Who is eligible?
Individuals of any age, regardless of Canadian parentage, can apply for citizenship provided they meet the general requirements below.
What are the physical presence requirements?
As of October 11, 2017, to be eligible to apply for Canadian Citizenship, an applicant must have resided in Canada for 3 out of the past 5 years immediately prior to their application. Of note, applicants may now count each day that they were present in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident as a half-day toward meeting the physical presence requirement for citizenship, up to a maximum credit of 365 days.
Children under the age of 18 are not required to meet the residency requirement if they have one parent who is either a Canadian citizen, or who is applying to become a Canadian citizen and has met the requirement themselves.
Canadian Citizenship Requirements
Been physically present in Canada for at least 183 days during any of the three qualifying calendar years that are fully or partially within the five years immediately before you apply
- Have met any applicable requirement under the Income Tax Act to file income taxes for any four taxation years that are fully or partially within the six years immediately before you apply
- Intend to reside in Canada OR work outside Canada in or with, or accompany certain family members employed in or with:the Canadian Armed Forces or the federal public administration or the public service of a province
- Be able to communicate (speak and understand) in English or French (if you are 65 years of age or older, this does not apply)
- Be able to demonstrate, in English or French, knowledge about Canada and the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship (if you are 65 years of age or older, this does not apply)
- 18 years old or older
- Have adequate knowledge of Citizenship Language Requirement, if under age 64
Minor Application (under 18 years of age)
Minors under 18 years of age may apply for citizenship if they are a permanent resident and have a parent who is either a Canadian citizen, or who is applying for citizenship at the same time. The completed application and processing fee is all that is required — they do not need to take the citizenship test.
You may be ineligible for Canadian citizenship if you
- Are under a removal order
- Have a criminal record or are facing changes in Canada
- Been refused Canadian citizenship as a result of misrepresentation
- Had your Canadian citizenship revoked
Processing of Citizenship Application
Applications are submitted to the citizenship office in Sydney, Nova Scotia where they are pre-screened to ensure the application is complete and the 4-year residence rule has been met. Within about 12 months from submission, applicants will be required to attend an interview to demonstrate their knowledge of Canada in one of Canada’ Official languages.
Citizenship Language Requirement
Applicants for citizenship between the ages of 14-64 must provide evidence of their knowledge of one of Canada’s official languages on the date their application is submitted. The minimum language abilities to be met are described in the regulations as the capacity to:
- Take part in short, every-day conversations
- Understand simple instructions
- Use basic grammar, simple structures and tenses in oral communication
- Use vocabulary that is adequate for routine oral communication
The applicant for Citizenship must have English or French speaking and listening abilities that meet the language requirements described above. Written proficiency is not necessary. Evidence of language proficiency must include one of the following:
- Results of an IRCC approved language test
- Diploma or transcripts showing secondary or post-secondary education in English or French
- Results from a government funded language course showing CLB 4 or NCLC 4 or higher
Individuals who underwent language testing in the process of applying for permanent residence can use those results as evidence of proficiency, even if they have since expired. Language tests currently approved by IRCC for citizenship application purposes are:
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
- Canadian English Language-Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)
- Test d’Évaluation Française (TEF)
- Test d’Évaluation du Français Adapté au Québec (TEFAQ)
If your application for Canadian citizenship is refused, this decision may be appealed to the Federal Court of Canada. The first step in the appeal process involves filing a Notice of Application to the Federal Court within 30 days of receipt of the decision from Citizenship. This timeline is very important.
Contact us for more information about the Canadian citizenship application process or for assistance in preparing an application