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Canadian Citizenship Application – Understanding the process

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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

Age

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

Status

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.

Time

• 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, we 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


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

  1. Good afternoon

    When I check my citizenship status online every thing looks completed except ceremony not started yet. Today the updated from not started yet to in progress what that mean?

    Thank you

  2. Why it is taking so long to complete the checking on language skills certificate which is IELTS, and physical presence in the citizenship application process, especially for little kids?

    1. Hi Lena,
      We are not sure about that. We recommend that you contact IRCC in regards to your inquiry.

  3. Hello Citizenship Admins,
    Me and my family applied for citizenship year 2016 and taken our outh on same year but we didn’t get our documents back since then ..were planning to go back to school and we need the CELPIP copy as requirement..this document was sent to citizenship during our application..is there any way we would able to get those original document in order to save money in getting another celpip exam? Please and thank you hoping to hear back from you.

  4. Hello, i applied for grant of citizenship in Augest 2020 / now is mid Dec/2020 still i didnt received any notice or confirmation of receipt. anyone knows how many months takes to open the application? do they got my application or missed?
    thanks.

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