Are you ready for Canadian Citizenship?
– DO YOU MEET THE REQUIREMENTS?
When filing your Canadian citizenship application, the Canadian government will take the following factors into consideration:
- Permanent Resident status
- Time you have lived in Canada
- Income tax filing
- Language skills
- How well you know Canada
PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS
First of all, you must be a Canadian permanent resident.
You cannot be under review for immigration or fraud reasons, have unfulfilled conditions related to your PR status or be under a removal order.
A removal order is an order from Canadian officials to leave Canada.
TIME YOU HAVE LIVED IN CANADA
Regardless of your age, you must have been physically present in Canada for at least 1095 days during the five years right before the date you sign your application.
It is possible to use some of the time spent in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person towards the physical presence calculation.
For each day spent physically in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident within the last 5 years, the Canadian government will give you one half day, with a maximum of 365 days.
INCOME TAX FILING
If required under the income tax act you must meet your personal income tax filing obligations in three tax years that are fully or partially within the five years right before the date you apply.
Whether or not you are required to file income taxes is something your accountant will be able to tell you.
However, it is highly recommended that you file your taxes from the first year of living in Canada, even if your income is very low. The reason for this might be that you are in Canada as a student and only have very limited income.
To obtain Canadian citizenhip, you must show that you can speak and listen English or French. Being able to speak and listen means that you are familiar with simple instructions and basic grammar, have enough common vocabulary to answer questions and express yourself and can have short, everyday conversations about common topics.
Individuals between 18 and 54 must submit proof that they master English or French at that basic level. You can submit several language proofs in support of your application.
You must prove that you have sufficient knowledge about Canadian history, culture, symbols, institututions and values. The test can be taken in English or French and is mandatory for applicants between 18 and 54.
If you are younger than 18 at the time you apply, you do not have to sit for the test. The test is usually a written exam, unless you have to take it orally with a citizenship officer.
CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP APPLICATION AND PROHIBITIONS
Canadian law excludes certain people from obtaining Canadian citizenship. A list of all Canadian citizenship exclusions is available on the website of IRCC.
CAN I FILE MY CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP APPLICATION FROM OUTSIDE OF CANADA?
This question is currently controversial and not 100% solved among practicioners.
First, it must be noted that nothing in the Citizenship Act prohibits this. The key question is whether you were physically present in Canada for at least 1,095 days in the five years prior to your application.
Also, it is worth mentioning that S.5(1)(c.1) of the Citizenhsip Act was repealed earlier this year. That was the section that mandated all applicants had to declare an intention to continue residing in Canada in the future. What is relevant now is the 5 year time frame prior to the application for citizenship and whether you met the residency obligation.
However, being outside of Canada at the time of filing might raise suspicions concerning your whereabouts during the 5 year time frame under examination. In case you file an application while outside of Canada, great attention must be paid to the residency calculation.
In addition, be prepared to provide documentary evidence concerning the physical whereabouts during the relevant time frame.
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