Subject 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; or
- In certain cases, persons who were born in Canada before February 14, 1977, or born outside Canada to a Canadian citizen parent before February 14, 1977, are also considered citizens. Persons who previously lost their Canadian citizenship may also be eligible.
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, not all countries do. Therefore, a person may be required to surrender their foreign citizenship if they become a Canadian citizen.
Grant 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.
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.
Grant of Citizenship – Eligibility to Apply
Applicants 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.
Grant of Citizenship – Children
Children under the age of 18 are not required 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.
Information on Citizenship :
- Application Process
- Eligibility to Apply
- Revocation of Citizenship
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“Jacqueline Bart at BartLAW is our most highly regarded Canadian Corporate Immigration Lawyer this year . She provides ‘detailed advice’ and is a ‘real pleasure to work with’ according to our sources.”