Do you want a fresh start in Canada? If you are interested in moving to Canada permanently, then this five-step guide on how to become a Canadian citizen is vital for you to read.
- 1 Step 1: Ensure That You Have Permanent Residency Status in Canada
- 2 What Does It Mean to Have Permanent Resident Status?
- 3 Step 2: Ensure That You’ve Lived in Canada for at Least Three Years
- 4 Step 3: File Your Income Taxes
- 5 Step 4: Pass a Citizenship Test
- 6 What Is a Canadian Citizenship Test?
- 7 How to Take the Test
- 8 What Is a Citizenship Class?
- 9 Step 5: Prove Your Language Skills
- 10 Secure Your Spot
Step 1: Ensure That You Have Permanent Residency Status in Canada
To be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship, you need to have Permanent Resident (PR) status and have lived in Canada, as a permanent resident, for a specific amount of time.
What Does It Mean to Have Permanent Resident Status?
If you have PR status in Canada, this means you must not:
- Be under review for immigration or fraud reasons.
- Be asked to leave Canada by Canadian officials (this is also known as a removal order).
- Have unfulfilled conditions involving your PR status, like medical screening or being outside Canada for a long period of time.
Please note that although you do need permanent residency status when applying for Canadian citizenship, it isn’t necessary to have a valid PR card. You can apply with an expired PR card.
Step 2: Ensure That You’ve Lived in Canada for at Least Three Years
To apply for citizenship, you need to have lived in Canada for at least three years (1095 days) in the recent past (in the last five years).
To ensure that you apply for citizenship successfully, you’re encouraged to have spent more than the required three years living in Canada.
You may be able to include some time spent in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person as part of your calculation of time spent living in Canada.
You may also be able to factor in time spent outside of Canada if you were a crown servant or a family member of a crown servant.
Step 3: File Your Income Taxes
While living in Canada as a permanent resident, you may need to file personal income taxes for at least three years before the date you apply for citizenship.
Step 4: Pass a Citizenship Test
We’re almost there! One of the last steps you need to take is to complete and pass a citizenship test.
What Is a Canadian Citizenship Test?
The Canadian citizenship test is a test that is administered by the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
All Canadian citizenship applicants between the ages of 18 and 54, who meet the basic requirements, need to take this test.
The Test Consists of Multiple-choice Questions on the Following Topics:
- Canada’s history
- political system
- National symbols
- Rights and responsibilities of citizenship
How to Take the Test
To make sure that you do your absolute best, there are plenty of helpful tips online to prepare you for your test, one of which is to take a citizenship class.
What Is a Citizenship Class?
Citizenship classes are usually free or come at a low cost and cover topics that you can expect to see in the Canadian citizenship test (listed above).
If for any reason, you can’t take the class through an English Second Language (ESL) program, there’s still hope. A number of organizations that offer English classes also offer citizenship classes or practice tests:
- Richmond Public Library Citizenship Practice Test
- Citizenship Support Simulation Test
- Citizenship Counts Online Quiz
Step 5: Prove Your Language Skills
Finally, to be eligible to apply for citizenship, you need to prove that your language skills are equivalent to Canadian standards and meet the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) Level 4 or higher.
You Can Do So by Providing Documents Such as:
- The language test results of an IRCC approved test; or
- A diploma, certificate, or transcript from a program you completed (in English or French) at a secondary or post-secondary educational institution. You could have completed the program in or outside Canada.
Secure Your Spot
It is important that you don’t miss your citizenship test unless there is an emergency. You should also make sure that the IRCC is informed of your current address so that you don’t miss any important notices.
So, there you have it – the 5 essential yet simple steps you need to take on your journey to Canadian citizenship.
So, if you’re getting ready to move to Canada permanently, make sure you tick off all the steps in this guide and take advantage of all available resources that can help make the application process as easy as possible.
Ready to start your journey to the Great White North? Click here to read more about Canadian citizenship and how to apply.
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