Any Canadian or non-Canadian citizen can obtain Canadian Citizenship in three ways: The Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Provincial Nominee Program, and the Canadian Experience Class.
In addition to the requirements mentioned on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website, there are other factors that you should consider when applying for Canadian Citizenship, including your family’s ties to Canada and your ties to the country.
A Canadian passport will allow you to live, work, and travel in Canada without any restrictions.
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To qualify for Citizenship through naturalization, you’ll need to meet certain conditions under the Citizenship Act and Regulations (e.g., pass the language and knowledge tests).
Before you begin, make sure you have an up-to-date application form and contact information of an immigration officer in case you need assistance along the way.
What Are the Requirements for Canada Citizenship?
If you are a first-time applicant for Canadian Citizenship, the general requirements for naturalization are that you:
- Must be 18 years old or older;
- Have resided in Canada for at least three out of five years after being granted permanent resident status, with no absences from Canada of more than six months in total within this period.
- Know one of Canada’s official languages (English or French) as determined by the language test.
- In some cases, such as if you have been living abroad and want to resume your residence in Canada or if you do not meet all of the above criteria but can demonstrate that it would not be contrary to the national interest to grant you Citizenship, then there may be other ways to apply for Canadian Citizenship.
- You must file taxes annually and keep social insurance numbers up-to-date with Revenue Canada and Service Canada.
Applying for Canadian Citizenship
To apply for Canadian Citizenship, you must first become a permanent resident.
Either applying can do this for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program or a Provincial Nominee Program (Ontario).
You will then have to show that you intend to live in Canada, not just visit here.
You may also be asked about your criminal record, family connections to Canada, how you plan to settle in this country, and your knowledge of English, French, and culture.
When applying for Canadian Citizenship, you may be required to answer questions like; Who do you identify with? What do you believe is good about Canada? What’s your connection with Canada? What could be improved in Canada? What values do you share with Canadians?
How to Become a Canadian Citizen?
There are two ways that a person can become a Canadian citizen.
The first is to get your Citizenship through; Citizenship by birth or Citizenship by descent.
In these cases, you may already be a citizen of Canada and not even know it! You must fill out some paperwork and send it in to apply for Canadian Citizenship.
The second way is for people born outside of Canada but whose parents were born in Canada.
What Are the Responsibilities of a Canadian Citizen?
Canadian citizens have the right to vote, run for public office, hold public sector jobs, and start a business in Canada.
But Canadian citizens also have responsibilities.
They must obey laws and regulations, serve on jury duty when called, and register with their local police department if they own property.
These are just some of the many benefits of being a Canadian citizen.
What Are the Benefits of Canada Citizenship?
A Canadian citizen has the right to freedom of movement and employment, social assistance, education, travel outside Canada without needing a visa or permit, good working conditions and living standards, and protection from involuntary removal from Canada.
Once a person becomes a Canadian citizen, they are granted many rights, like voting for public office holders and running for public office in general.
In addition to these privileges, a Canadian passport allows you to obtain visa-free access to countries with strict visa requirements.
These benefits will allow you to feel confident that you are legally abiding by the laws and able to protect yourself against bureaucratic repercussions.
Where Should You Apply?
The citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website has all the information you need to apply for Canadian Citizenship.
To apply, you’ll need to register with CIC. If you were born in Canada, at least one of your parents was a Canadian citizen or an Indian Status (Status card), it is recommended that you apply as soon as possible.
Once you’ve completed the application form and had your fingerprints taken, there’s a $170 processing fee to pay.
There is a four-year residency requirement before requesting naturalization, so you must wait long enough before applying.
After submitting your application form and supporting documents, applicants are contacted within two months of their submission date to be invited for an interview.
Attendance at this interview is mandatory if selected.
Does Canada Accept Dual Citizenship?
Canadians are allowed to have dual Citizenship, but some important restrictions exist.
This means Canadians can obtain a different nationality and a Canadian passport, as long as the other country does not forbid it.
There is no restriction on how many citizenships someone can hold in Canada as long as they do not gain any additional rights or privileges from the other country.
Is It Hard to Get Citizenship in Canada?
In general, it is not hard to become a Canadian citizen, but the immigration pathway you take will impact your ability to do so.
For example, permanent residents can apply for Citizenship after three years of living in Canada.
Those who have obtained Canadian Citizenship by birth only need to apply when they turn 18.
However, many pathways need more than five years of residence in Canada before you can be eligible for Citizenship.
For example, refugee applications, marriage cases, and sponsorship agreements.
The qualifications for Canadian Citizenship are strict and are based on an immigrant’s intention to reside in Canada.
There is a five-year minimum residency requirement, and it is possible to live outside of Canada for up to four years with special permission from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
For those who qualify, Canadian Citizenship can give you rights like:
- Voting in national elections.
- Better access to jobs in the public service.
- Traveling on a Canadian passport instead of a Canadian permanent resident card, among other things.