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Steps in the Canadian Citizenship Process

Posted on August 26, 2019
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Canada is a popular destination for those seeking citizenship in another country. With migration laws becoming either strict or complicated in countries like the UK and the US, Canada with its uncomplicated laws and simple immigration process is the preferred choice to seek citizenship.

No direct route to citizenship:

Canada does not offer a direct route to citizenship. If you want to become a Canadian citizen, you must first apply and obtain permanent residency or PR visa from the state. With the PR visa, you can live, work and study in any part of Canada. You can apply for citizenship after a few years of being a permanent resident.

The Canadian government brought about changes in the immigration laws in 2017 that changed the eligibility criteria for citizenship.

  •  Applicants who have stayed as a permanent resident for three years (1095 days) during a five-year period are eligible to apply for citizenship.
  • Every day spent by applicants as a temporary resident is counted as half a day before they become permanent residents.
  • This is taken on account when calculating the number of days spent in the country to qualify for citizenship.

Canadian Citizenship Process

1. Basic requirements:

Apart from gaining a PR status and staying in Canada as a permanent resident for a stipulated period, the other requirements are:

Applicants must have paid the income tax under the Income-tax act for a minimum of three years out of the five years as a permanent resident

They must have good language skills and prove that they can speak English or French fluently. You need to pass a test that will measure your speaking, writing, reading and listening skills in that language.

2. Getting a PR visa:

As we said earlier the most important step towards getting Canadian citizenship is to first get your permanent residency.  The point-based system and the Express Entry program are the fastest ways to get your PR visa.

As a skilled worker, you can apply for a PR visa by registering in the Federal Express Entry system where you will have to enter details such as your age, education, work experience, and language abilities. You must score enough points on all these factors to get the required score called the CRS score which is 67 out of 100 to get your PR invitation from the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

The IRCC conducts a draw every two weeks to select and invite the top-ranking applicants to apply for Canadian PR visa.  Applicants who receive the invite should send their application forms with all details and required documents within 60 days of receiving the invite.

If you do not score enough points in Express Entry to get your PR invitation, the other alternative is to try for it through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). In this program Canadian provinces nominate overseas individuals with the required skills and talents to apply for a PR visa. If you get a nomination from a province, either 600 points are added to your CRS score or you can directly apply to the IRCC for a PR visa.

3. Naturalization:

This is another important requirement for citizenship. To meet this requirement, the applicant must have lived in Canada for 1095 days as a permanent resident. This need not be a continuous stay nor in any time period. This can also include your stay as a temporary resident in the country (one day is counted as half a day).

Apart from this, you will need to prove that you have filed your income tax according to Canadian law.

If you meet these requirements you will be eligible to receive Canadian citizenship.

4. Canadian citizenship form:

In order to apply for Canadian citizenship, you will have to fill the citizenship application form. This can be downloaded from the website. Ensure you fill all the fields in the form and submit the required documents. Send your form after paying the application fees. The decision on your application will take around 12 months.

5. Canadian citizenship test:

After receiving your application, the authorities will call you for the Canadian citizenship test within four weeks. You will also have an interview with a citizenship official on the same day as the interview.

You will have to take a written test that will assess how much you know about geography, culture and the history of Canada. Once you clear the interview and the test, you will be given a date to attend the Canadian citizenship ceremony.

6. Citizenship ceremony:

In this ceremony, you will officially become a Canadian citizen. You must take the oath of citizenship, sing the Canadian national anthem and receive the Canadian citizenship certificate.

Canadian citizenship will give all the benefits you enjoyed as a permanent resident in the country with some additional benefits. You will get access to better job opportunities or an opportunity to pursue a business of your choice. You can now indefinitely enjoy a better quality of life with enhanced healthcare and education facilities.

To understand the Canadian citizenship process, talk to an immigration expert who will help you with the crucial first step of obtaining a permanent residency in the country.

If you are planning to migrate to Canada, browse through latest Canada Immigration News & Visa Rules.

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