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

How to Qualify for Canadian Citizenship

How to Qualify for Canadian Citizenship

Canadian Citizenship Changes

Since June 11, 2015 there have been changes to obtaining your Canadian Citizenship. One of these changes include being physically present in Canada for four years over the six year period. Prior to the change you only had to be physically present in Canada three out of the four year period. To keep your Permanent Residence (PR) status you must be in Canada two years out of the five year period. Should you happen not to meet the two year condition then your PR status may get revoked and sent to Immigration Appeal Division for a hearing before final removal of PR status and removal from Canada. Therefore, upon meeting the requirements for Canadian Citizenship it is recommended to apply for citizenship as soon as possible to avoid having your PR status revoked. There are many benefits when you obtain your Canadian Citizenship status such as not having to go through process of renewing your PR card or being stuck outside of Canada with an expired PR card, not limited to certain jobs, you don’t have to be afraid of getting deported, able to vote, get social assistance, travel easily and much more.

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 to Apply for Canadian Citizenship?

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 Reasons 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 Canadian 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.

Based on what Reasons can my Citizenship Application be Refused?

Your citizenship application can be rejected for many reasons such as not submitting the documentation that was requested, not showing up for your interview or citizenship test, miss your hearing, not show up for the citizenship ceremony.

What happens if my Citizenship Application gets refused?

If your Canadian citizenship is rejected, you will be informed with a letter from Citizenship and Immigration Canada explaining why it got rejected and what you can do next!!

Submitting your own citizenship application is not as easy as it might seem. The application can be quite headache as you need a lot of documents to show that you meet the requirements for citizenship. Many applicants calculate their residency requirements wrong which plays an important part of the application. To avoid delays in obtaining your Canadian citizenship it is recommended to hire a professional to get it done right way the first time around!!

Contact Akrami & Associates

Our immigration experts have many years of experience dealing with citizenship applications, so please pick up the phone and consider contacting one of our immigration lawyers so that they can guide you through the process and help you submit a successful application for citizenship. Please call our office at 416-477-2545 or call our toll free number at 1-877-820-712. If you have started your citizenship application and like one of the professionals to review your application you can visit our office at 4275 Village Centre Court, Suite L02, Mississauga, and Ontario, Canada.

With Akrami and Associates there is always a way!!

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