How to Become a Canadian Citizen
If you wish to become a fully naturalized Canadian citizen someday, it may be on your priority list to learn the things you’ll have to do to complete this process. Though, it is a very long process, which always begins with another process to help an individual gain permanent resident status. The process by which an individual becomes a permanent resident could be very different from person to person, though, all who have achieved permanent resident status will suddenly find themselves on relatively the same path, whether they simply care to maintain their status as permanent residents, or, they would prefer to become Canadian citizens. Throughout this article we will cover the process of becoming a Canadian citizen, and be sure to explain the requirements to become eligible for this status.
So you’re a Permanent Resident, What’s next?
As you may already know, permanent residents must meet their “residency requirement” to be permitted to maintain their status as a permanent resident. You must a spend a minimum of 2 years, or, 730 days total in Canada to be able to successfully renew your status as a permanent resident. This is equivalent to spending a total of 2 years in Canada. This two years does not need to be consecutive, you simply must spend a total of 2 years, within the 5 years your PR card is valid in Canada.
If you only wish to maintain status as a permanent resident, the residency requirement is as above. As a permanent resident, you have access to a variety of social services, and can even obtain a social insurance number. You are also free to live, work or study anywhere in Canada. Though, you are also subject to the same obligations as Canadian citizens, and must pay taxes and respect all laws and regulations at the federal, provincial and municipal levels. Failure to do these things can result in deportation. Though, you are not allowed to do some things, which a Canadian citizen is allowed to do. For example, you are not allowed to vote or run for political office, or hold some jobs that need a high-level security clearance. So, it is totally up to you if you do not want to apply for citizenship, though, it is important to know this option is available, and could perhaps be “what’s next.”
Determining if you’re Eligible to Apply for Citizenship
The same as ensuring you are eligible to apply to renew your permanent resident card; you must meet the residency requirement to become a Canadian citizen. Not to cause any confusion, you are not subject to the same residency requirement as is needed to renew your PR card, though; the obligation is very similar nonetheless. You must meet a minimum of 1095 days in Canada, or, the equivalent of 3 years total. In addition to this, you must have upheld your status as a permanent resident respectfully. In other words, your permanent resident status cannot be in question because you are under review for immigration or fraud reasons, or have certain unfulfilled conditions related to your PR status, or are the subject of a removal order. Finally, if you are required by law, you must have respected your personal income tax filing obligation, for the three tax years that are fully or partially within the five years before you apply. If you have been a lawful permanent resident and meet the residency and income tax requirements, you can begin to prepare an application to become a Canadian citizen. Obviously, you must collect documents to submit which clearly show you are eligible to become a Canadian citizen. This includes disclosing your whereabouts for the entire 5 year period, in detail.
To Prepare your Application
As mentioned, you must provide proof you are eligible. Then, you must meet the standards the government expects of Canadian citizens in a few areas. There is a minimum language requirement as well as a citizenship test, to assess how well the applicant knows Canada, in an effort to ensure Citizens are truly engaged and loyal to the country.
1. The Language Requirement
You may have to take a test to show your ability to communicate in either English or French meets a minimum level, in all four testing areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening. You must be able to:
- Participate in short, everyday conversations about common topics
- Take simple instructions, understand and ask questions and understand directions
- Use basic grammar; this means is able to form simple sentence structures and understand tenses
- Prove you know enough common words and phrases to answer questions and express yourself
Please note applicants under the age of 18 are not subject to the language requirement.
2. Knowledge of Canada
Your knowledge of Canada will be established during a citizenship test which is mandatory for all citizenship applicants. The purpose of the interview is to assess your candidacy as a Canadian citizen, by assessing your knowledge of Canada’s values, history, national symbols, institutions, rights, responsibilities and privileges of citizenship, and prohibitions of the law. It is essential to have fairly goof knowledge of these things, as this shows immigration officers you are passionate about becoming a Canadian citizen, and have no intentions of leaving Canada.
Contact Akrami & Associates
Should you have any further questions or feel confused or unclear about how to apply for Canadian citizenship, it is important to talk about any questions you may have and discuss your concerns. By talking to immigration professionals about your concerns, this will ease your worries and assist with the application process. Many immigration applications are difficult to pursue on your own, if you are unfamiliar, and it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to apply. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients gain Canadian citizenship and they are now happily living in Canada as citizens. If you believe that you may be eligible for Canadian citizenship, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!