What Does Canadian Citizenship Mean?
As a permanent resident in Canada, you might want to become a naturalised and fully-fledged citizen of Canada by applying for Canadian Citizenship. The Canadian citizenship act allows residents of Canada to obtain citizenship regardless of their nationality. Naturalisation is not the only way to become a Canadian citizen. A Canadian parent with permanent resident status can apply for citizenship for their adopted children, while individuals born in Canada can also get Canadian citizenship.
However, our focus is on how to achieve Canadian Citizenship through naturalisation. There are several benefits Canadian citizens offer you which aren’t applicable if you are still a Canadian permanent resident.
For many people, Canadian Citizenship is more than just a passport. It is a way of life that values diversity, inclusion, and respect for others. Canadian Citizenship also comes with rights and responsibilities. As a citizen, you have the right to vote, the right to live and work in Canada, and the right to apply for a passport. You also have the responsibility to obey the law, pay taxes, and help build a strong and prosperous Canada. Canadian Citizenship is a privilege that comes with great responsibility. When you become a citizen, you become part of something larger than yourself. You become part of a community that values your contributions and respects your rights.
A Canadian citizen has the right to the following:
- The right to be voted for and vote for public office.
- The right to put in an application for some government jobs requiring high-security clearance.
- The Canadian passport has the power to travel visa-free to more than 180 countries.
- You will never have to worry about losing your status. You can also decide to spend as much time as you want outside or inside Canada without worrying about Canadian immigration control.
However, you meet the different eligibility requirements, prove your English/French language skills, and finally pass the Canadian citizenship test and interview to become a Canadian citizen.
- What Does Canadian Citizenship Mean?
- Eligibility Requirement for Canadian Citizenship
- Minimum Residency Requirements to Apply for Canadian Citizenship
- Language Requirements to Apply for Canadian Citizenship
- How to Apply for Canadian Citizenship
- Documents Required to Apply for Canadian Citizenship
- How Long Does It Take and How Much Does It Cost?
- Handling The Citizenship Test and Interview
- How Can IAS Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Eligibility Requirement for Canadian Citizenship
To be eligible to apply for Citizenship in Canada, it is essential that you:
- Are a permanent resident of Canada. Besides being a permanent resident, you must not have unfulfilled conditions relating to your permanent residency status, like medical screening. In addition, Canadian officials mustn’t have asked you to leave the country (removal order), and you must not be under review for fraud or immigration reasons.
- Must pass a citizenship test
- Prove your English/French language skills
- Must have your taxes filled
- Must have lived in Canada for a minimum of three of the past five years
You must attend the citizenship ceremony and take the oath of Citizenship if you are one of the successful applicants to become a citizen of Canada. Also, certain situations warrant different or additional requirements. Such situations include:
- If you are a former Canadian citizen and want to reinstate your Canadian Citizenship.
- If you are a former or current Canadian Armed forces (CAF) member and you are applying under a fast-track process.
- If you are a Canadian citizen and are applying for an adopted child that was not born in Canada.
- If you are applying for someone under the age of 18.
It is important to note that you cannot become a citizen of Canada automatically by marrying a Canadian citizen. However, you can become a citizen of Canada if your parent or grandparent is a Canadian.
Minimum Residency Requirements to Apply for Canadian Citizenship
An applicant must meet the minimum requirement for physical presence before applying for Canadian citizenship. The physical presence requirement requires you to be in Canada for at least three of the last five years before the application date. The equivalent of this is 1,095 days.
You should use more than the minimum number of days required in Canada to ensure that the minimum requirement is met, even if issues or calculations error arises. While doing a calculation of the time you have spent in Canada, it is also possible for you to include the time you have spent:
- Outside Canada as a crown servant or a member of the family of a crown servant.
- Inside Canada as a protected person or temporary resident.
You should also note that any time spent serving a sentence for any offence in Canada (like parole, probation, or imprisonment) does not count when calculating physical presence.
Language Requirements to Apply for Canadian Citizenship
If you fall between the ages of 18 and 54 as of the date you signed your citizenship application, you must prove your ability to listen and speak at a certain level in either French or English before you can become a citizen of Canada. For Citizenship, the minimum requirement for language on the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) is level 4. What this means is that:
- You can understand simple questions, instructions, and directions.
- You can participate in short, everyday conversations on familiar topics.
- You can demonstrate you know enough common phrases and words to express yourself and answer questions adequately.
- You understand and can use basic grammar, including simple tenses and structures.
Asides from meeting the required CLB level, there are also a few other methods employed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to measure your language skills. These include:
- Taking note of your level of communication when you speak to a citizenship official during your application process.
- Assessing the proof sent with your citizenship application.
- Evaluating your language level when communicating with the citizenship official during a hearing if it is necessary.
How to Apply for Canadian Citizenship
It is possible to apply for Canadian Citizenship on paper or online. There are two forms you must fill out to apply for Canadian Citizenship. The forms are a document checklist (CIT 0007) and an application for Canadian Citizenship – adults (CIT 0002). The second form (CIT 0002) is the form for the citizenship application itself. The CIT 0007, on the other hand, is a checklist of the supporting documents you must have included in your citizenship application (this checklist must also be included in your application).
All the questions on the citizenship application form must be answered and filled unless you are otherwise instructed. It is possible that you also need to fill the forms below if your situation demands it:
- Use of a Representative (IMM 5476)
- Residence outside Canada (CIT 0177)
- Request to change sex or a Gender identifier (IRM 0002)
- Request to correct date of birth for Citizenship (CIT 0464)
After all the needed forms must have been completed, the next step is for you to pay the application fees. The application fees must be paid whether you submit your Citizenship application on paper or online. After paying your application fees, you can submit your citizenship application alongside your supporting documents. Suppose you are making your application as a group or as a family, and you want your applications for Citizenship to be processed together. In that case, all the applications must be placed in just one envelope. All paper applications are to be sent to IRCC’s case processing centre located in Sydney, Nova Scotia.
Documents Required to Apply for Canadian Citizenship
When submitting your application for Canadian Citizenship, the following are the supporting documents you will need to provide:
- Coloured photocopies of your passport pages or travel documents during the five-year eligibility period.
- Printed copy of the form CIT 0407 or online physical presence calculation.
- Photocopies of two forms of personal identification like a driver’s licence, health insurance card, travel document or valid passport, or a permanent resident card issued by the Canadian government.
- Photocopies of proof of French or English language skills if you fall between the ages of 18 and 54. Proof can be:
- Transcripts, certificates, or diplomas from a post-secondary or secondary education program abroad or in Canada, where the language of instruction was French or English.
- Result of a third-party English or French language test.
- Proof of reaching at least level 4 of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) through a language training program funded by the government.
- A receipt showing payment of application fees.
- Two identical citizenship photographs.
Suppose you fall between the age bracket of 18 and 54 and cannot prove that you possess the necessary French or English language skill due to a certain medical condition. In that case, you can submit evidence to support your claim alongside your application.
How Long Does It Take and How Much Does It Cost?
For those 18 and above, a Canadian citizenship application costs CAD 630. For those under 18, a Canadian citizenship application costs CAD 100. If you submit more than one application for Citizenship at once, you will be required to pay for all the applications together.
It can take about 27 months for your citizenship application to be processed. However, this varies and depends on the schedule of the IRCC. The time of submission and the volume of citizenship applications received often affect how long it takes to get a decision.
Handling The Citizenship Test and Interview
If your citizenship application is approved, you are going to be invited to the citizenship test and interview. You should receive an invitation a few weeks after receiving the AOR letter. Afterwards, you will receive a notification on the date, time, and location between one to two weeks before the test.
The test is for 30 minutes, and it is made up of 20 questions. The test questions are largely on the responsibilities and rights of Canadians and Canada’s geography, history, government, economy, symbols, and laws. Applicants can take the test in either French or English, and you must answer at least 15 questions correctly to pass the test.
The benefits of Canadian Citizenship are clear, but the process of becoming a citizen is demanding. That’s why it’s important to get professional help with your application. At our IAS, we have helped many people successfully navigate the process and obtain their Canadian Citizenship. We can do the same for you. Contact us today for more information or to get started on your application.
Call us on 0333 305 9375 for immediate help and assistance with information on Canadian Citizenship, what it means to become a Canadian citizen and how you can apply for Canadian Citizenship. We are here to help you in person, via the phone, or online.
Last modified on August 25th, 2023 at 10:28 am
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