Canadian Citizenship Application – Understanding the process

Canadian citizenship hands waiving flags

Disclaimer: we do not replace the official government website. Instead, we provide a summary of the Canadian Citizenship application process. Always refer to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to start and complete your citizenship application.

1 – Check the citizenship application requirements


You must be at least 18 years old to apply for Canadian citizenship.


You must have permanent resident status in Canada. You must not be the subject of an immigration investigation, an immigration inquiry or an order from Canadian officials to leave Canada.


• The required physical presence in Canada, as a permanent resident, is 3 years (1095 days) out of a five-year period

• Before you became a permanent resident, your time spent in Canada, within 5 years of applying for citizenship, count as half days (up to 365 days) towards physical presence requirements

• Time spent serving a sentence for an offense in Canada and out-of-country traveling time may impact your total residency time.

• The best way to find out your actual residency time is to use the IRCC Residency Calculator.

Language abilities

If you are 18 to 54 years old, you will need to demonstrate that you are able to communicate in either French or English in order to become a Canadian citizen.

Citizenship test

If you are 18 to 54 years old, you will need to pass a Canadian citizenship test.

Income tax filing

You must have paid your taxes for 3 years during the 5 years preceding your application.

Criminal History

If you have committed a crime, in or outside Canada, you may be ineligible for citizenship for a period of time.

Please see IRCC – determine your eligibility for more details.

2 – Apply for your Canadian citizenship

You just need to:

Fill out and print the citizenship application form.

You can read the application guide online or print it

Complete the form and pay the application fee (keep your receipt)

Mail the form with all necessary documents (filled out, signed and dated application forms, proof of permanent residence, copies of two pieces of identification, two signed citizenship photos and the receipt of payment) to the citizenship case processing center.

Please see IRCC for more details.

3 – Verify the status of your Canadian citizenship application and start preparing for the test

Citizenship and immigration Canada will send you a notice confirming their having received your Canadian citizenship application.

You can then verify the status of your application

Start studying for the test as early as possible.
The official citizenship test evaluates your knowledge of Canada.

Read our articles about this test:
New Canadian citizenship test – what is it all about?
New Canadian citizenship test – How to prepare for it

Sign-up for our Canadian Citizenship Test – complete online training program

4 – The Canadian citizenship test

• Citizenship and Immigration Canada will send you a notice with the time and date for your test.

• Your test may be written or oral. IRCC can make the decision to allow you to have an oral test based on a number of factors, such as, having difficulty reading and writing in English or French.

• When you go to sit for your written or oral test, you must bring the originals of the documents that you submitted with your application. As well, bring any passport or travel documents relevant to the four years prior to your application.

• If you do not pass the written test, but you meet the other criteria for citizenship, IRCC will schedule you for a second test. This second test will usually take place 4-8 weeks after your first test, but the delay might be longer. If you are not available to take the test on that date, you must let IRCC know.

If you do not pass the second test, IRCC will send you a notice telling you to appear for a hearing with a citizenship officer.

Read our article: Canadian citizenship test – How to tackle this multiple choice test

Please see IRCC – prepare for your citizenship test for more details.

5 – The Canadian Citizenship Ceremony

This is your final step!

• When you have met all of the requirements to become a Canadian citizen, you will be sent a notice to attend a ceremony to take the oath of citizenship.

• You must bring all of your original immigration documents to the ceremony.

• In a room full of other soon-to-become Canadians, you will take the oath of citizenship, therefore accepting the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Following the oath you will officially be part of our Canadian family and will receive a certificate of Canadian citizenship.

Please see IRCC – prepare for the citizenship ceremony for more details.

Need help preparing for your Canadian citizenship test? Learn more about our Canadian Citizenship Test – complete online training program!

Prepare for your Canadian Citizenship Test

Learn more about our Complete Online Training Program

141 replies on “Canadian Citizenship Application – Understanding the process”

  1. Hi,

    I passed the test with 18/20 and a few days later in the tracker page, the status was marked as completed as expected.
    However today, it switch back to in progress without any reasons or mail.
    Is that a known bug ?

  2. Hello, I took the citizenship test on 18h Nov and passed it. On 24th Nov, 2022 the tracker was updated as test & background verification complete status. Today on 13th Dec, the tracker is updated as everything back to ‘in progress’ stage. I am not sure why this could be happening. Will my application procedure start all over again?

More comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Canadian citizenship test footer flag Canadian Owned and Operated