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Citizenship

Under 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. Applicants between the ages of 18 and 54 are also required to demonstrate proficiency in English or French and must pass a citizenship test. This 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 be eligible to apply for citizenship before they submit their application. If an applicant applies too early, they will not be eligible, and their processing fee will not be refunded.

Eligibility to Apply

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and must have resided in Canada as a permanent resident for at least 3 years (1,095 days) within the 5 years immediately preceding the date of the application, with days spent in Canada before becoming a permanent resident counting as half days (up to a maximum of 365 days).

In addition, applicants must have filed their Canadian income tax returns for at least 3 years within the 5 years immediately preceding the application.

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.

The federal government has proposed changes to the Citizenship Act which will come into effect throughout 2017 and 2018. Please contact us for additional details and to determine how these changes may affect you.