UPDATE: Citizenship and Immigration has changed the citizenship requirements from June 11, 2015. Kindly click here to find about New Canadian citizenship requirements.
Canadian citizenship is the most prized citizenship in the world. Canadian citizens can visit majority of the countries around the globe without requiring to obtain visa before entering. Canadian citizen is in fact virtually a citizen of the world opening doors to enormous opportunities.
One must meet all of the following six requirements in order to be eligible to become a Canadian citizen:
The applicant must be at least 18 years in order to be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship.
Kindly ensure that following conditions are met before applying for citizenship for a child under 18:
- the person applying is the child’s parent, adoptive parent or legal guardian
- the child is a permanent resident, but does not need to have lived in Canada for three years and
- one parent is already a Canadian citizen or is applying to become a citizen at the same time. This also applies to adoptive parents.
2. Permanent resident status
Applicant must have permanent resident status in Canada and must not be the subject of an immigration investigation, an immigration inquiry or a removal order.
3. Time lived in Canada
The adults must have lived in Canada for at least three years (1,095 days) in the past four years before applying. Children do not need to meet this requirement.
4. Language abilities
Applicant needs to have adequate knowledge of one of the two official languages — English and French. Applicant must know enough English or French to communicate with others without any difficulties.
5. Criminal history
A person is not eligbile to apply for Canadian citizenship if he/she:
- has been convicted of an indictable offence or an offence under the Citizenship Act in the three years before applying
- is currently charged with an indictable offence or an offence under the Citizenship Act
- is in prison, on parole or on probation
- is under a removal order
- is under investigation for, are charged with, or have been convicted of a war crime or a crime against humanity or
- has had your Canadian citizenship taken away in the past five years.
If a person is on probation or are charged with an offence and are awaiting trial, it may be possible to apply after the probation has ended or the trial is over.
Time in prison or on parole does not count as residence in Canada. Time on probation also does not count as residence in Canada if a person was convicted of an offence. If the person has spent time on probation from a conditional discharge, it may be counted toward residence.
6. Knowledge of Canada
Applicant must understand the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, such as the right and responsibility to vote in elections. Applicant must also have an understanding of Canada’s history, values, institutions and symbols.
The applicant must read study guide Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship for the preparation of citizenship test. The guide is available free of charge.