The process of applying for Canadian citizenship can be broken down into several steps:
Eligibility: The first step is to determine if you are eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship. You must be 18 years of age or older, have permanent resident status, and have been physically present in Canada for at least three out of the last five years.
Application: Once you have determined that you are eligible, you can then complete and submit the Canadian Citizenship Application form. You will also need to submit other forms such as the Adult General Passport Application, the Citizenship Fee Payment form, and the Use of a Representative form (if applicable).
Supporting Documents: Along with the application form, you will need to submit several supporting documents. These include:
- Proof of permanent resident status, such as a Permanent Resident Card
- A valid passport or travel document
- Two passport-size photos
- Proof of language proficiency, such as a language test or a certificate of completion from a language course
- Proof of residence, such as a lease agreement or utility bills
- Proof of income, such as a T4 slip or pay stubs
- Proof of any criminal convictions, such as a police clearance certificate
Processing: Once your application and supporting documents are submitted, they will be reviewed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. This process can take several months.
Test or Interview: Depending on your situation, you may be required to take a test or attend an interview to assess your knowledge of Canada and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
Decision: Once the processing and test/interview are completed, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will make a decision on your application. If your application is approved, you will be invited to attend a citizenship ceremony where you will take the Oath of Citizenship and receive your certificate of Canadian citizenship.
It’s important to note that this process and the required documents may vary depending on your individual circumstances. It is always recommended to consult with an immigration consultant or lawyer for personalized guidance.
There are additional or different requirements if you are:
- applying for a minor (under age 18)
- a Canadian applying for your adopted child born outside Canada
- a current or former Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) member applying under the fast-track process
- a past Canadian citizen who want your Canadian citizenship back (including current and former CAF members)
Spouses of Canadian citizens
You don’t automatically become a citizen when you marry a Canadian.
If you’re the spouse of a Canadian citizen, you must meet the same requirements listed above (no exception).
Children and grandchildren of Canadian citizens
If you have a Canadian parent or grandparent, you may be a Canadian citizen.
- See if you may be a Canadian citizen
- To find out for sure, apply for a Canadian citizenship certificate