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Citizenship

Canadians are proud of their citizenship and the status, rights, and freedoms that it provides.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)is the federal department that manages Canadian citizenship, both for those applying for citizenship and for current Canadian citizens. Since 2010, Canada has welcomed an average of more than 260,000 permanent residents each year. Many of these newcomers are in the process of becoming Canadian citizens, and many more will apply for Canadian citizenship in the future. When that process is complete, they take loyalty oaths pledging their commitment to the responsibilities and privileges of Canadian citizenship.

To be eligible for Canadian citizenship, applicants must meet certain criteria.

In order to be eligible for Canadian citizenship, the following requirements must be met:

  • Applicants must have Canadian permanent resident status and have lived in Canada for at least three years (1,095 days) out of the past  five years before applying.
  • Children under 18 must also have permanent resident status, but do not have to satisfy the four-year requirement.
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.For children under 18 years, the application can be made by the child's parent, adoptive parent, or legal guardian, who is already a Canadian citizen or who is in the process of applying for citizenship at the same time.
  • Applicants must be able to speak either one or both of Canada's two official languages (English or French) well enough to communicate in Canadian society.
  • Individuals between the ages of 18 and 54 must submit proof of language proficiency.
  • Applicants cannot have a criminal history considered prohibitive to granting Canadian citizenship.
  • Applicants must be aware the rights and responsibilities of citizens and have a basic knowledge of Canada's geography, political system and history.
  • Applicants must submit a formal application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and pay a government processing fee and a right of citizenship fee.

Eligible candidates can apply for Canadian citizenship. Once approved, they will be required to take a citizenship test (for applicants between 18 and 54). Successful applicants must then attend a citizenship ceremony where they receive a certificate of Canadian citizenship and officially become new Canadian citizens.

Requirements as of June 11, 2015
Adult applicants must now be physically present in Canada for at least 1,460 days (4 years) during the six years before the date of their application
Applicants must be physically present in Canada for at least 183 days in each of four calendar years within the qualifying period
Applicants between the ages of 14 and 64 must meet basic knowledge and language requirements.
Citizenship will be automatically extended to additional “Lost Canadians” on June 11th, who were born before 1947, and did not become citizens on January 1, 1947 when the first Canadian Citizenship Act came into effect.
Adult applicants must declare their intent to reside in Canada once they become citizens and meet their personal income tax obligations in order to be eligible for citizenship.
Stronger penalties for fraud and misrepresentation (to a maximum fine of $100,000 and/or up to five years in prison).
Only members of the ICCRC (consultants), lawyers or notaries (including paralegals and students at law) can be paid to provide citizenship applicants with representation or advice.
Absence days calculation: neither the day you leave Canada nor the day you return is considered an absence. Both are counted as days of physical presence
Processing and Right of Citizenship fees: $630 CAN


Language Requirements

In order to prove language proficiency, applicants must submit one of the following documents:

  • Results from a CIC-approved third party test; or
  • Transcripts or a diploma from a secondary or post-secondary education in English or French; or
  • Evidence of achieving Canadian Level Benchmark (CLB) 4 or higher in certain government language programs.