To be eligible for Canadian citizenship, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Applicants must have Canadian Permanent Resident status and have lived in Canada for at least three years (1,095 days) out of the past four years before applying (unless there are exceptional circumstances).
- Children under 18 must also have Permanent Resident status but do not have to satisfy the three year requirement.
- Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.
- For children under 18 years, the application can be made by the child’s parent, adoptive parent, or legal guardian, who is already a Canadian citizen or who is in the process of applying for citizenship at the same time.
- Applicants must be able to speak either one or both of Canada’s two official languages (English or French) well enough to communicate in Canadian society. The applicant must know enough English and/or French to understand people and for people to understand them.
- Applicants cannot have a criminal history considered prohibitive to granting Canadian citizenship (as decided by CIC).
- Applicants must be aware the rights and responsibilities of citizens and have a basic knowledge of Canada’s geography, political system, and history.
- Applicants must submit a formal application to CIC and pay a government processing fee and a right of citizenship fee.
Eligible candidates can apply for Canadian citizenship through Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Once approved, they will be required to take a citizenship test (for applicants between 18 and 54). Successful applicants must then attend a citizenship ceremony where they receive a certificate of Canadian citizenship and officially become new Canadians citizens.
Canadian citizenship will not be granted to applicants who:
- Do not meet the minimum required residency days in Canada;
- Cannot speak either English or French;
- Do not pass their citizenship test and/or interview;
- Cannot provide the required proof of residency documentation.
There are also multiple legal and criminality issues which may make you ineligible for Canadian citizenship.
If any of the following apply to you, you may not qualify for citizenship:
- You have had your citizenship taken away within the past five years;
- You are currently, or have been convicted of a criminal offence in the past three years;
- You are in prison, on parole or on probation;
- You are under removal order from Canada;
- You are under investigation for, or have been convicted of a war crime or a crime against humanity.