with DJP Quebec Immigration Services
To become a Canadian citizen, you will be required to meet many conditions. Here are the main ones:
Who Can Apply
To be eligible to become a Canadian citizen, you must
- Be a permanent resident;
- Have lived in Canada for 3 out of the last 5 years;
- Have filed your taxes if you were required to do so;
- Pass a citizenship exam;
- Prove your language skills.
Having Permanent Resident Status
To be a permanent resident, you must have obtained the right to settle permanently in Canadian territory from federal authorities. You must hold a visa and a document issued by the destination province attesting that you meet the selection criteria (e.g., Québec Selection Certificate).
You can also obtain permanent residence by holding a skilled worker, entrepreneur or investor visa. It may also be granted following recognition of refugee status or sponsorship.
Be careful, a permanent residence can be rescinded. You could lose it in the following cases:
- If you stay abroad for more than 183 days over a one-year period;
- You are subject to departure, deportation or exclusion orders;
- if you have failed to comply with conditions relating to your status conditions.
You are not considered a permanent resident if you are a foreign student or a temporary foreign worker.
Actual Presence in Canada
Every permanent resident must be present in Canada for a total of 1095 days; that is, three of five years if he or she wishes to obtain Canadian citizenship.
Filing a Tax Return
During the three years prior to the date you apply for citizenship, you can be required to file a tax return with Service Canada. You will need to file one in the following situations:
- You have taxes to pay;
- You want to request a refund;
- You would like to receive benefits and credits.
Passing the Canadian Citizenship Test
This test is mandatory for all persons between the ages of 18 and 54. It can be taken either in English or French. The test covers a variety of topics, such as the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizens, the country’s history, its geography, its economy, and so on. It consists of 20 multiple-choice questions and lasts 30 minutes. You need 15 correct answers to earn a passing grade. The test is based on the Discover Canada study guide available online for free by clicking here.
A written and oral test can be requested in some cases.
Proving Your Language Skills
Canada’s two official languages are English and French. If you are between the ages of 18 and 54, you must attend an interview where you will need to demonstrate your ability to speak and understand one of the two official languages.
To become a Canadian citizen, you must achieve a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 4 or above.
Other requirements may apply depending on your situation.
Ineligibility for Canadian Citizenship
You may not be eligible for Canadian citizenship for a certain period of time in the following situations:
- You are convicted of a crime in Canada or abroad.
- You are serving a prison sentence.
- You are on parole or on probation.
To learn more about the requirements for obtaining Canadian citizenship, please contact one of our immigration consultants.