Shabnam Akrami Blogs

Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

Apply for Canadian Citizenship

Apply for Canadian Citizenship

Why apply for Canadian Citizenship?

Wondering why one should bother with applying for Canadian citizenship if you are already a Permanent Resident of Canada? Well, there are many reasons as to why one should apply for Canadian citizenship because citizenship gives you many privileges which are not available to permanent residents of Canada. Some of these privileges include being able to vote, you cannot be deported, continue getting social benefits, can get involved in politics, you can travel easily without having to worry about your PR card expiring, you can get consular support, can work in any job, your children born in Canada become Canadians automatically without having to go through the same process as you did, you don’t have to worry about meeting residency requirements and much more.

Who can apply for Canadian Citizenship?

To be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship you must meet the following requirements which include age, permanent resident status, time you have lived in Canada, income tax filing, intent to reside, language skills, how well you know Canada and prohibitions.

AGE

You have to be 18 years of age or older to be able to apply for Canadian citizenship. If you are under the age of 18, you can only apply if you are the child’s parent, adoptive parent or legal guardian. Also, as the under age child you must have permanent resident status and one parent must be Canadian citizen or apply to become a citizen at the same time. These rule also applies to adoptive parents.

PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS

Another eligibility criteria you need to meet to apply for Canadian citizenship is having Permanent Resident Status (PR) in Canada. Not only have PR status but also have met all the conditions as PR card holder. Meaning you cannot:

  • Be under review for fraud or immigration reasons

  • Be under a removal order

  • Have unfilled condition on your PR card such not meeting residency requirements

    Also, you can apply for citizenship if you have expired PR card and even if it is lost or stolen. As long as you meet conditions set on your PR card.

TIME YOU HAVE RESIDED IN CANADA

Being physically present in Canada as permanent resident is another important factor to obtaining your Canadian citizenship. As the permanent resident you must have resided in Canada for at least 1,460 days during the six years immediately before the date of your application. Also within 6 years of filing your citizenship application you need to be present in Canada for at least 183 days during each of four calendar years. The requirements do not apply to you if you are younger than 18 years of age. Residency requirements can only be counted after you have become permanent resident of Canada.

FILING INCOME TAX

If you work in Canada and you have not declared your taxes you cannot apply for citizenship. You have to meet your income tax obligations within the past six years of four taxation years before applying.

INTENT TO LIVE IN CANADA PERMANENTLY

A lot of time when persons become permanent resident of Canada they leave and decide to live someone else. This can cause problems with renewing your PR card and applying for citizenship in the future. If you want to obtain Canadian citizenship your intent must be to permanently live in Canada. Once you have obtained citizenship you can remain, exit or stay in Canada.

LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

In order to apply for citizenship you have to have adequate knowledge in English or French. English and French are Canada’s two official languages and in order to apply you need to be able follow simple instructions, directions, able to participate in simple conversations, able to express yourself using common words and phrases. So if you are between 14 to 64 for years of age when submitting your application for citizenship you have provide supporting documents to prove you can speak and listen in English or French. The immigration officer may also conduct an interview to see how well you understand and speak English or French. The final decision is made by the immigration officer.

HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW CANADA

How well you know Canada is another important aspect of obtaining your Canadian citizenship. So you must ensure your know your rights, responsibilities and privileges of citizenship, such as being able to vote during elections and obeying Canadian laws. Either in English or French you must understand Canada’s history, values, institutions and symbols.

If you are between 14 to 64 years of age, you are required to take the citizenship test and your knowledge will be tested and how well you know Canada. Luckily, you are provided study guide and the test is based on the guide. Study that and you should be able to ace the test successfully.

WHO CANNOT APPLY

If you have committed an offence inside or outside of Canada you may not be able to apply for citizenship for certain period of time. For instance if you are in prison, on parole or probation, or are serving a sentence outside of Canada. You cannot apply until everything has been served and completed and sufficient time has passed. Also, if you were convicted of an indictable offence inside or outside of Canada within the four years you cannot apply for citizenship. Also, having a charge, being on trial or involved in an appeal inside or outside Canada you cannot apply.

Also if you are in prison or parole you cannot count that towards your time of living in Canada. If you are on probation and got convicted that also cannot be counted towards your time of living in Canada.

Contact Akrami & Associates

If you like to apply for Canadian citizenship but not sure if you meet the requirements to apply then contact Akrami & Associates today at 416-477-2545. Our immigration experts can determine your eligibility to apply and assist you with submitting a successful application. Not only will they assist you with the application process but prepare you for the citizenship test.

With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!

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