To be qualified to submit a citizenship application to Canada, you must:
- becoming a resident permanently
- satisfy the physical presence requirement for Canada
- submit your taxes (if necessary)
- passing the citizenship test for Canada (if you are between the ages of 18-54)
- Show off your language abilities (if you are between the ages of 18-54)
When you are a Canadian filing for your adopted kid who was born outside of Canada, a minor, or a former Canadian citizen seeking to regain citizenship, there may be extra or additional criteria.
Canada Permanent Resident
To seek Canadian citizenship, you should be a permanent resident and you may not:
- being under investigation for fraud or for immigration
- being asked to leave Canada by Canadian authorities
- Having outstanding requirements for your PR status, such as medical testing
The Permanent Residence (PR) certificate may already be expired when you submit your application; this is not required.
Required physical presence
Before submitting an application for Canadian citizenship, you should have spent a minimum of three of the previous five years—or 1,095 days—residing in Canada. For rare circumstances, there may be some exceptions to this rule.
Before you became a permanent resident, if you were a protected individual or a temporary resident in Canada, you might count those dates against your physical presence criteria. You can only spend up to 365 days as a temporary resident or protected individual and every day spent in Canada during the five years preceding your candidacy only qualifies as a half-day.
In case you committed a calculating error, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) advises that you file your application for Canadian citizenship after having resided in the country for more than 1,095 days.
Submit your taxes
For a minimum of three of the five years prior to submitting your application for Canadian citizenship, you might be required to file taxes in Canada. Even if you just temporarily resided in Canada during the year, you can still be required to file an income tax return:
- Taxes for the year are due.
- Would you like a refund?
- Want to receive credit payments for benefits
Demonstrate your language abilities
You must demonstrate to IRCC that you can communicate in English or French at a CLB level of 4 or higher.
The IRCC may evaluate your language abilities by looking at the documentation you provide that proves them or by observing how well you interact with citizenship authorities when submitting your application.
Your language abilities may be evaluated by IRCC during a meeting with a citizenship authority if required.
If you don’t fit the bill for citizenship, you might not be able to obtain citizenship in Canada. You would also not be qualified for Canadian citizenship if you had certain legal or criminal convictions, such as:
- Within the last five years, your citizenship has been revoked.
- You were found guilty of a crime during the last three years.
- You are on probation, parole, or incarcerated
- You are subject to a Canada deportation order.
- You are suspected of committing a crime against humanity or a war crime, or you have already been found guilty of one.