After successfully navigating the immigration process, many permanent residents in Canada eagerly anticipate the opportunity to become official citizens through the grant of Canadian citizenship. However, before that can happen, there are several final requirements that must be fulfilled as part of the approval process by Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the citizenship application.
Canadian Citizenship Eligibility
To obtain Canadian citizenship through naturalization, an individual must first obtain permanent residency in Canada. In order to be eligible to apply for citizenship, permanent residents must meet certain requirements including:
1.Residency: proof of living in Canada for at least 3 of the past 5 years before the application is signed, with some exceptions.
2. Tax Filing: proof of filing taxes in Canada for at least 3 of the past 5 years before applying.
3. Citizenship Test: all applicants between the ages of 18-54 must pass a test to demonstrate knowledge of Canadian rights and responsibilities.
4.Language proficiency: demonstration of a minimum level of ability in French or English is required.
Canadian Citizenship Test
To obtain Canadian citizenship, individuals must pass a test on the rights and responsibilities of being a Canadian citizen. The test includes 20 questions on various topics such as Canadian history, geography, economy, government, laws and symbols.
It’s worth mentioning that certain applicants are not required to take the citizenship test. Specifically, those under 18 or over 54 years of age at the time of submitting the application are exempt from taking the test.
The Canadian government offers a free study guide to assist with preparing for the citizenship test. Additionally, applicants may reach out to their local school or school board, or an immigration settlement service provider for information on free citizenship classes.
Once the application is processed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), applicants will be invited to take the test. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the test is offered online only currently. After receiving the invitation, candidates have 21 days to complete the test. If an applicant does not pass on their first attempt, they will be given another opportunity.
Canadian Citizenship Cermony
The final step in the process of obtaining Canadian citizenship is the citizenship ceremony. During the ceremony, individuals about to become citizens take the Oath of Citizenship. The government will issue a Notice to Appear, which serves as an invitation to take the oath at a citizenship ceremony. The Oath of Citizenship signifies an individual’s agreement to uphold Canadian rights and responsibilities.
Canadian Citizenship Cost
The cost of obtaining Canadian citizenship for an individual applicant is $630 CAD for adults and $100 CAD for children. This includes the following fees:
Canadian Citizenship Benefits
Permanent residents in Canada have access to many of the same resources as citizens, such as publicly funded schools and healthcare, the ability to live and work anywhere in Canada, and protection of their civil liberties under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
However, becoming a Canadian citizen also has additional perks. Here are five benefits that permanent residents can only access once they become citizens:
It’s worth noting that since 1977, the Canadian government has recognized multiple citizenships, so new Canadian citizens don’t need to give up their previous citizenship.
Who Does Not Need to Demonstrate Proficiency in English or French When Applying for Canadian Citizenship
When applying for Canadian citizenship, not all individuals are required to demonstrate proficiency in English or French. Specifically, the following individuals are exempt from language proficiency requirements:
Additionally, individuals with specific medical conditions which prevent them from taking the test, they can apply for exception with a medical certificate.
Dual Citizenship in Canada
It is permitted to retain dual citizenship in Canada, as the Canadian government recognizes the concept of dual nationality. However, it is important for permanent residents considering becoming Canadian citizens to confirm that the country of their current nationality also recognizes dual citizenship before proceeding with the naturalization process.
If you’re looking for assistance with the Canadian citizenship process, consider reaching out to the Vizard immigration firm. With our expertise and knowledge in the field, we can provide you with professional guidance and support throughout the entire process. Contact us today to discuss your options and take the first step towards becoming a Canadian citizen.