6 Requirements to Apply for Canadian Citizenship

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:

1. Age

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.



  1. Clear and well written explanations. Thanks. I have, however, a question that perhaps you can answer me (faapb@yahoo.com.br). My wife and I are permanent residents in Canada. She eventually have to travel to our home country to take care of our stuff, getting some time there (15 days, 1 month). When I complete my 1095 days in four years, she may apply with me (I am the main applicant) to obtain Canadian citizenship? The children I know who normally receive citizenship, but the wife I’m not sure if these trips will be deducted from her score. I would be very grateful for the response. Thanks, Fabio.

  2. i am a student of acca in pak send me the total procedure and cost for immigration of canada

  3. Muhammad Fahad on

    I am a Pakistani citizen, what is my eligibility criteria to become Canadian citizen ?

  4. I am from Afghanistan, and i have very problem in the Afghanistan.
    This is my great ambition for going in Canada and study in there.

  5. thanks for your valuable comments…. some time if i go to canada as a student can i get citizenship without trouble?

  6. Danish Hasan on

    1. Is it important to live 1095 Days in Canada before applying for citizenship?
    2. How much time does it take to get the citizenship of Canada?
    3. What are the procedures to apply for the citizenship?
    4. How much does it cost for the whole procedure?

  7. Hi,its me saira i had done my masters in taxtile designing i wanna shift from pakistan and to sattle in canada along with my husband and may son kindly tell me the prossedure how to move.thanks.

  8. hi i have completed 3 years as permanent residence in winnipeg canada.
    if i want to move to other province within canada can i do so or IS THERE SPECIFIC PERIOD FOR WHICH I HAVE TO STAY HERE.
    if i move to other province are there any dificulties i will face at the time of renewal of PR card,

  9. anthony m bamer jr on

    I am 48yrs old,plan to move in my early/mid 50’s to CANADA.can I transfer my social security benefits that I have paid in or do I have to surrender all vested money in American ssi system??

  10. i am 43 years old ,and have a plan to move to canada with my familie and i am working for the goverment in suriname like game warden and if ‘t ‘s possible to work in canada . I have my email .

  11. wali ahmed mir on

    dear sir
    i am 45 years old,and i am working in Qatar since 10 years .how i go to canada for work .i want to go from Qatar

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