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Citizenship

Pursuant to the Citizenship Act, a person is a citizen if they:

  • Were born in Canada after February 14, 1977;
  • Were born outside Canada after February 14, 1977, and at the time of their birth, at least one of their parents was born in Canada, or was a naturalized Canadian citizen;
  • Were born in Canada before February 14, 1977, or born outside Canada to a Canadian citizen parent before February 14, 1977 (in certain cases); or
  • Were a citizen or entitled to become a citizen immediately before February 15, 1977;

Persons who previously lost their Canadian citizenship may also be eligible. Please contact us for more details.

Individuals who do not meet one of the above-noted criteria may become Canadian citizens by applying for a grant of citizenship. Canada permits dual citizenship; however, other countries may not. Therefore, a person may be required to surrender their foreign citizenship upon becoming a Canadian citizen.

Information on Citizenship :

  • Application Process
  • Eligibility to Apply
  • Children
  • Revocation of Citizenship

Application Process

Individuals who wish to apply for a grant of Canadian citizenship are required to submit a paper-based application. At this time, Canada does not offer online citizenship applications.

To qualify, applicants must demonstrate that they have spent sufficient time physically present in Canada, and that they intend to continue residing in Canada.

Applicants between the ages of fourteen (14) and sixty-four (64), are also required to demonstrate proficiency in the English or French language, and must pass a citizenship test. The citizenship test, which must be written in English or French, without the assistance of an interpreter, requires knowledge of Canada’s political system, history and geography. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has created a guide called “Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship” to help applicants prepare for the test.

It is important that the applicant is eligible to apply for citizenship before they submit their application. If an applicant applies too early, they will not be eligible. There is no refund of the processing fee.

Eligibility to Apply

Applicants must be at least 18 years, and must have resided in Canada as a permanent resident for at least 4 years (1,460 days) within the 6 years immediately preceding the date of the application. Applicants must also be physically present in Canada for at least 183 days during each of the 4 calendar years.

In addition, applicants must have filed their Canadian income tax returns for at least 4 years within the six years immediately preceding the application; , and must declare their intention to reside in Canada.

A person may no longer count time that was spent in Canada as a temporary resident towards the citizenship residency requirement. Only time spent in Canada as a permanent resident qualifies towards citizenship eligibility.

CHILDREN

Children under the age of 18 are not required to meet the residency requirement as long as they are (i) permanent residents, and (ii) have one parent (or legal guardian) who is either a Canadian citizen or who is applying to become a Canadian citizen.

Revocation of Citizenship

Under current citizenship laws, a person’s Canadian citizenship may be revoked if citizenship was obtained, retained, resumed, or renounced by:

  • False representation;
  • Fraud; or
  • Knowingly concealing material circumstances.

If a person is a dual citizen—i.e., has Canadian citizenship and citizenship of one or more countries—their Canadian citizenship may be revoked if, while having Canadian citizenship, they:

  • Served as a member of an armed force or organized armed group engaged in an armed conflict with Canada;
  • Were convicted of treason, high treason, spying offences, and sentenced to life imprisonment; or
  • Were convicted of a terrorism offence or an equivalent foreign terrorism conviction.

The government has proposed changes to the Citizenship Act which could become law by the end of the year. Please contact us for additional details and to determine how these changes may affect you.