Subject to the Citizenship Act, a person is a Canadian citizen if they were:
- Born in Canada after February 15, 1977; or
- Born outside of Canada after February 14, 1977 and at the time of their birth, one of their parents, other than a parent who adopted him/her, was a Canadian citizen; or
- Granted or acquired citizenship as a permanent resident
Canada permits dual citizenship. However, not all countries permit their citizens to hold Canadian citizenship (i.e. countries who do not permit dual citizenship) if they become a Canadian.
Individuals who apply to become a Canadian citizen are required to submit an application and to write a citizenship test. Children under the age of fourteen (14) and adults over the age of sixty-four (64) are not required to write the test. The test requires knowledge of English or French, and general knowledge about Canada’s history, geography and political system.
IRCC has produced a book called “Discover Canada: rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship”, which prepares one for the test.
When to Apply
It is important to be sure that you are eligible to apply for citizenship. You must acquire the requisite number of days in Canada before applying for citizenship. If you apply too early, you will not be eligible. Your citizenship application, if filed prematurely, will be refunded and the process fee will not be refunded.
Eligibility to Apply
You must reside in Canada for four (4) of the past six (6) years immediately prior to your citizenship application, after having obtained permanent residency. You must be at least 18 years old to apply. You must also have met your personal income tax filing obligations in four taxation years that are fully or partially within the six years immediately before the date you apply. You will also need to declare your intent to reside during the citizenship application process.To become a citizen, you must indicate your intention to:
- live in Canada,
- work outside Canada as a Crown servant, or
- live abroad with certain family members who are Crown servants.
Once you become a Canadian citizen, you have the right to enter, remain in, or leave Canada, one of the basic rights of citizenship.
Minor children under the age of eighteen (18) years of age are not required to have met the residency requirement as long as they have one parent who is either a Canadian citizen, or who is applying to become a Canadian citizen. The parent of a child who is under eighteen (18) may apply for the child as soon as the child receives permanent resident status.