If you want to know how to become a Canadian citizen in 2020, you have come to the right place. we will guide you through the entire process of becoming a Canadian citizen starting from the first step which is getting your permanent residence. You should be aware that the final step of becoming a true Canadian is getting Canadian citizenship.
The difference between Canadian permanent resident and citizenship in Canada is that as a permanent resident you may not vote in elections. The second is that while citizenship is a right that may not be taken away, as a Canadian permanent resident you may be deported if you commit a serious crime.
How to Become a Canadian Citizen
If you have made up your mind that you want to truly become a Canadian citizen, and also Canada is the best country for you, you are one step away from knowing how to become a Canadian citizen after digesting this post.
You should note that only citizens of Canada can:
- vote in the federal elections;
- run for federal office;
- own a Canadian passport; and
- apply for any job in Canada regardless of high-level security clearance.
The process of applying for Canadian citizenship
The process of applying for Canadian citizenship involves the following five steps:
- Permanent Residence
- Canadian Citizenship Application
- Canadian Citizenship Test
- Citizenship Ceremony
1. Permanent Residence
Acquiring a Canadian permanent residence is the first step of getting Canadian citizenship, and it’s not easy to process. This is how to obtain Canada immigration permanent residency
You can only apply for Canadian Citizenship once you have acquired Canadian permanent residence. This is by far the most challenging step of the application process because it has the most complicated criteria. To get Canadian permanent residence, you will have to move to the country using one of several Canadian immigration programs like Express Entry, Provincial Nominee Program, by studying in Canada, The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIP), and each of them comes with their own unique set of requirements, for instance having skilled work experience or running a business in the country for a certain number of years.
Naturalization is one of the ways on how to become a Canadian citizen and its the longest step of your route to Canadian citizenship. To be considered a naturalized citizen, you must have spent three years (1095 days) out of the previous five in Canada. The total 1095 days do not have to be in a row but you need to show that you satisfied income tax obligations for three years that are at least partially within the five years before the date you apply.
Being a temporary resident in Canada also counts towards this requirement. However, your time spent as a student, visitor or refugee in Canada will only be counted as half days and can only add up to a maximum of 365 days.
3. Canadian Citizenship Application
The application step is pretty much self-explanatory. You must apply for your Canadian citizenship by filling in the forms found on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website. Make sure you fill in all the forms correctly and submit them along with your supporting documents and proof of payment to the appropriate authorities.
Once you have been notified that you are eligible for Canadian citizenship, you will have to prove your language ability in either French or English. You can prove your proficiency by showing the results of language tests, documentation detailing that you have studied in either French or English or proof that you reached Canadian Language Benchmark level four.
4. Canadian Citizenship Test
The next step of your application is taking the Canadian Citizenship test. Once your application has been put forward, you will be given a time and date to take the test. In the test, you will be quizzed on various facts and symbols of Canada, including the country’s geography, history, culture, government, and geography.
Taking tests can be stressful for anyone and accidents happen, so if you happened to fail your citizenship test, do not worry. You can take the test a second time and if you fail again, you can schedule a citizenship interview instead.
If you’re 18 to 54 years of age on the day you sign your application, you need to take the citizenship test. You’ll need to answer questions about the rights and responsibilities of Canadians and Canada’s:
The test is:
- in English or French
- 30 minutes long
- 20 questions (pass mark: 15 correct answers)
- multiple-choice and true or false questions
- based on the official citizenship study guide: Discover Canada
- usually written, but maybe oral
5. Citizenship Ceremony
If you are successful with all of the steps, all you need to do is attend a citizenship ceremony. This event is simply a celebration of your newly acquired citizenship. During the ceremony, you will have to take the Oath of Citizenship, sing the national anthem and receive your Canadian citizenship application.
You can also acquire Canadian citizenship through descent. This route is one of the simplest ways to gain Canadian citizenship because you do not have to write the citizenship test, instead, the process involves you proving that you are already a citizen of Canada. You are eligible for this option if one of your parents was born in Canada or became a naturalized citizen regardless of where they are living right now. All you need to do is to apply for your Canadian citizenship certificate.
Canadian citizenship rules
Now that you know how to become a Canadian citizen, you need to make sure that you qualify. There are several people who are disqualified from earning citizenship, they include:
- people who are on parole, probation or serving a term of imprisonment in the country;
- people who are convicted of a crime outside of Canada;
- people who are on trial for contravening the Citizenship Act or any other offense in Canada;
- people who are to be deported;
- people involved in a war crime or crime against humanity;
- people who have been caught committing fraud in a previous citizenship application;
- people who have lost their citizenship status because of fraud within the last 10 years;
- people who have been convicted of an indictable offense within the past four years before your application;
- people who have been convicted of terrorism, high treason or spying.
Can I Apply for Urgent Citizenship?
There are some circumstances that will allow you to expedite your citizenship application. You can only apply for urgent processing in the event of an emergency. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will consider the following reasons as a qualifying emergency:
- the need for citizenship to apply for a job, prevent you from losing your job or apply to a Canadian school, college or university;
- the need to travel for death or serious illness in the family and you can’t get a passport in your current nationality; and
- if your appeal for a previous citizenship application was found to be a success by a federal court.
How do I apply for Canadian Citizenship?
To apply for Canadian citizenship, you must meet certain eligibility criteria and complete an application.
In order to apply for Canadian citizenship you must:
- Provide proof that you know how to speak and write in 1 of Canada’s official languages (either English or French)
- Be a Permanent Resident (PR)
- Have lived in Canada as a PR for at least 1,095 days out of the 5 years before you apply
- Have filed your taxes for at least 3 years during the last 5 years and any income tax you may owe must be paid
- If you are or have been a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, you may be eligible for a fast-track application process.
- The applicant must be a Canadian citizen or be applying to become a Canadian citizen. Minors do not need to meet the residency requirement.
- If one of your parents was a Canadian citizen when you were born, depending on when you were born, you may already be a citizen. If that is true, to be recognized as a Canadian citizen you need to apply for proof of citizenship.
- You cannot become a Canadian citizen if you have recently been or are in prison, on parole or probation, are serving a conditional sentence or have been charged or convicted of an indictable crime. If you are under a deportation order, you also cannot apply.
- You don’t automatically become a citizen when you marry a Canadian. If you’re the spouse of a Canadian citizen, you must meet the same requirements listed above (no exception).
- If you have a Canadian parent or grandparent, you may be a Canadian citizen.
Apply for citizenship
You can apply for Canadian citizenship HERE