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Canadian citizenship is obtained automatically by being born in Canada or by descent where a parent is a first-generation Canadian citizen.
Permanent residents become eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship after meeting a number of requirements relating to their residency in Canada:
Living in Canada for a specified residency period
Income tax filing
Knowledge of an official language
General knowledge of Canada
Permanent residents will gain a number of privileges once they obtain Canadian citizenship such as the right to vote in elections, and the ability to obtain a Canadian passport. This manner of obtaining citizenship is referred to as “naturalization”. The children of naturalized Canadian citizens will also automatically obtain citizenship even if they are born abroad.
Canada allows dual citizenship, so those permanent residents who obtain Canadian citizenship can also keep their original citizenship, provided that the laws of the other country also allow dual citizenship.
Once a citizenship application is filed you will be required to attend and pass knowledge of Canada test. Under the new rules put into force in June 2014, a permanent resident applying for citizenship who is under the age of 65 or over the age of 13 must show an adequate knowledge of Canada
The knowledge test is based on the information in a government booklet called Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship.
Once you have satisfied the citizenship authorities that the residency requirement is met and you have passed the language and knowledge tests, you will be sent a ceremony notice where you will be granted Canadian citizenship.
During your ceremony, you will take the Oath of Citizenship, get your citizenship certificate and sign the Oath or Affirmation of Citizenship form
The citizenship ceremony is your final step to becoming a Canadian citizen.
We can assist clients with all types of citizenship matters. If you need help with your citizenship case, or to find out if you qualify to apply for citizenship, please contact us to schedule a consultation.
Samantha Skerrett is authorised and regulated by The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC)