Canadian Citizenship

Applying for Canadian citizenship

1: Eligibility

In order to apply for Canadian citizenship you must:

  • Be over 18 years of age;
  • Provide proof that you know how to speak and write in one of the Canada’s official languages (either English or French);
  • Be a permanent resident;
  • Be physically present in Canada for 3 years (1,095 days) out of the last 5 years before the day you apply;
  • Have filed your taxes for at least 3 years during the last 5 years and any income tax you may owe must be paid

For applicants under 18 years old,  parent or guardian will have to apply along with  their own application for citizenship.

If you are over 18 years old and have children, you can include their citizenship application with your own.

If you are or have been a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, you may be eligible for a fast-track application process.

2. Knowledge of English or French

If you’re 18 to 54 years of age on the day you sign your application, you must show that you can speak and listen at a specific level in English or French. To apply for Canadian citizenship, you will need to submit one of the following:

  • Test results from a third party, equivalent to at least CLB/NCLC 4 (speaking and listening). 
  • A transcript, diploma or certificate from an English or French secondary or post-secondary school program.
  • Proof you completed a speaking and listening course at level CLB/NCLC 4 in a LINC or CLIC course, or from a provincially-funded language training course in Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia or Quebec.

3. Permanent resident status

If you’re applying for citizenship, you must have permanent resident (PR) status in Canada.

You must not be be under review for immigration or fraud reasons or under removal order

Before applying for citizenship, you should review the documents you received when you became a permanent resident to make sure you’ve met all of your terms and conditions.

4. Time you’ve lived in Canada

To apply for Canadian citizenship, you must have lived in Canada as a permanent resident for at least 3 years (1095days) out of the 5 years right before the day you apply.

It is always advisable to  to apply with more than 1095 days of physical presence to have extra days in case there is a problem with the calculation.

5. Filing income tax

You need to have filed taxes in Canada for at least 3 years during the 5 years right before the date you apply, if you needed to.

6. How well you know Canada

If you’re 18 to 54 years of age on the day you sign your application, you need to take the citizenship test. You’ll need to answer questions about the rights and responsibilities of Canadians and Canada’s:

  • history
  • geography
  • economy
  • government
  • laws
  • symbols

The test is:

  • in English or French
  • 30 minutes long
  • 20 questions (pass mark: 15 correct answers)
  • multiple-choice and true or false questions
  • based on the official citizenship study guide: Discover Canada
  • usually written, but may be oral
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