How to Become a Canadian Citizen in 2023

According to statistics from the United Nations, Canada is one of the most popular destinations for immigrants each year. Most of these immigrants are foreigners who want to become citizens or permanent residents of Canada. The motivations for immigration to Canada and citizenship are not implausible.

The nation offers its residents a free healthcare system (even if it is funded by taxes paid by the citizens), enough facilities for the aged and disabled, free public education, low crime rates, a high level of living, among other advantages. In actuality, the grass in Canada is not only greener-looking; it is also greener than the grass in many other nations.

But the procedure to become a Canadian citizen is by no means simple; it takes time, and it demands commitment. To apply for Canadian citizenship, you must first ascertain your eligibility and fulfill specific requirements. Additionally, you must meet all criteria outlined by Immigration, Refugee Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Before you proceed to apply for Canadian citizenship, this page is intended to give you all the information you require.

  1. Find out if you are not already a Canadian citizen: Determine whether or not you are already a Canadian citizen before you start the citizenship application process in Canada. You can become a Canadian citizen through birth or by inheriting it from your parents, which are two of the many ways someone can become a citizen without being aware of it. Advice: click on this page to see if you are already a citizen of Canada.
  2. Ensure you are a permanent resident of Canada: To be qualified to apply for citizenship there, you must have a fixed address there. There are numerous categories via which you can seek to become a permanent resident of Canada if you don’t already have it. You can submit an application through Quebec, the skilled worker’s immigration category, and other routes. Permanent residents in Canada have the same rights as citizens, with the exception of the right to vote and the ability to spend a certain period of time outside the country. Check to see if you have fulfilled all requirements for permanent residencies, such as not being under investigation for fraud or any other immigration-related infraction and not having a deportation order from a Canadian official. The process for requesting permanent residence in Canada may alter over time as a result of new laws and adjustments to immigration laws. Check the laws in force when you submit your application as a result.
  3. You must understand one of the Canadian official languages: To be eligible for citizenship in Canada, you must understand either English or French language and have acceptable proof to show adequate knowledge of either. Your application for citizenship in Canada will not be complete if you do not provide this proof. Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada will most likely reject your application without proof of sufficient knowledge of English or French language.
  4. Ensure you have sufficient knowledge about Canada: This is a very important requirement to successfully apply for citizenship in Canada. You should learn about the history of Canada, the rights and responsibilities of a Canadian citizen, the culture and various institutions in Canada. Tip :During your application process, you will be issued a quiz by the citizenship officer to test your knowledge on all of these. Not having enough knowledge may jeopardise you chances of becoming a Canadian citizen.
  5. Meet the time required to have lived in Canada: You must meet a certain required number of days to have lived in Canada before you can apply to be a citizen, this is irrespective of your age or the means through which you have migrated into Canada. To become a Canadian citizen, you must have been physically present and resident in Canada for at least 1, 095 days. This must be within a period of five years before you proceed for your citizenship application and during which you are already a permanent resident. It is possible also to add to this calculation, the number of days you have spent in Canada as a temporary resident, however, each day spent physically present in Canada as a temporary resident must be calculated as half a day and should also be within the five years before you apply for citizenship. Temporary resident status in Canada includes those legalized to live in Canada as a visitor, student, worker or anyone with a temporary residents permit. Tip: it is advised that you keep a travel journal within the five year period before you apply for your citizenship to help you calculate your time of physical presence in Canada. This will help track your trips out of Canada and also time spent within Canada. To help you create and keep a travel jounal.
  6. Ensure you have an Income tax filling available : Another important requirement for a citizenship application in Canada is the income tax filling. It is required that you have at least three years worth of tax returns from a legalized job within a six year period before your citizenship application. This requirement is under the Income Tax Act and it’s purpose is to assure the Canadian authorities that you have been fulfilling you tax obligations as a permanent resident in Canada.

Important Things to Know

  1. If you are not yet 18 years of age, you will need your parents or guardian to assist you in filling the Canadian citizenship application form. Also, your parents or guardian assisting with the application must be citizens or permanent residents of Canada already or in the middle of their own application process.
  2. All the requirements stated above may not apply to an applicant under eighteen years of age if the parents of such applicant are already applying on his/her behalf as stated under the subsection 5(2) of the citizenship application form.
  3. It is also possible to apply for Canadian citizenship without meeting the minimum required time to live in Canada However,  you must be a crown servant or a family member of a crown servant for this condition to apply.

Reasons why your Canadian Citizenship Application might be denied

Despite meeting all the requirements and fulfilling required obligations, there exists a number of reasons that may result in an unsuccessful application for Canadian citizenship.

  1. Crime: If you have committed a crime, it is possible for the Canadian government to refuse granting you Canadian citizenship especially if you have been involved in such crime within the past four years before applying for Canadian citizenship.
  2. Parole or Probation : You will most likely not be granted Canadian citizenship if you are found to be on parole or probation.
  3. Imprisonment: Individuals serving imprisonment terms in Canada or outside will not be granted citizenship during imprisonment
  4. Removal Order: any individual that has been asked through a removal order to leave Canada will not be granted Canadian Citizenship.
  5. Misrepresentation: An applicant’s Canadian citizenship application can also be jeopardized if his/her application has once been rejected on the grounds of misrepresentation within the past five years of applying.
  6. Also any applicant whose Canadian citizenship has once been revoked will not be granted another citizenship especially if such has been as a result of fraud or any other criminal act and occurred within the past ten years of application
  7. War crimes: Individuals found to be involved in war crimes or any crime against humanity and currently undergoing trial for such will not be granted Canadian citizenship.  This includes those being investigated for,  involved in an appeal, a trial or have been convicted of such crimes.
  8. Indictable offense : Individuals who have been charged or are on a trial for an indictable offense in Canada or outside Canada (as long as the offense is deemed equivalent to an indictable offense inside Canada ) will not be granted Canadian citizenship within four years before their application.  This also includes those involved in an appeal or who have been pardoned or given amnesty for such crimes.
  9. Treason or Terrorism : Committing treason or terrorism while possessing permanent resident in Canada will jeopardise your chances of being granted Canadian citizenship.
  10. Armed Force action against Canada: If an applicant while being a permanent resident in Canada is found to have served as a member of Armed Forces that has been involved in a conflict with Canada,  such applicant will not be granted Canadian citizenship.

Tip: except individuals in extreme situations such as one whose Canadian citizenship was revoked, intending applicants whose situation tally with any of the conditions above are usually advised to delay their Canadian citizenship applications until the stated conditions no longer apply to them.

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