Applying for citizenship
Every year about 170,000 people become new citizens of Canada.
To become Canadian citizens, adults must have lived in Canada for at least three years (1,095 days) in the past four years before applying. Children under the age of 18 do not need to meet this requirement.
You may be able to count time you spent in Canada before you became a permanent resident if that time falls within the four-year period.
You cannot become a citizen if you:
* have been convicted of an indictable (criminal) offence or an offence under the Citizenship Act in the three years before you applied;
* are currently charged with an indictable offence or an offence under the Citizenship Act;
* are in prison, on parole or on probation;
* are under a removal order (have been ordered by Canadian officials to leave Canada);
* are under investigation for, are charged with, or have been convicted of a war crime or a crime against humanity; or
* you have had your Canadian citizenship taken away in the past five years.
If you are on probation or are charged with an offence and are awaiting trial, you should wait until after the probation has ended or the trial is over to apply for citizenship.
If you have spent time on probation, on parole or in prison in the last four years, you may not meet the residence requirement for citizenship.
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 you were convicted of an offence. If you have spent time on probation from a conditional discharge, it may be counted toward residence.
To apply as an adult, you will need to include the following with your application:
* proof of permanent residence
o A Record of Landing (IMM 1000)—a document that is sometimes folded and stapled into your passport—if you became a permanent resident before June 28, 2002; or your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292 or 5509)—if you became a permanent resident on or after June 28, 2002
o A permanent resident card, a copy of both sides, if you became a permanent resident after June 28, 2002, or if you obtained a permanent resident card as an existing permanent resident
* two pieces of identification (for example, a passport, a driver’s licence, or a provincial/territorial health card), at least one of which contains your photo
* two signed citizenship photos, done according to the instructions in the guide and
* the receipt of payment (Fees Receipt form IMM 5401—see below) showing that you have paid the $200 fee (which includes a $100 right of citizenship fee and a $100 processing fee).
To apply on behalf of your child, you will need to include:
* your child’s long-form birth certificate or the child’s adoption order showing the names of the adoptive parents
* your child’s Record of Landing (IMM 1000) or Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292 or 5509)
* your child’s permanent resident card, a copy of both sides, if your child has one
* two pieces of identification for the child, such as school records, a provincial/territorial health card, or an immunization record
* two citizenship photos of the child, done according to directions in the guide and signed by the child if he or she is aged 14 or older and
* the original receipt of payment (Fees Receipt form IMM 5401—see below) showing that you have paid the $100 fee.
If you are a legal guardian applying on behalf of a child, you must also provide legal documentation proving
Mail your completed application form, along with the required documents, to:
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Case Processing Centre – Sydney
P.O. Box 7000
Sydney, Nova Scotia B1P 6V6
Citizenship Act (R.S., 1985, c. C-29)
Grant of citizenship
5. (1) The Minister shall grant citizenship to any person who
(a) makes application for citizenship;
(b) is eighteen years of age or over;
(c) is a permanent resident within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and has, within the four years immediately preceding the date of his or her application, accumulated at least three years of residence in Canada calculated in the following manner:
(i) for every day during which the person was resident in Canada before his lawful admission to Canada for permanent residence the person shall be deemed to have accumulated one-half of a day of residence, and
(ii) for every day during which the person was resident in Canada after his lawful admission to Canada for permanent residence the person shall be deemed to have accumulated one day of residence;
(d) has an adequate knowledge of one of the official languages of Canada;
(e) has an adequate knowledge of Canada and of the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship; and
(f) is not under a removal order and is not the subject of a declaration by the Governor in Council made pursuant to section 20.
Consideration by citizenship judge
14. (1) An application for
(a) a grant of citizenship under subsection 5(1) or (5),
(b) [Repealed, 2008, c. 14, s. 10]
(c) a renunciation of citizenship under subsection 9(1), or
(d) a resumption of citizenship under subsection 11(1)
shall be considered by a citizenship judge who shall, within sixty days of the day the application was referred to the judge, determine whether or not the person who made the application meets the requirements of this Act and the regulations with respect to the application.
(5) The Minister or the applicant may appeal to the Court from the decision of the citizenship judge under subsection (2) by filing a notice of appeal in the Registry of the Court within sixty days after the day on which
(a) the citizenship judge approved the application under subsection (2); or
(b) notice was mailed or otherwise given under subsection (3) with respect to the application.
(6) A decision of the Court pursuant to an appeal made under subsection (5) is, subject to section 20, final and, notwithstanding any other Act of Parliament, no appeal lies therefrom.
Section 28 of Federal Courts Act
16. Notwithstanding section 28 of the Federal Courts Act, the Federal Court of Appeal does not have jurisdiction to hear and determine an application to review and set aside a decision made under this Act if the decision may be appealed under section 14 of this Act.
According to an article in the Globe and Mail, more and more newcomers are failing the citizenship test since the Harper government made the exam a lot tougher.
In 2010, the Conservatives overhauled the test, requiring a higher score to pass — 15/20 instead of 12/20 — emphasizing a need to speak English or French and making questions about Canadian history, identity and values more challenging.
Becoming a permanent resident
To become a permanent resident, any foreign national outside Canada needs to present their permanent resident visa at a port of entry to Canada. As per policy decribed in Section 5.1 of this chapter, applicants whose permanent resident visa is issued while they are in Canada with a valid temporary resident status may:
The template letters that accompany the permanent resident visas for provincial nominees must be amended by the visa offices to include the following paragraph:
Please note that if you are already in Canada and have a valid temporary resident status, you now have the option of obtaining your permanent resident status in Canada as opposed to leaving Canada and re-entering at a port of entry. Please contact CIC’s Call Centre at 1 888 242-2100 as soon as possible to arrange an appointment with the Citizenship and Immigration office nearest to your place of residence. (You cannot call this number if you are outside Canada.) (OP 07b)
Documents which can serve as proof of Canadian Citizenship (for the purpose of travel).
The following documents are proof of Canadian citizenship for the purpose of international travel:
A Canadian citizenship certificate (CCC) is not a travel document. However, it may be used within Canada as evidence of citizenship.
Passport and travel document requirements for foreign nationals coming to Canada to become Permanent Residents
A foreign national seeking to become a permanent resident of Canada requires a permanent resident visa and one of the following:
Non-refugee foreign nationals approved for immigration to Canada who are unable to obtain one of the above documents may travel to Canada with a single journey travel document to which their permanent resident visa is affixed [see Appendix II, Item 5. (a)].
A foreign national on whom refugee protection is conferred abroad by Canadian authorities who is unable to obtain one of the above documents may travel specifically to Canada with a single journey document for resettlement to Canada [see Appendix II, Item 5. (b)].