your age. Note that if you are between the ages of 18 and 54 you will have to send proof of your ability to speak and listen in English or French along with your citizenship application.
How long is the process to getting my citizenship in Canada?
The processing times of a citizenship application are divided into two main categories: routine citizenship applications and non routine citizenship applications. But processing times for routine citizenship application can take 25 months, whereas a non routine citizenship application can take up to 35 months.
A routine application is considered one of where all the necessary documents and correct fees have been received; you meet the basic residency requirements; are not subject to any removal of Canada; meet the basic requirements for language; passing knowledge test of Canada; and do not need to meet a citizenship judge. Further, such applications do not require any further documentation.
A non routine application is one where further documentation has been requested; not all the necessary documents have been received; you been asked to provide a residence questionnaire; you do not meet the language requirements; you fail or are unable to write the knowledge of Canada test; and you require a hearing with a citizenship judge.
This is why it is essential to make certain that when submitting an application for citizenship you submit all the proper documentation to the best of your ability.
What benefits do I receive from being a citizen of Canada?
After successfully obtaining citizenship in Canada you've also obtained the various rights and benefits that all Canadians enjoy. These benefits include:
- The right to apply for Canadian passport
- The right to vote
- The right to live outside Canada with no time limit
- The right to be a candidate in the Federal provincial and territorial action
- Preference for jobs in the Federal government
- The right to pass Canadian citizenship to your children born outside of Canada
- Easier travel to United States
- Universal Health Care provided by Canada
Am I able to apply for citizenship in Canada for myself and my family?
You're able to apply for your children at the same time as you apply for yourself or even wait until you are a citizen first and then subsequently sponsor your children.
Will I need to write a test for my citizenship application?
To become a citizen, you must understand the rights, responsibilities and privileges of citizenship. You must also demonstrate an understanding of Canada's history, values, institutions and symbols. Once you submit an application for citizenship in Canada, citizenship and immigration Canada will provide you with a free study guide. You will need to familiarize yourself with this knowledge in order to be successful in your citizenship test. During a citizenship test you will be asked questions about:
- The right to vote and right to run for elected office
- Elections procedures
- The rights and responsibilities of a citizen
- Canadian social and cultural history and symbols
- Canadian political history
- Canadian physical and political geography
In order to become a citizen you must demonstrate adequate knowledge of all the above.
If I have a criminal offence can I apply for my citizenship in Canada?
Permanent residents who have committed crimes in Canada may not be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship. You may be considered under prohibition and cannot get citizenship if you:
- Are currently serving a sentence
- Have been convicted of a serious crime in the last three years
- Are currently charged with a serious crime
- Are under a removal order
- Are under investigation for, charged with, or have been convicted of a war crime or a crime against humanity
- Had your Canadian citizenship taken away in the last five years
If you fall under one of the above categories, this does not necessarily mean you will never be able to have your citizenship in Canada. In many cases you simply need to apply for a Pardon or Record Suspension first.
Contact Akrami & Associates Immigration Law firm1-416-477-2545
For further information with respect to your Canadian immigration we invite you to contact our experienced immigration representatives.