Canadian Citizenship

If you followed the IRCC twitter feed this week you will regularly see the comment that the best way to spend Canada Day is to attend a Canadian citizenship swearing in ceremony.  It’s traditional to hold a Canadian swearing in ceremony on Canada Day and several ceremonies are held across the country.  This past Canada Day more than 200 people became naturalized Canadian citizens.

Citizenship laws have changed a few times over recent years.  Under Harper’s Conservatives the requirements for Canadian citizenship became more rigorous with an increased residency requirement over a longer period of time and a controversial provision for revoking Canadian citizenship from individuals who are dual citizens and were convicted of terrorism, treason, or spying offenses.

When Trudeau’s Liberals took over leadership in 2015 they undertook to reverse the controversial citizenship revoking provision and brought the criteria for obtaining Canadian citizenship back inline with the previous provisions with a few adjustments.

As of the writing of this article, the requirements for obtaining Canadian citizenship are the following:

  1. You must be a Canadian Permanent Resident at the time of application
  2. You have been physically present for three full years (1095 days) out of the five-year period prior to filing the citizenship application (time in Canada as a permanent resident is counted as full days, and time in Canada on temporary status can be counted as half days);
  3. If required to do so, have filed Canadian income tax for three out of the five years referred to above;
  4. If between the ages of 18 and 54 you must:
    1. Meet English or French language requirements
    2. Write and pass the citizenship examination

Note that certain prohibitions exist if a person has a criminal record inside or outside Canada that has not been resolved through a criminal rehabilitation application.

The grant of citizenship gives an individual an indefinite ability to remain in, work in and return to Canada no matter how long you have been away.  It allows you to vote in Canadian elections and to hold a Canadian passport with all the rights and privileges of the same.

– Sarah Adler, Immigration Lawyer

To see Sarah’s full profile or to schedule a meeting with her, click here.



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