Canadian Citizenship

Citizenship Regulations (SOR/93-246)

Please contact our office to book a consultation on having us complete your Citizenship Application on your behalf. We have a streamlined system where we will guide you through the maze and challenge of the new Citizenship rules and regulations, so that you do not make a critical mistake and have your application be rejected.

The Canadian Government grants Canadian Citizenship to Permanent Residents who have established themselves in Canada or to Minor children of Adoptive Parents, a Legal Guardian or of parents in which one parent is a Canadian Citizen. In order to qualify for Canadian Citizenship, there is now a very strict list of requirements that each applicant must fulfill. The Canadian Citizenship Act has recently been amended to include the following criteria for Citizenship:

  1. You must live in Canada for 3 out of the last 4 years
  2. You must meet the new language requirements
  3. Pay a Government fee of $530
  4. Take a Canadian Citizenship Test
  5. Take the Canadian Oath of Allegiance
  6. Apply for a Citizenship Certificate


You must be at least 18 years old to apply.

To apply for citizenship for a child under 18:

  • you must be the child’s parent, adoptive parent or legal guardian,
  • the child must be a permanent resident, and
  • one parent must be a Canadian citizen or apply to become a citizen at the same time (this also applies to adoptive parents).

Permanent resident status

You must have permanent resident (PR) status in Canada. Your PR status must not be in question. That means you must not be:

  • under review for immigration or fraud reasons, or
  • under a removal order (an order from Canadian officials to leave Canada).

You do not need to have a PR card to apply for citizenship. If you have a PR card, but it is expired, you can still apply for citizenship.

Time you have lived in Canada

You must have resided in Canada for at least three years (1,095 days) in the past four years before you apply. This does not apply to children under 18.

You may be able to count time you spent in Canada before you became a permanent resident if it was during the past four years.

Use CIC’s online tool to find out if you have lived in Canada long enough to apply to become a citizen.

Language abilities

Canada has two official languages—English and French. To become a citizen, you must show that you have adequate knowledge of one of these languages. In general, this means you can:

  • take part in short, everyday conversations about common topics;
  • understand simple instructions, questions and directions;
  • use basic grammar, including simple structures and tenses; and
  • show that you know enough common words and phrases to answer questions and express yourself.

If you are between 18 and 54, you must send documents with your citizenship application that prove you can speak and listen in English or French at this level (CLB Level 4). There are very specific types of proof of language that are acceptable by CIC.

Second, CIC will make notes on how well you communicate when you talk to staff or a citizenship officer who interviews you.

A citizenship officer will make the final decision on your application, including how well you can communicate in English or French.

NB: Please note that language requirements are also specific from Province to Province, depending on where you live. What is submitted in your application for the province of British Columbia is different from the Province of Ontario. We will help guide you through the process of obtaining the proper documents to support your language requirements.

Criminal history (prohibitions)

You cannot become a citizen if you:

  • have been convicted of an indictable (criminal) offence or an offence under the Citizenship Act in the three years before you apply,
  • are currently charged with an offence under the Citizenship Act,
  • are in prison, on parole or on probation,
  • are under a removal order (Canadian officials have ordered you to leave Canada),
  • are being investigated for, are charged with, or have been convicted of a war crime or a crime against humanity, or
  • have had your Canadian citizenship taken away in the past five years.

If you are on probation or are charged with a crime and waiting for a trial, you should wait until after the probation is done or your trial is over to apply to become a citizen.

Time in prison or on parole does not count as time you have lived in Canada. Time on probation also does not count if you were convicted of a crime.

If you were on probation due to a conditional discharge, that time may be counted toward the time you have lived in Canada.

How well you know Canada

To become a citizen, you must understand the rights, responsibilities and privileges of citizenship, such as voting in elections and obeying the law. You must also show you understand Canada’s:

  • history,
  • values,
  • institutions and
  • symbols.

If you are between the ages of 18-54 when you apply for citizenship, you will need to take a test to show you have adequate knowledge of Canada and the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship. All you need to know for the test is in CIC’s free study guide, Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship. We or CIC can send you a copy of it once we get your application. The questions in the citizenship test are based on this study guide. We can also put you in touch with citizenship test courses that you can take to ensure your knowledge of Canada is adequate to pass the exam.

We Can Help

For more information on how we can help you, please book a consultation with us today.


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Julie McMahon, RCIC, CAPIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
CICC number: R509339

Phone: 778.231.9410
Fax: 778.653.0665
Office Address:
Airport Square Building Suite 1100, 1200 West 73rd Avenue Vancouver, BC, Canada V6P 6G5
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