Shabnam Akrami Blogs

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

How to Qualify and Obtain my Canadian Citizenship

How to Qualify and Obtain my Canadian Citizenship

Canadian Citizenship:

Citizenship goes beyond permanent residence and allows you access to all rights and responsibilities of being a Canadian. For example you will be able to vote or run for government, receive health care coverage, live, work, and study anywhere in Canada.

How old do I have to be to apply for Canadian citizenship?

To obtain your Canadian citizenship you have to be 18 years of age. If you want to apply for a minor child you have to be the parent, adoptive parent or the legal guardian. In order to apply for the minor child you also have to be a Canadian citizen or applying for citizenship at the same time as the minor child.

Do I have to have permanent resident status to qualify for Canadian citizenship?

Yes, you need to have permanent resident status in Canada with no criminalities or removal orders to be eligible for Canadian citizenship. If your PR card has expired you can still apply for citizenship as long as you are not under review by immigration Canada.

How long do I have to live in Canada to be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship?

You have to have lived in Canada for 1,460 days in the six years before the date you sign your application. During the four year period you have to be physically present in Canada for at least 183 days.

Do I have to show my income tax return?

Yes, according to the new rules by immigration Canada you have to show you have filed your income tax for four out of the six year period you have been living as permanent resident in Canada.

Can I leave Canada once I obtain my citizenship?

In order to obtain your Canadian citizenship you have to demonstrate to immigration Canada that your intentions are to remain in Canada and not exit the country once you obtain your citizenship as you might risk your application being denied or revoked.

Do I have to speak English or French fluently to obtain my Canadian citizenship?

No, you don’t need to speak English or French fluently to become a Canadian citizen, but in order to qualify you must show basic language abilities such being able to follow directions, participate in conversations, understanding of basic grammar etc. If you are proficient in one of these languages this can increase your chance of receiving a Canadian Citizenship. You may also be required to provide proof for example a certificate to show you are knowledgeable in either language. You can submit this proof along with your application. If you fail to submit this information and you have already claimed that you are proficient in either language the application will not be accepted.

I don’t know much about Canada, will this affect my citizenship application?

Yes, if you don’t understand your rights, responsibilities and privileges of citizenship this could affect your application. Also, to have successful application you will need to know about Canadian history, what it values, Canadian institutions and symbols. It will be recommended to have general knowledge about Canada prior to taking the citizenship test.

On what grounds can I be denied Canadian citizenship?

If you have committed a crime and are in prison, parole or on probation inside or outside of Canada you may be refused citizenship by Immigration Canada for a period of time. If you are serving a sentence or are on parole you will not be able to count those days as your time in Canada to apply for citizenship.

I have submitted my citizenship application, what is next?

Once you have submitted your citizenship application you have to wait until Citizenship and Immigration Canada sends you a confirmation that they have received your application. Your second notice will be an invitation by Citizenship and Immigration Canada for an interview with the immigration officer and have to bring a list of documents requested by the immigration office.

Who has to take the Canadian citizenship test?

When applying for citizenship and you are between 14 to 64 years of age you need to take the citizenship test. Citizenship and Immigration Canada sends you a study guide so that you can come prepared for the test. Once all the required documents are received by immigration Canada and fees have been paid you will get a notice when your test is. In order to pass the test you need to know the basics about Canada. For instance you need to know Canada’s lakes, rivers, and mountains. Also know a little about what countries Canada is colonized with. You need to have an understanding of the Canada’s history, values, institution, and symbols.

If I miss my Citizenship test can I re-take it?

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) sends you three notices, the first being to write the test. If you happen to miss the test contact CIC and let them know why you missed the test within 30 days. If Citizenship and Immigration Canada finds your reasons valid then you get a new test date. If you did not contact CIC and give a valid reason you automatically get rescheduled for another date to take the test but it will be considered as a final notice. If you have had called and given good reason then it will be considered as a first notice. If you missed your final notice and did not provide a valid reason within the 30 day period your application will be closed and have to re-apply again for citizenship application.

I failed my citizenship test can I rewrite it?

Yes, if you failed your citizenship test you get multiple chances to rewrite it. You will get a letter to rewrite your test for a specific date. If you happen to miss the test you have to provide valid reason of why you missed it to get another chance if you it’s not valid then your application will be closed and have to reapply again.

If I marry a Canadian citizen do I automatically get my citizenship?

Marrying a Canadian does NOT give you citizenship; you have to follow the same procedure as everyone else applying for Canadian citizenship. You have to meet the requirement criteria to apply for citizenship.

Can I be citizen of two countries?

With the Canadian law you can be citizen of another country, but you might lose your citizenship from another country because some countries will not let you keep their citizenship if you become Canadian citizen. You would have to call and find out if you will lose your citizenship if you apply for Canadian citizenship.

I have submitted my citizenship application can I leave the country?

You do not need to stay in Canada while your application is in process, but as long as it does not affect your application such as meeting residency requirements, your intentions and not missing any scheduled appointments made by Citizenship and Immigration Canada unless providing a valid reason in advance.

Can I be granted my citizenship fast?

In order for your citizenship application to processed fast it has to be a special case such as not being able to work, go to school, visit a family member abroad for emergency reasons etc. In order for your application to be taken care of fast you still have to meet eligibility criteria to apply for citizenship, meeting residency requirements and of course the emergency has to be legit. If you meet all requirements it does not mean it will be processed for the time you want it too, but CIC will try to complete it as fast as possible.

Should I hire an immigration lawyer to help me with my application?

Filing immigration applications can be quite a headache and stressful situation for most people. There are many documents Citizenship and Immigration Canada looks for in order to be successful in the process. Some individuals don’t know how to calculate the residency requirements or make errors in the application in which you have to go through process all over again. The immigration officer can reject your application with the slightest error on your application and make you re-do the process. Therefore, it is recommended to get the help from and immigration expert so that your application is error free the first time you submit!! If you have started the process and just wanted a review on your application please do so we can catch the errors prior to submitting your application.

Contact Akrami & Associates

Our immigration experts have many years of experience dealing with citizenship applications, if you have questions in regards to your application or need help with completing your citizenship application or have any other enquiries please feel free to contact us and we will be glad to assist you with your immigration matter. Contact us at 416-477-2545 or call our toll free number at 1-877-820-7121

With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!

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