Citizenship Application

 

Each year around 170,000 become new Canadian citizens. People may acquire Canadian citizenship by birth in Canada, by birth to a Canadian parent outside Canada, and by naturalization.

For permanent residents to be eligible for Canadian citizenship, they need to meet conditions with respect to age, time living in Canada, criminality clearance, official language ability and knowledge of Canada. Most candidates will write a test to demonstrate their official language ability and knowledge of Canada.

The determining factor for naturalization is often the time of residence in Canada. Generally, a permanent resident is required to be resident in Canada for 3 years (1095 days) in the 4 years immediately before the date of the application for citizenship. Every day within the 4-year period the applicant was lawfully resident in Canada before obtaining permanent resident status can be counted as a half day for the purpose of citizenship application.

Canadian “residence” is not defined in the Citizenship Act. While Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s policy is to require the applicant to be physically resident in Canada, the undefined term does give rise to opportunity for people who are not physically resident in Canada for 3 years to obtain citizenship.

As part of the strategy to ascertain applicants’ residence, CIC now requires many people to complete a Residence Questionnaire at some point of time during the application process., which requires a lot of details and supporting materials.

If you are not sure whether you are qualified for Canadian citizenship, how you may apply for citizenship, or encounter any difficulties in the application process, contact us for an assessment of you situation and advice.

 

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