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How to Apply for Canadian Citizenship
Applying for Canadian Citizenship
Getting Canadian citizenship does not mean you will just gain a blue passport. Canadian citizens do experience many privileges and beyond those that permanent residents have. For example, Canadian citizens have the opportunity to exercise their democratic right to vote and even more, actually become involved with a political party or leadership campaign. Furthermore, you have the freedom to travel without worrying that you permanent residency will expire while you are out of the country, and you won’t have to worry if you aren’t able to meet the residency requirements of permanent residents. But this is not all, there are more benefits! The children you have in Canada are automatically Canadian citizens, and will not have to endure the same process you once did. If you’d like to learn more information about how to become a Canadian citizen, then continue to read this blog.
Who can apply for Canadian Citizenship
To be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship you must meet the following requirements:
1. Age requirements
To apply for Canadian citizenship, you must be at least 18 years of age or older. Children under the age of 18 can only apply if you are the child’s parent, adoptive parent or legal guardian; your children will be included in your application. Though, under age children must have permanent resident status themselves and one of the legal guardians must already be a Canadian citizen or apply to become a citizen at the same time, so that the child can be included in legal guardian’s application.
2. Permanent resident status
As briefly mentioned, you must have permanent resident status to apply for Canadian citizenship. Simply having status as a permanent resident is not enough though, you must meet all the conditions required as a permanent resident. This means:
• You cannot be under review for fraud or immigration reasons,
• You cannot be under a removal order,
• You cannot have unfilled permanent residency conditions, such as not meeting the length of residency requirements
Please note, 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.
3. Time you have resided in Canada/ Residency Requirements
You must spend a minimum length of time in Canada as a permanent resident to be eligible for Canadian citizenship. As a permanent resident you must have resided in Canada for been physically in Canada for at least 1,095 days in the five years before you apply.
Please note, residency requirements do not apply to individuals who are younger than 18 years of age.
5. Intent to live in Canada permanently
To apply to be a Canadian citizen successfully, you must clearly demonstrate intent to live in Canada permanently. This is the purpose of the residency requirements individuals are subject to as permanent residents.
4. Filing income tax
You need to file income taxes (if required by the Income Tax Act) for any three taxation years that are fully or partially within the five years before you apply
5. Language requirements
The official languages used in Canada are English and French. Therefore, to truly be engaged with Canadian society, and to get a job for example, you must have satisfactory knowledge of either English or French. The language requirement applies to individuals who are between 14 to 64 years old. If you fall within this age group, you must include supporting documents proving you have the ability to speak and listen in English or French.
6. How well do you know Canada
Finally, an immigration officer will also assess you knowledge of Canada, as this demonstrates an effort to engage with society and learn about Canadian life. Ultimately, this helps demonstrate intent to settle in Canada permanently. An immigration officer will conduct a written test to assess your knowledge of your rights, Canada’s history, values, institutions and symbols, responsibilities and privileges of citizenship in either English or French. If you are between 14 to 64 years of age, you must take the citizenship test and prove to an immigration officer you have good knowledge of Canada. Please note, there is a study guide available and the test is based on the guide. Studying this will help you truly understand Canada’s history, values, institutions and symbols, so that you can be successful on the day of your citizenship test.
Who Cannot Apply
Not everyone who meets the aforementioned requirements can apply for citizenship. If you have committed a criminal offence inside or outside of Canada, you may not be able to apply for citizenship for certain period of time. You will need to have paid fines, finished parole/ probation, and completed extra anger or drug management programs. From the time all conditions are completed, you cannot apply for a Canadian citizenship for a minimum of four years.
Contact Akrami and Associates
Preparing for the citizenship application can be exhausting and overwhelming. It is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Akrami & Associates work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients obtain Canadian citizenship. So, if you want to become a Canadian citizen, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!