Become a canadian citizen

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Canadian citizenship

Once you have completed your permanent residency obligations, the next step is to become a Canadian citizen. The right to citizenship is both an honour and privilege as it allows you to exercise your right to vote in both federal and provincial elections. Residency obligations are also eliminated.   

Canadian flags in the sky

Following are the most common ways of acquiring canadian citizenship.

Born in canada

According to the citizenship act, any person born in canada is a canadian citizen. This rule applies even if neither parent is a canadian citizen and even if one or both parents are in canada illegally. There is an exception to this rule, a child born to a foreign national who is in canada as the representative of a foreign government, or an international agency is not a canadian citizen by birth.

Born outside canada to a canadian citizen

A person is a canadian citizen if he was born outside canada and at the time of birth at least one of his parents was a canadian citizen. This rule is applicable even if the child has no other ties with canada than having canadian parents and even if the child never resides or visits canada.

People born before april 17, 2009 who are second or subsequent-generations are canadian citizens but they must apply for citizenship certificates. After april 17, 2009, children born abroad to a parent who derived her citizenship from a canadian parent who was also born abroad will no longer automatically become canadian citizens.

Citizenship by adoption

The child born outside canada and adopted by a canadian citizen is the same as the biological child born abroad to a canadian citizen. The minor child adopted by a canadian citizen after January 1, 1947 can obtain citizenship without first obtaining the permanent residency, provided that the adoption was in the best interest of the child and it created a genuine parent-child relationship


A permanent resident can eventually apply for canadian citizenship through the process of naturalization.

To become a canadian citizen, you must first meet the eligibility requirements.

  • Be a permanent resident of canada with valid status
  • Meet the residency requirement (lived in canada for 3 out of the last 5 years) and have filed taxes, if applicable
  • Meet the minimum language requirements (CLB 4 or above)
  • Pass the citizenship test in english or french
Who cannot apply for citizenship?
Applications will be denied to those applicants who:

Do not meet or cannot provide proof of the minimum residency requirements;
Fail their canadian citizenship test and/or interview;
Have been ordered to leave canada;
Have been convicted of a criminal offence in the last three years;
Have had their citizenship revoked;
Are on parole, probation, or are in prison;
Have been convicted or are under investigation for a crime against humanity or a war crime.

Not Sure If you meet your residency obligation to apply for canadian citizenship?

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