Canada is celebrating Citizenship Week from May 23 to May 29 this year. We thought this is the right opportunity to present an updated guide on how to become a Canadian citizen by immigration.
Since the Canadian Citizenship Act came into effect on January 1, 1947, the act has been amended to reflect the multicultural values of Canadian society. Canada didn’t suspend but innovated with virtual Canadian citizenship ceremonies even during the pandemic.
Most recently, Canada made changes to provide for Canadian citizenship to foreign-born children whose Canadian parents are not biologically.
Canadian citizenship holds much significance and meaning for a lot of foreigners willing to study, work and settle in the country. For many, the promise of Canadian citizenship is a gateway to a better life.
|Once you have decided to migrate to Canada, all you have to do is follow the below steps to obtain citizenship:
Canadian Permanent Residency vs Becoming a Canadian Citizen
There are primarily two things that an individual holding a Canada PR status cannot compete against an individual with Canadian citizenship. They cannot cast their right to vote or contest in the elections nor hold a high-level government post.
|Canadian Permanent Residence||Canadian Citizenship|
|An individual holding Canada PR is a citizen of another country but a permanent resident of Canada.||Canadian citizenship allows its holders to become citizens of another country.|
|Any foreign individual applying to immigrate to Canada through Express Entry Programs, Provincial Nominee Programs, Atlantic Immigration Pilot, and Entrepreneur programs is eligible to get permanent residence status.||A foreign individual can obtain Canadian citizenship by naturalization or by the virtue of holding Canada PR.|
How can a Foreigner Become a Canadian Citizen?
For a foreigner to become a Canadian citizen, any eligible applicant would undergo a two-step process fulfilling certain human capital requirements like
- young, working-age (25-33 years preferred)
- education qualification (a graduation degree preferred)
- work experience (at least one year of relevant experience in Canada or more than 3 years of work experience outside Canada preferred)
- Language proficiency in English or French (bilingual candidates are given additional points)
Once the applicant comes good on the above factors, they are nominated to apply for Canadian permanent residency (PR) through economic-class pathways like Express Entry, Provincial Nominee Program, or other pathways through Business Immigration, spousal privilege, graduate visas, etc.
Once Canada PR is obtained, any eligible resident can plan to apply for Canadian citizenship by fulfilling the following requirements:
How to become a Canadian citizen: meet residency requirements
Aspiring residents must have been physically present in Canada for at least 1,095 days (three years) during the five years before the date you apply for citizenship. Any time spent outside of Canada does not count towards your physical presence requirements but there are some exceptions.
It is recommended to apply with more than 1,095 days of living in Canada to avoid calculation problems.
If you were in Canada as a temporary resident including students or work permit holders, you may be able to count that time toward your residency requirement as well. However, each day that you spent in Canada as a temporary resident in the last five years counts as a half-day when you calculate your physical presence.
How to become a Canadian citizen: file your taxes
During your residence in Canada, you must have filed taxes before you can become a Canadian citizen. Even if you lived in Canada for only part of a year, you may be required to file an income tax return to pay taxes, claim refunds, and avail of various benefits and credit payments.
How to become a Canadian citizen: improve language skills
Those aged 18 to 54 must also show they can communicate in English or French by achieving a Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) level of 4 or higher in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
Language assessment made at the time of obtaining Canadian permanent residency can also be used to apply for Canadian citizenship.
After fulfilling the above requirements, eligible candidates must undergo a written citizenship test.
Canadian Citizenship Test Format
The candidates need to confirm their identity through the submission of personal information. Once done, the applicants have at least 21 days to complete the test at a convenient time. The system will monitor the response of candidates using a webcam throughout the duration of the test.
Eligible candidates can take the Canada Citizenship test online in any of the two official languages: English or French. Just like the offline exam pattern, the online Canada Citizenship test will have 20 choice-based questions, which need to be answered within 30 minutes.
A total of 75% marks are needed to qualify for the test, i.e., the candidates must answer at least 15 questions correctly out of the total of 20 questions. All the questions are expected out of topics like the history of Canada, Politics, Economy, Geography, Laws, rights, and responsibilities of a Canadian citizen.
Take this free online assessment to determine your eligibility for your suitable Canada PR programs.
Book your free appointment with our immigration consultants to learn more about your eligibility for Canadian immigration and eventually citizenship based on a case-to-case basis.