How to Get Canadian Citizenship in 2024

Did you know that you can apply for Canadian citizenship after three years of permanent residence? However, many immigrants are unaware of the process or timeframe for obtaining Canadian citizenship after being granted permanent residence in the country. 210,000 permanent residents became citizens of Canada in 2022–2023.

How to Get Canadian Citizenship in 2024
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Many people dream of becoming Canada's citizens for a good cause. Canada is a land of opportunity and rich culture. Getting Canadian citizenship might assist permanent residents to follow their desire to live in Canada as citizens for the rest of their lives. People from all around the world are welcome to live and work in Canada. Anyone looking to embark on a new adventure will find the nation's robust economy and many employment options appealing.

Canada aims to welcome 1.23 million immigrants to become permanent residents by 2024. Canada welcomes over 300,000 new immigrants every year and has made the process of becoming a Canadian citizen relatively simple. This is an incredible opportunity for anyone looking to get Canadian citizenship. Every year, this immigration target will increase by 10,000, and you could be one of them. 

For several reasons, people are moving toward Canada from all over the world. The country's constantly expanding economy has many job prospects and a better future for them and their families. Canada may be the location you've been looking for if you want to enjoy a high standard of living, free public education and universal healthcare, fantastic professional prospects with outstanding incomes and work benefits, or just the country's natural beauty. What occurs next, though?

You can enjoy many benefits when you become a part of the Canadian community. Continue reading to learn more as we look at everything you need to know about becoming a Canadian citizen in 2022.

Understanding Canadian Citizenship

Canadian citizenship is a legal status that entails citizens with specific rights, duties, protections, and benefits in Canada. Foreign permanent residents or status Indians over 18 may become Canadian citizens by grant after residing in Canada for more than three years. Canadian citizenship holds much significance and meaning for a lot of people. For many, Canadian citizenship is a promise of a better life. Canadian citizens have the unrestricted right to enter and remain in the country and cannot be deported. They are eligible to apply for Canadian passports, are required to serve on a jury when summoned, and may enlist in the Canadian Armed Forces.

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Navigating the Canadian immigration programs is certainly not simple or easy. Although Canada is one of the more accessible countries to immigrate to, calling it easy is inaccurate. You must meet specific strict requirements to be eligible to immigrate to the country and obtain Canadian citizenship.

Eligibility Criteria for Canadian Citizenship

Furthermore, to become a Canadian citizen, you must meet a few requirements and criteria before applying.

  • Be a permanent resident
  • Meet Canada's physical presence requirements
  • File your taxes (if necessary)
  • Pass a Canadian citizenship test (if you are between the ages of 18-54)
  • Prove your language skills (if you are between the ages of 18-54)

Permanent Resident Status

A permanent resident has been given permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada but is not a Canadian citizen. Permanent residents are citizens of other countries. However, a person in Canada temporarily is not a permanent resident, like a student or foreign worker. Regardless of age, if you’re applying for citizenship, you must have permanent resident (PR) status in Canada.

Physical Presence

You must have been physically in Canada for at least 1,095 days (3 years) during the five years before the date you sign your application. However, this requirement does not apply to minors who are applying with a parent or who have a Canadian parent. It does apply to minors who neither have a Canadian parent nor are applying with a parent. It is highly recommended by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that you apply with more than 1,095 days of living in Canada in case there’s a problem with the calculation.

Moreover, in your calculation, you may be able to include some of the time you spent in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident.

Filing Income Tax

You may need to file taxes in Canada for at least three years during the five years before the date you apply. 

Language Skills

If you’re 18 to 54 years of age, on the day you sign your application, you must show that you can speak and listen at a specific level in English or French, which are the official languages in Canada. However, to become a citizen, you must meet the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) Level 4 or higher. 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
  • show you know enough common words and phrases to answer questions and express yourself

Meanwhile, IRCC assesses your language skills in a variety of ways, such as

  • review the evidence you submit demonstrating your language skills
  • IRCC may take note of how well you communicate with citizenship officials during the application process
  • IRCC may assess your language skills during a hearing with a citizenship official, if necessary

Pass a Canadian Citizenship Test

If you’re 18 to 54 years of age on the day you sign your application, you must take the citizenship test. The test is 30 minutes long and contains multiple-choice and true or false questions. You can complete the test in English or French. The pass mark is 15 out of 20. You’ll need to answer questions about the rights and responsibilities of Canadians and Canada’s history, geography, economy, government, laws, and symbols.

How to Apply for Canadian Citizenship

You can apply for Canadian citizenship online or on paper. You cannot apply both ways. The best way to submit your application is online; however, you can apply online as long as:

  • you meet Canada’s citizenship requirements
  • you are 18 years old or older;
  • have a valid email address
  • only applying for yourself;
  • you haven’t included time spent outside of Canada as a Crown servant or family member of a crown servant.

When submitting your application, you’ll also need to pay your application fee and any required documentation, like proof of language test results. Your fees may include the processing fee and the right of citizenship fee. You have to pay your fees online once you are ready to submit your application, and also ensure to include the fee receipt with your application.

Oath of Citizenship and Ceremony

This is the final step to becoming a Canadian citizen. Citizenship ceremonies occur across the country and at all times of the year. If you're 14 or over, you must go to the citizenship ceremony and take the oath. Parents will have to get citizenship certificates for their children under age 14. Children under age 14 don’t have to go but are welcome to.

You must wait for your citizenship certificate after the ceremony before applying for a passport. A valid Canadian passport proves you have the right to enter Canada. Your citizenship certificate is not a travel document.

How to Become a Canadian Citizen: FAQs

In conclusion, here are some frequently asked questions on Canadian citizenship.

What is the fastest way to get Canadian citizenship?

There are several ways to become a Canadian citizen, some of which are faster than others. However, you can apply for urgent processing under certain circumstances, such as:

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  • Needing Canadian citizenship to:
    • apply for a job
    • avoid losing your job
    • go to a Canadian school, college, or university
  • needing to travel because of death or severe illness in your family, and you can’t get a passport in your current nationality
  • receiving a successful Federal Court decision on an appeal on a previous application for citizenship

Are there ways to get Canadian citizenship without having permanent resident status?

Foreign nationals become citizens by moving to Canada as permanent residents. Afterward, they can apply for Canadian citizenship once they have lived in Canada for three years. This process is known as "naturalization". However, in some circumstances, you may be able to apply for citizenship without ever having permanent residency (PR) status. This is called a "grant of citizenship."

How long does it take to grant Canadian citizenship?

The average online processing time to grant Canadian citizenship is 27 months. This includes completing your application, taking the citizenship test, and the citizenship interview and ceremony. You should receive your citizenship certificate or proof of citizenship within 17 months.

Do I become a Canadian citizen when I marry a Canadian?

Marrying a Canadian citizen does not automatically make you a Canadian citizen. Spouses and common-law partners don’t have a unique application process. You and your partner need to meet the general citizenship requirements, which include physically being in Canada for a minimum of 1,095 days out of five years immediately before submitting your application.

That's all we have on how to become a Canadian citizen. However, follow the link below for more detailed information on the application steps.

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