Who is a Canadian Citizen? According to the official definition, A Canadian citizen is a person who possesses Canadian citizenship by birth or through the naturalization process under the Canadian Citizenship Act. Further details about the types of Canadian citizens are coming up next.
You can acquire Canadian citizenship in the following four ways:
We will briefly explain the first three terms because they are simple and self-explanatory, and will give details to the fourth one because that is what the majority of the immigrants will need help with.
If you are born in Canada, you are automatically a Canadian citizen, unless you are a child of a representative of a foreign government, an employee of a foreign representative, United Nations employee, or a representative of an international agency.
You are a Canadian by bloodline if you are born outside of Canada to a Canadian citizen (either your father or mother is a Canadian). This only applies to first-generation children. For example, if you are born to a Canadian citizen in the Philippines, you are automatically a Canadian citizen, however, if your son was also born in the Philippines, he will not become a Canadian citizen.
However, if a parent is working for the Canadian armed forces or federal or provincial public service abroad, this first-generation rule does not apply.
If a Canadian citizen adopts a foreign-born minor child (under 18 years), the child will be treated like his biological child and will be granted citizenship without obtaining permanent residency first.
Naturalization means when a permanent resident becomes eligible to apply for a grant of citizenship. eligibility requirements are provided next. Since every year, hundreds of thousands of permanent residents become naturalized Canadian citizens, therefore, we will explain this type of citizenship in detail.
To become eligible for Canadian citizenship, you must have been a permanent resident of Canada and have lived in Canada for 3 years out of the last 5 years. Moreover, you must have filed taxes, passed the citizenship test (required for between the ages of 18 and 54) and met the minimum language requirements.
Let us look into each requirement one by one:
Permanent Residence in Canada: You should have a permanent residence status and Canada and have not lost it, or are under a removal order.
Please note the difference between P.R status and P.R card, your card does not necessarily need to be valid at the time of the application.
Time in Canada: You must have physically spent 3 years in Canada (1095 days) during the last 5 years before the date of your application. Your time as a temporary resident can also be counted as half a time for a maximum of 1 year.
For example, if you have been in Canada for 2 years as a student and then you became a PR and live in Canada for 2 years, you would still be eligible, because your 2 years as a T.R will be counted at a 50% rate which will be converted to 1 year of stay for citizenship.
Income Tax: You must have filed income taxes for the duration of your stay in Canada, especially the one you are counting towards citizenship.
Language: If you are between the ages of 18 and 54 at the time of the citizenship application, you must pass the minimum language requirements (CLB 4) for speaking and listening in either English or French. Most applicants will not need to take a new language test, because IRCC accepts a large number of documents for language proof. For Example, if you have a diploma/transcript/certificate of secondary or post-secondary education in English or French, that would be accepted as proof of language.
Citizenship Test: If you are between the ages of 18 and 54 at the time of the citizenship application, you need to pass the citizenship test. Once your application is accepted and processed, you will be asked to appear for a citizenship test in 30 days. Though the official reading book is small, it is advisable to start studying the book after your citizenship application is accepted.
The book is called “Discover Canada” and is available at the following link: http://bit.ly/3jhW7ss
If you are 55 or over, you are not required to take the test, however, you must appear for an interview with the citizenship officer.
Minors under the age of 18 who has a Canadian parent or who are applying together at the same time, are not required to take a test to appear for the interview. Minors between 14 to 17 without Canadian parents or parents who are applying with the minor together are required to appear for an interview, however, minors under 14 are exempt from both tests and interviews.
The test is either in English or French, 30 minutes long, and has 20 multiple-choice true and false questions, where you must answer 15 questions correctly to pass.
If you are not required to meet the language requirements because of your age, you can request an oral test where the officer will verbally ask you questions so you do not need to read or write on the paper.
Canadian citizens enjoy more rights and privileges than Canadian permanent residents. Following is a list of a few major differences:
- Permanent Residents Cannot vote or run for political office in Canada, while Canadian citizens can fully participate in politics.
- Permanent Residents Get a PR card, which is only good for re-entry to Canada, while citizens Get a passport to enjoy visa-free travel internationally to 107 countries of the world.
- Permanent Residents must comply with Residency obligations, while Canadian citizens have No residency obligations.
- Permanent Residents Cannot hold certain civil service jobs that require high-security clearance, while citizens Can work in any civil service position if qualified.
- Permanent Residents Can be permanent residents of several countries that ban dual citizenship, while For Citizens, Certain countries can only allow one citizenship (Japan, India, etc.)
- Permanent Residents Can lose permanent residence on several instances such as non-compliance with residency obligations, etc while citizens Cannot lose citizenship unless they renounce it voluntarily.
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Canada's immigration system is based on three pillars, each pillar includes multiple classes, and each class includes multiple programs. These three pillars include Temporary Residence, Permanent Residence, and Citizenship. This website contains all of these programs in various places, however, the followings are a few programs that we have selected for your ease of access.
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