The 1,095-Day Rule for Canadian Citizenship

Last updated: 13 April 2022

Canadian citizenship applicants must be physically present in Canada for at least 1,095 days (three years) during the five years before the date of the application.

Moreover, applicants may now count each day they were physically present in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident as a half-day toward meeting the physical presence requirement for citizenship, up to a maximum credit of 365 days.

To learn more about eligibility for citizenship, please refer to this page.

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Exceptional circumstances

In determining whether exceptional circumstances exist, Canadian citizenship judges examine the specific facts and circumstances of each individual case. Each case must be assessed on its own merits, and Canadian citizenship judges have considerable discretion in determining whether exceptional circumstances truly exist. Thus, it is extremely difficult to pronounce conclusively which circumstances will be deemed to be exceptional.

The following is a list of factors which may, in some cases, lead Canadian citizenship judges to "bend" the 1,095-day rule:

  • The applicant is physically present in Canada for most of the required period other than recent absences that occurred immediately before the application for Canadian citizenship was submitted.
  • Even though the applicant leaves Canada on a regular basis, the applicant's immediate family and dependents continue to live in Canada.
  • The applicant's overall pattern of physical presence in Canada indicates that he or she returns home to Canada, and does not merely "pay a visit" to Canada.
  • Despite repeated absences, the total number of days absent from Canada are relatively few.
  • The physical absence from Canada is caused by a clearly temporary situation such as employment or study abroad for a limited period of time.
  • The quality of the applicant's connection with Canada is more substantial than that which exists with any other country, as reflected by the applicant's involvement in Canadian work and business ventures, community organizations, and payment of Canadian income tax.

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