Frequently asked questions about obtaining Canadian citizenship.
Note: A bill to change Canada's Citizenship Act received Royal Assent on June 19, 2017, and new measures came into force on October 11, 2017. To learn more about these changes, see our citizenship eligibility page.
Canadian citizens also receive Canadian passports and are entitled to vote in federal, provincial, and municipal elections.
Only the five years preceding the date of the application are taken into account. Within that five-year period:
- Every day spent in Canada as a permanent resident counts as a full day.
- Every day spent in Canada before becoming a permanent resident as a temporary resident or protected person counts as a half-day towards meeting the physical presence requirement for citizenship, up to a maximum credit of 365 days.
- If the applicant became a permanent resident less than five years ago, the calculation period starts on the date that he or she became a permanent resident.
- Time spent serving a sentence in Canada does not count towards the physical presence requirement (i.e. time spent in a prison, penitentiary, jail, reformatory, probation and/or on parole cannot be counted as physical presence).
It is advised that a permanent resident intending to become a Canadian citizen verifies whether the country of his or her current nationality permits dual citizenship.