Canada is one of the most popular destinations for immigration, thanks to its immigrant-friendly policies, high standards of living and opportunities for growth. A multi-cultural environment, breath-taking landscapes, free public healthcare and school education are also some of the other factors that make Canada the best place to immigrate to. The immigrants in Canada can obtain the citizenship of the country if they meet certain requirements. Canadian citizens enjoy a lot of benefits and that is exactly the reason why most of the new immigrants aspire to become Canadian citizens one day. Now, let’s find out what are the factors that make Canadian citizenship so desirable:
1. Voting rights
The right to vote is one privilege that a Canadian citizen has and a permanent resident does not have. Once you become a Canadian citizen, you get a chance to take part in the democratic process of the country, by casting your votes at federal, provincial and town elections.
2. Run for office
Once you become a Canadian citizen, you get the right to run for office in municipal, provincial and federal elections if you are interested.
3. A powerful passport
According to Passport Index, Canadian passport is the fourth strongest passport in the world. It allows you to travel to 114 countries visa-free. With a Canadian passport in hand, it will also be easier for you to re-enter Canada after you go out of the country, unlike the case of permanent residents. Moreover, unlike the PR cards, passports need not be renewed regularly.
4. Live outside Canada
Even if permanent residents are allowed to live outside Canada, they need to be living in Canada for at least two years during the five-year period in order to maintain the permanent resident status. However, once you become a Canadian citizen, you can live outside Canada any long you want, without losing your citizenship.
5. High quality education
Education is a fundamental right in Canada and so, the country provides free school education to all children. Canadian schools offer high quality of education and the students have greater access to higher education.
6. Free healthcare
Canada has a national health insurance system and because of this, Canadian citizens have access to free healthcare. Each province/territory has its own healthcare plans that allows the citizens get quality health care without any cost.
7. Citizenship for children
Once you become a Canadian citizen, the children born to you automatically become Canadian citizens. They need not apply for Canadian citizenship. If you are a Canadian citizen, your child will be a Canadian citizen even if he/she is born outside Canada. At the same time, if you are a permanent resident, your child will automatically become a Canadian citizen only if they are born in Canada.
Eligibility requirements to apply for Canadian citizenship
1. Be a permanent resident of Canada
2. Have lived in Canada for at least 3 years out of the last 5 years
3. You have filed your taxes on time
4. You have passed the test on your rights, responsibilities and knowledge of Canada.
5. Have proven your language skills
The application process for Canada citizenship
There are two ways to apply for Canada citizenship
The first is to send your application along with all the required documents to the Canadian citizenship office in Sydney, Nova Scotia. If you are applying along with your family members, you should put all the applications in one envelope so that they could be processed simultaneously.
The second way is to apply online. In order to apply online, you must create an online citizenship profile.
The documents you need to submit along with the application can include:
- Proof of identification
- Proof of permanent residence
- Other documents that Canadian government may require
Once the application is accepted, you will be given a date for their citizenship test.
The citizenship test is approximately 30 minutes long and comprises 20 multiple choice or true or false questions. The candidates can expect questions related to the following:
- History and geography of Canada
- Economic climate of Canada
- Government of Canada
- Laws and regulations
- Signs and symbols used commonly in Canada
The test can be written in English or French. Though it is usually written test, it can also be oral. In order to prepare for the test, you may refer to the official study guide and practice the questions.
Attend Canadian citizenship interview
After the candidate passes the citizenship test, they will be invited to attend a citizenship interview. Interview is mandatory for all applicants above the age of 18 and all minors above the age of 14 if they are in Canada without a parent. During the interview, they will be asked about their application, knowledge about Canada as well as Canadian values and future plans. The candidate will be informed about the location, date and time of the interview within two weeks prior to the date.
Once the interview is complete, the applicants will receive an invitation to take citizenship oath. They will also be given a copy of the Citizenship Act, for them to read and understand it. Once they take the oath, they will officially become a Canadian citizen. They will also receive a Canadian citizenship certificate.
Usually, it takes around 22 months to complete the processing of application for citizenship. The cost of application is 630 CAD for an adult and 100 CAD for minor.
Citizenship of another country
Canadian law permits you the hold Canadian citizenship, even when you remain the citizen of another country. But some countries do not allow you to retain the citizenship once you become the citizen of Canada. So you will have to renounce the other citizenship. You can contact the consulate or embassy of the other country to find out if it is applicable to you.
Refusal of citizenship application
If your citizenship application is refused, you can submit the application again, along with required forms and documents and new application fee. So, the process is repeated and if you are found to be eligible, you will be awarded citizenship.
Do you wish to know more about Canada PR and citizenship? Connect with the Canada immigration experts of CanApprove. Contact us now!
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