In order to apply for Canadian Citizenship, you must:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Have lived in Canada as a Permanent Resident for at least 3 years out of the 4 years (1,095 days) right before the day you apply
- Know how to speak or write in either English or French, which are Canada's two official languages
The time you spent in Canada before you became a permanent resident may be counted only if it happened within these 4 years. All the time you lived in Canada after you became a permanent resident counts as full time. If you're still not sure about the time you have spent in Canada, use the residence calculator to help you.
Another important thing to remember when applying for Canadian Citizenship is your Permanent Resident status cannot be in doubt. This means that you cannot be under an immigration investigation, an immigration inquiry or a removal order (an order from Canadian officials asking you to leave Canada).
For more information about other requirements for citizenship, like language abilities, criminal history or your knowledge of Canada, visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.
There are also fees that are involved with applying for citizenship. Find out how much it costs to apply.
Once your application is accepted, you have to write a Citizenship Test. This test will assess your knowledge of the English or French language. It is also written to make sure you have some general knowledge of Canada's history, geography and political system.
The entire process, from application to test, takes about 15 -18 months and Citizenship and Immigration Canada will generally provide a 2 weeks notice before the test date. You can find out more about the processing times here.
Under the age of 18?
If you are under the age of 18, and a Permanent Resident and if at least one of your parents, adoptive parents or legal guardians applies for their citizenship, they can apply for your citizenship too. If you are under the age of 18, you do not have to live in Canada for 3 years in order to qualify and you do not have to write the Citizenship Test.
Applying for Canadian Citizenship has many benefits and you should apply as soon as you get the chance. If you are under the age of 18, your status depends on that of your parents, therefore it is important that you speak to them about this issue.