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To be eligible to become a Canadian citizen, you must meet the conditions in all these areas:
As a result of 2014 changes to the Citizenship Act, if you have served in or with the Canadian Armed Forces, you might be able to apply through a fast-track process. This is based on how long you have served our country, instead of how long you have lived in Canada. Foreign military members do not need to be a permanent resident of Canada.
You must be at least 18 years old to apply. To apply for citizenship for a child under 18:
Permanent resident status
You must have permanent resident (PR) status in Canada, have no unfulfilled conditions related to that status, and your PR status must not be in question. This means you must not:
You do not need to have a PR card to apply for citizenship. If you have a PR card, but it is expired, you can still apply for citizenship.
Time you have lived in Canada
You must have been physically present in Canada as a permanent resident for at least 1,460 days during the six years immediately before the date of your application. You must also be physically present for at least 183 days during each of four calendar years that are fully or partially within the six years immediately before the date of application. These requirements do not apply to children under 18.
Exceptions to these requirements apply for certain Crown servants and certain family members of Crown servants.
When calculating how long you have lived in Canada, you can only count time spent after you became a permanent resident of Canada. Contact us to find out if you have lived in Canada long enough to apply to become a citizen.
Income tax filing
You must 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.
Intent to reside
You must declare your intent to reside during the citizenship application process. To become a citizen, you must indicate your intention to:
Once you become a Canadian citizen, you have the right to enter, remain in, or leave Canada, one of the basic rights of citizenship.
Canada has two official languages—English and French. To become a citizen, you must show that you have adequate knowledge of one of these languages. In general, this means you can:
If you are 14 to 64 years of age, you must send documents with your citizenship application that prove you can speak and listen in English or French at this level. Contact us to see if you have the proof that will be accepted. The citizenship application guide also contains the type of proof that will be accepted.
Second, IRCC will note how well you communicate to IRCC staff or a citizenship officer during your interview.
A citizenship officer will make the final decision on your application, including how well you can communicate in English or French.
How well you know Canada
To become a citizen, you must understand the rights, responsibilities and privileges of citizenship, such as voting in elections and obeying the law. You must also show, in English or French, that you understand Canada’s:
If you are 14 to 64 years of age, when you apply for citizenship, you will need to take a citizenship test to show you have adequate knowledge of Canada and the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship. It is usually a written test, but it is sometimes taken orally with a citizenship officer. All you need to know for the test is in IRCC's free study guide, Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship. IRCC will send you a copy of it once they get your application. The questions in the citizenship test are based on this study guide.
If you have committed a crime in or outside Canada you may not be eligible to become a Canadian citizen for a period of time. For example if you:
Time in prison or on parole does not count as time you have lived in Canada. Time on probation also does not count if you were convicted of a crime.
Contact us to learn more about situations that may prevent you from becoming a Canadian citizen.
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