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What are the Requirements for Becoming a Canadian Citizen

Canada is one of the countries that is highly developed and offers a lot of options for both their residents and for those who want to relocate for work, or a better social system. It’s one of the most popular places people would gladly choose to visit for a vacation too.

Probably you already know that the official languages of this country are English and French, and of course, one of the main conditions to become an eligible candidate for citizenship is to show proof you are fluent in at least one of them. But, there are many more things you need to show to the authorities, and you probably will live some of the time with a working or studying visa, until you get approved for citizenship.

But, that’s not the end of the process, because it takes longer to become one of them. Every country has different requirements for this, and before you apply, you need to be informed about those things, so you can avoid incomplete documentation and be denied because of it.

Test yourself to see if you are eligible for this

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Most of the websites that offer to apply for a visa or citizenship will first ask you to take a brief test, so they can let you know what your status is, and if you can submit your application to the authorities. Some of the questions include your status inside and outside of the country (student, worker, inmate, owning a criminal record from the past, and so on), then your knowledge in French or English and proof for it, how many days you’ve been out of the country in the last five years, and so on. Don’t mix the eligibility test with the citizenship test. You can find more information about the questions and demands on this website, and we will talk more about the second one later.

After you answer the questions, you will receive information about your eligibility, and you can proceed with the process, or see what other options do you have if you get denied at this step. Keep in mind that if you apply for your children, you may have to fulfill other demands.

Important things to know about this process

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Sometimes, people make wrong conclusions that if they marry a Canadian, or they have a child there, they can get citizenship immediately. But, these people are very strict about who are they letting become their citizens, and it’s not that simple as it seems.

You are eligible to become a Canadian if you are:

  • a permanent resident
  • you lived there at least three of the last five years
  • you passed the initial test
  • you have a proof of your language skills and,
  • you have filed your taxes

If your spouse is Canadian, you don’t automatically become Canadian after you get married. There is no exception and you need to meet the requirements we listed above.

Also, if at least one of your parents or grandparents has Canadian citizenship, you have more chances to get it too.

What can make you get denied?

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If you decide to apply, you must be a permanent resident, which means if you have some history of fraud, especially related to immigration, or you were asked (or made) by officials to leave the country, or you miss something from the conditions for becoming a permanent residence, you can easily be denied. That’s why you need to have your PR card, even if it’s expired at the moment you apply.

Also, if you’ve been five years there, with at least three years of physical presence, you can apply for it. Keep track of your travels outside the country, because one day can get you denied. All your taxes must be filed before you apply.

Language skills are crucial, and you have to know that if you are between 18 to 54 years, you need to show proof that you can speak, listen, and understand either French or English. Speaking both of the languages can bring a personal benefit to you, when looking for a job or while making friends.

According to the Canadian Language Benchmark, you need to be at least Level 4. They will measure your skills, and it’s not enough just to show the proof. So, we highly recommend practicing communication and improve your language skills, so you can easily get to citizenship. Failing to pass the language part will easily get you denied.

The citizenship test

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Do you remember the eligibility test? So, it was just a sign that you can apply, but now, you need to prove that you have some knowledge in Canadian history, geography, economy, politics, legal system, and so on. The test has 20 questions, and you can pass it with 15 correct answers. You have 30 minutes to take it, and you can choose to answer it in English or French.

Also, keep in mind a few more things. You may have problems if you committed a crime outside the country. Also, if you served your sentence while in Canada, that doesn’t count as a time you were a resident. On the other hand, some cases get old as time goes by, and you need to consult with the police and your attorney when yours is getting old, so you can apply for citizenship after that. But, you still have a risk to be denied.

The cost of the application

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In the end, we will only mention that for adults, the application can be pretty expensive, since it costs about CAD$630 per person. For the minors, it’s only CAD$100. It’s highly recommended to pay the fees for all the family members at once. Keep in mind that they won’t process the application without a payment. If you get denied, they are refunding $100 for every denied adult.

Now you know everything you need to know about Canadian citizenship. We really hope that you will do it, and start a new life there since it’s one of the most powerful economies in the world.

About Adam Miller