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How Long Does it Take to Get Canadian Citizenship After PR

If you’re a Canadian permanent resident, you can get citizenship after living in the country for 3 years (calculated from your last five years in the country). Additionally, the citizenship application processing time can take several months, and it’s vital to understand these timings to help you plan your immigration journey.

For more information on switching from Canadian permanent residency to citizenship, including how to apply and what to expect after your application, reach out to one of our expert legal advisers. Call us at +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online today.


How Long Does it Take to Get Canadian Citizenship after PR: An Overview

The timeline for obtaining Canadian citizenship after becoming a permanent resident includes two major factors: the time spent toward meeting the residency requirement and the citizenship application processing time. 

First, as a permanent resident, you must reside physically in Canada for at least 1,095 days (three years) before applying for citizenship. Your residency period will be calculated from your last five years of living in Canada before the date on your application. 

Once you submit a citizenship application, the processing time can range from 26 months to several years, depending on factors such as the volume of applications, the completeness of documents, and your personal situation.

When to Apply for Canadian Citizenship

If you’re a permanent resident in Canada, you should only apply for citizenship when you’ve met the residency requirement. You should also ensure that you meet other eligibility requirements before applying. Otherwise, your application may be denied. 

If you’re uncertain about your eligibility for citizenship, speak to an immigration lawyer. Our immigration lawyers at IAS can help you determine if you’re qualified and advise you on the right time to submit an application. Call us at +1 844 290 6312 to get started.

Requirements for Becoming a Canadian Citizen

To become a Canadian citizen, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a permanent resident of Canada
  • Have lived in Canada for at least 3 years within the last 5 years. 
  • Demonstrate proof of language proficiency in English or French.
  • Pass a test on your rights, responsibilities, and duties as a Canadian citizen and demonstrate your knowledge of the country. 
  • Filed your taxes if applicable.

You will not be eligible for citizenship if you’re serving a prison term or on parole or probation. However, you can apply once your conviction has been spent. Be aware that any time spent serving a sentence or on parole or probation will not count towards the residency requirement.

Additionally, your permanent residency status must not be in question. It means you must not be:

  • Under investigation for fraud or immigration reasons,
  • Be subject to a removal order or 
  • Have unfulfilled conditions related to your PR status, such as if you’ve not completed a medical screening.

Residency Requirements

You must provide proof that you have lived physically in Canada for 3 years within the last 5 years prior to the date on your application. Your minimum residency time must be equivalent to 1,095 days.

However, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recommends applying with more than the minimum of 1,095 days in case of a problem with the calculation. 

You may also be able to include the time you have spent in the last five years:

  • 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.

Each day you spend in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person will count as a half day, and you can only add a total of 365 days from these to your residency time. 

Be aware that children under 18 with permanent residence status do not need to meet the minimum residency requirement. 

Filing Taxes

As part of the citizenship requirement, you must file your personal income tax for at least three years within the five years before you submit your application. 

Even if you lived in Canada for only part of a year, you must pay taxes if: 

  • You are required to pay tax for that year
  • You want to get benefits and credit payments
  • You want to claim a refund

Passing the Canadian Citizenship Test

If you’re between the ages of 18 and 54, you’re to take a citizenship test after submitting your application.

The test is made up of 20 questions on Canada’s history, economy, government, laws, and symbols. It will prove your knowledge of the rights and responsibilities of a Canadian. 

Demonstrating Language Proficiency

You’ll need to prove that you can speak either English or French proficiently if you’re between 18 and 54. You must meet the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) of level 4 or higher in listening and speaking. 

The IRCC will assess your language skills at an interview and through the approved language tests.

people gathering in front of Toronto signage in Canada

Obtain expert assistance from our immigration advisers to secure Canadian citizenship today.

Documents Required to Apply for Canadian Citizenship

Here are the documents you’ll need to apply for citizenship in Canada:

  • Coloured photocopies of your passport pages or travel documents
  • Original printout of CIT 0407 or the Online Physical Presence Calculation.
  • Two identical photographs
  • Proof of payment of application fees.
  • Two personal identification documents, such as a driver’s licence, a permanent residence card, or a health insurance card.
  • Proof of language proficiency.

How to Apply for Canadian Citizenship

You can apply for Canadian citizenship either online or by submitting a paper application. 

If you’re applying online, you must create an account on the Canadian immigration portal and fill out the application forms. 

For paper applications, you must get an application package from the Canadian government. It will contain all your application forms, which you must fill out and submit via mail or courier.

After submitting your application, you will receive an acknowledgement of receipt (AOR). You’ll be invited to attend an interview and take the citizenship test a few weeks later.

If you pass the test and satisfy the requirements, you will be invited to participate in a citizenship ceremony. You must be 14 years or older to attend the ceremony.

During the ceremony, you’ll take an Oath of Citizenship, receive your citizenship certificate, and sign the affirmation of citizenship or oath form. Afterwards, you can use your citizenship certificate to apply for a Canadian passport.

Applying for Canadian Citizenship can be complex. Contact us for a hassle-free experience.

Canadian Citizenship Cost

You must pay the citizenship fee when submit your application. If you’re 18 and above, you will pay CAD 530 processing fees and a right of citizenship fee of CAD 100. You’ll only pay a processing fee of CAD 100 if you’re below 18. 

Canadian Citizenship Application Processing Time

You will typically receive a decision on your application within 16 months and will get your citizenship 10 months afterward. This makes it a total of 26 months. 

The processing time can increase if your application is complex, requires more documentation, or the IRCC has a backlog of applications to review.

Rights and Responsibilities of Canadian Citizens

Here are some benefits you’ll enjoy when you become a Canadian citizen:

  1. Voting rights: If you’re over 18, you can exercise a right to vote across federal, provincial, and municipal elections.
  2. Run for office: As a citizen, you can also contest for elective office.
  3. Freedom to travel: With your Canadian passport, you can travel visa-free to several countries. You can also re-enter Canada easily when you travel. 
  4. Pass on citizenship to children: Your children will automatically become Canadian citizens as well, irrespective of where they were born.
  5. Live outside Canada: Unlike with permanent residency, you can live anywhere in the world as a Canadian citizen without losing your citizenship.

Don’t navigate the process alone. Let our top team of experts handle your Canadian Citizenship application.

How Can IAS Help You?

There are several benefits to becoming a Canadian citizen. However, the requirements are strict, and the application processing time can be lengthy.

If you require help with submitting a citizenship application, our lawyers at IAS can help you. We are an expert team of Canadian immigration lawyers who have helped several individuals achieve their citizenship dream.

We will help you prepare your application correctly and ensure you don’t encounter any delays in the process. 

If you’d like to speak with one of our lawyers, call us at +1 844 290 6312 or fill out the online contact form, and we’ll reach out to you.

Get in touch with our team today to learn more about our professional services.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can apply for Canadian citizenship with an expired PR card.

Yes, you can apply for citizenship from outside Canada. However, the application processing time may take longer.

Canadian immigration laws allow you to hold dual citizenship. As such, you might be able to keep your old citizenship or acquire a new one when you become a Canadian citizen.

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