Applying for Canadian citizenship involves a formal application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), a citizenship test, and sometimes, a citizenship interview.
Canadian citizenship requirements and application processes were altered in June 2015.
Canadian Citizenship Requirements
To qualify, applicants must:
- have, since becoming a permanent resident, been physically present in Canada for at least 1,460 days (four years) in the six years immediately before you apply;
- have, since becoming a permanent resident, been physically present in Canada for at least 183 days during any four calendar years that are fully or partially within the six years immediately before you apply;
- have met any applicable requirement under the Income Tax Act to file income taxes for any four taxation years that are fully or partially within the six years immediately before you apply;
- intend to reside in Canada OR work outside Canada in or with, or accompany certain family members employed in or with:
- the Canadian Armed Forces; or
- the federal public administration; or
- the public service of a province.
- be able to communicate (speak and understand) in English or French (if you are 65 years of age or older, this does not apply); and
- be able to demonstrate, in English or French, knowledge about Canada and the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship (if you are 65 years of age or older, this does not apply).
Canadian Citizenship Application Process
- An application must be completed and sent to the appropriate IRCC office for review. When the application has been verified, the applicant will be sent a notice in the mail requesting that a citizenship test be taken.
- Applicants between 14 and 64 years of age are required to write a citizenship test, which tests the applicant's knowledge of Canadian history, geography, political process, and the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada provides all citizenship applicants with a study guide entitled A Look at Canada.
- The test generally takes 30 minutes to complete.
- On the day of the test, applicants are required to bring all original documents, including immigration documents, passport, photo identification, and any other documents relevant to the applicant's Permanent Residence in Canada.
- In compliance with regulations, some applicants are also asked to appear before a citizenship judge for an interview. Interviews are generally 15 to 30 minutes in length.
Minor Application (under 18 years of age): Minors under 18 years of age may apply for citizenship if they are a permanent resident and have a parent who is either a Canadian citizen, or who is applying for citizenship at the same time. The completed application and processing fee is all that is required — they do not need to take the citizenship test.
Canadian Citizenship Ineligibility
NOTE: It is important to review the documents provided to you when you first became a permanent resident in order to verify that all Terms and Conditions have been met. If any of these Terms and Conditions are still outstanding, you may not be eligible for Canadian citizenship.
Additionally, you may be ineligible for Canadian citizenship if you:
- have a criminal record or are facing criminal charges in Canada or outside Canada;
- have been ordered to leave Canada;
- have been refused Canadian citizenship as a result of misrepresentation; or
- have had your Canadian citizenship revoked.