Canada Citizenship

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Citizenship

Overview

If you want to become a Canadian citizen, you must follow several steps:

1. Determine if you are eligible to become a citizen.

2. Apply for citizenship.

3. Take the citizenship test, if you are between the ages of 18 and 54. (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/citizenship/cit-test.asp)

4. Attend a citizenship ceremony, if you are 14 or older. (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/citizenship/cit-ceremony.asp)

Process

To become a Canadian citizen, you must do the following:

1. Obtain an application package.

    If you are an adult (age 18 or older), you need Application for Canadian Citizenship – Adults  
    (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/adults.asp)
    If you are applying for your children (under age 18), you need Application for Canadian Citizenship Minors 
    (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/minors.asp)

2. Complete the application form and attach the necessary documents.

    To apply as an adult, you will need to include the following with your application:
         A. Proof of permanent residence 
         B. A Record of Landing (IMM 1000)—a document that is sometimes folded and stapled into your passport—if you  
            became permanent resident before June 28, 2002; or your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292 or 5509)—if 
            you became a permanent resident on or after June 28, 2002 
         C. A permanent resident card, a copy of both sides, if you became a permanent resident after June 28, 2002, or if 
            you obtained a permanent resident card as an existing permanent resident 
         D. Two pieces of identification (for example, a passport, a driver’s licence, or a provincial/territorial health 
            card), at least one of which contains your photo 
         E. Two signed citizenship photos, done according to the instructions in the guide and the receipt of payment (form 
            IMM 5401—see below) showing that you have paid the $200 fee (which includes a $100 right of citizenship fee and a 
            $100 processing fee). 


    To apply on behalf of your child, you will need to include:
         A. Your child’s long-form birth certificate or the child’s adoption order showing the names of the adoptive parents 
         B. Your child’s Record of Landing (IMM 1000) or Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292 or 5509) 
         C. Your child’s permanent resident card, a copy of both sides, if your child has one 
         D. Two pieces of identification for the child, such as school records, a provincial/territorial health card, or an 
            immunization record 
         E. Two citizenship photos of the child, done according to directions in the guide and signed by the child if he or 
            she is aged 14 or older and the original receipt of payment (form IMM 5401—see below) showing that you have paid 
            the $100 fee. 
         F. If you are a legal guardian applying on behalf of a child, you must also provide legal documentation proving 
            guardianship.

3. Pay the fee and get the necessary receipt.

4. Mail the application form and documents.

If you apply for more than one person and want your applications processed together, you can submit all the forms and documents in the same envelope. If the applications are sent in different envelopes, they will be processed separately.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Case Processing Centre - Sydney 

P.O. Box 7000 Sydney, Nova Scotia B1P 6V6

Concerns

What is the residence requirement?

To be eligible for Canadian citizenship, you must have lived in Canada for at least three years (1,095 days) out of the four years (1,460 days) preceding your application. When calculating your time in Canada:

  • only the four (4) years preceding the date of your application are taken into account;
  • each day you lived in Canada before you became a permanent resident counts as half a day;
  • each day you lived in Canada after you became a permanent resident counts as one day;
  • time spent serving a sentence for an offence in Canada (e.g. prison, penitentiary, jail, reformatory, conditional sentence, probation and/or parole) cannot be counted toward residence - there are some exceptions to this rule;
  • absences from Canada may have an impact on your residence. Only a citizenship judge can determine if you meet the residence requirements with fewer than 1,095 days of physical presence.

In order to help you decide when to apply, the residence calculator does three different calculations: (https://services3.cic.gc.ca/rescalc/startBasicCalc.do)

  • Basic residence,
  • Basic residence taking into account time spent serving a sentence, and
  • Physical presence.
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