Most Canadian citizens are born into their citizenship status. But, if you immigrated to Canada, becoming a citizen may be a more involved process. After immigrating to Canada, you can become a Canadian citizen through the process of naturalization. Canadian citizens enjoy full rights and privileges, including the right to vote, the right to enter and leave Canada freely, and the right to receive consular assistance from Canadian embassies abroad.
In 2019, over 341,000 immigrants became Canadian citizens, and the number of new citizens has been steadily increasing in recent years. This trend is likely to continue as more and more people choose Canada as their home.
Though the process can seem daunting, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help make things easier.
Step 1: Check eligibility
To determine whether you are eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship, you must first check the following criteria:
- You must be a permanent resident in Canada.
- You must have been physically present in Canada for at least 1,095 days in the 5 years before you apply.
- You should have filed Canadian income taxes for at least three of the past five years
- You must be able to speak and understand either English or French at a Canadian Language Benchmark level of 4 or higher.
- You will need to pass a citizenship test, which will gauge your knowledge of Canada and its history.
If you meet all of these requirements, you will be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship. However, if you don’t meet the citizenship requirements, there are several other ways to gain Canadian residency.
You can apply for permanent residency through the family reunification program, or for a work or study permit. No matter what path you choose, be sure to start the process early and allow plenty of time for paperwork and processing.
Step 2: Determine how long you have been in Canada
The next step is to use an online physical presence calculator to calculate the number of days you have physically been in Canada. You need to be in Canada for at least three years (1095 days) out of the last five years to be eligible for citizenship.
To use the calculator, you will need to know the exact dates that you were present in Canada. You can find this information on your immigration records or travel documents.
The calculator will ask you to input the date that you first entered Canada, the date that you last entered Canada, and the number of days that you were present in Canada during that time.
This calculator will also ask a series of other questions about your current status in Canada and your history of travel. Once you have answered these questions, the calculator will provide you with an estimate of how long you have been in Canada.
However, be sure to provide true and complete information otherwise your citizenship application will be refused.
Step 3: Gather relevant and current documents
The next step is to gather all of the documents that you will need for your citizenship application.
- This includes gathering relevant and current passports, PR cards, and printouts from the Online Physical Presence Calculation website.
- If applicable, your driving license, health insurance card, and any other relevant information about yourself such as your senior citizen identification card or age of majority card should also be included.
- If any of your documents are not in English or French, you will need to provide a certified translation.
- It’s also important to make sure that all of your documents are up-to-date and accurate. You should also make a copy of all of your documents for your own records.
Once you have gathered all of your documents, you are ready to start filling out your citizenship application.
Step 4: Complete the application form
Once you’ve gathered all of your required documents, you can begin filling out your citizenship application. The application form is straightforward and easy to follow.
You’ll need to provide your full name, date of birth, marital status, and contact information. You will also need to answer a few questions about your time in Canada, such as the number of days you were present in Canada and the dates of your entry and exit.
The application form will also requires you to provide all of your work, study, and address history (inside and outside of Canada).
Once you’ve filled in all the information, double-check it for accuracy, then print it out and sign it. You’ll also need to include two passport-sized photos and a copy of your passport or birth certificate.
Step 5: Pay application fees
Once you have collected all required documents and filled out the application form, the next step is to pay the application fees. The fees can be paid online using a debit or credit card.
The citizenship application fees are $630 per application. If a minor (under 18) applicant is included in the application, there is an additional processing fee of $100. It is important to note that the processing fees are non-refundable, so be sure to only apply if you meet all the eligibility requirements.
Step 6: Submit your application
The final step is to submit your application. You can do this in person at a citizenship office, or by mail.
When submitting your application, be sure to include all of your documents (or certified copies of them), your application form, and the application fees. Send everything in an envelope to the address provided on the application form, and wait for a response.
It might take a while, but eventually, you’ll receive an email notifying you that your application has been approved or denied.
What happens after I submit my application?
After you submit your citizenship application, it will be reviewed by a citizenship officer to confirm that you meet all requirements. If your application is approved, you will be invited to take the citizenship test.
The test covers topics such as Canadian history, regions, symbols, and heritage. There are 20 questions in total, and you need at least 15 correct answers to pass. However, you are allowed three chances to take the test and pass.
If you pass the test, you will participate in a citizenship ceremony, during which you will take an oath of allegiance and officially become a Canadian citizen.
If you do not meet all requirements or if you do not pass the citizenship test, the officer will send you a letter explaining why you were not approved and what you need to do to meet the requirements. So, keep an eye on your mail and be prepared to submit more detailed information with your application.
Other tips for your Canadian citizenship application process
- Make sure you meet all requirements for citizenship before you apply.
- Gather all required documents and fill out the application form completely and accurately.
- Pay the application fee online using a debit or credit card.
- Make copies of everything you submit, and keep the originals in a safe place.
- Honestly answer all questions on the application form and if you are unsure about anything, seek professional help.
- If you are invited to take the citizenship test, study for it and make sure you pass.
- Keep an eye on your mail for any correspondence from the citizenship office.
- Follow all instructions from the citizenship office to ensure a smooth application process.
- Be patient – the entire process can take several months to complete.
Express Entry PR can help you with your citizenship application from start to finish!
The process of applying for Canadian citizenship can seem daunting, but as long as you are eligible and meet all the requirements, it is easily achievable.
If you are looking for reliable and professional assistance in filling out your citizenship application, Express Entry PR is a great resource to consider. Our team of experts is always available to answer any questions you may have along the way. So if you’re ready to take the next steps on your journey to becoming a Canadian citizen, be sure to visit our website today!