To be eligible for citizenship, candidates must:
- Hold permanent residency status
- Live in Canada for at least 3 years (1,095 days) over a 5-year period
- Have filed taxes in Canada for at least 3 years over a 5-year period
- Meet the Canadian Language Benchmarks - Level 4 English for English-speaking provinces and/or French for Quebec
Remember all documents must be translated by a certified Canadian translator into either English or French depending on your area of residency.
The application process
- Get your respective application package includes all the forms to complete and referent instructions:
- Pay the application fee - $630 CAN for adults and $100 CAN for minors - this can be done online (except when applying from a handful of US territories) by following the instructions found here.
- Send your complete application form and payment receipt by mail or courier to your respective canadian Visa office (a list of which can be found here).
The processing time for an application is 12 months. You can check your application status online. Eligible applicants will be invited to a citizenship test, an interview and, if required, a hearing.
This test is solely required of people for people aged 18 to 54 and is essentially a short multiple-choice test (in English or French) about Canada. It is 30 minutes long and contains 20 questions about Canada’s history, geography, political system and national symbols, 15 of which must be answered correctly in order to pass. The test is usually written but may also be oral.
You must bring:
- Your ‘notice to appear’ (the document asking you to take the test sent 1 to 2 weeks in advance)
- Your permanent resident’s card (if applicable)
- 2 forms of official identification. One of these must have a photograph and signature. If not in English or French it must be translated and have an affidavit from the translator attached
- All passports and travel documents listed on your application form
- Proof of English or French competency (for example, a diploma, transcript or certificate from a English or French speaking secondary or higher education institution or one of these certifications)
To prepare, you can take citizenship classes (which are generally free) and/or download a study guide and revise from it by yourself.
The interview is conducted by a citizenship official, usually, directly after the citizenship test.
During, the official will give you your citizenship test results, verify your English or French skills, your documentation and application and ask you any questions they may have regarding them.
Important: to become a citizen of Quebec, citizenship tests (both spoken and written) must be taken in French.
- If you pass these first two stages you will be given the place/date and time of your citizenship ceremony (in which you officially become a Canadian citizen) either straight away or via email or post.
- If you do not pass this first test, you will get the chance to retake it (usually four to eight weeks later).
- If you do not pass this second test, you will be invited to a hearing.
The hearing will be conducted by a citizenship official, lasts between 30 and 90 minutes and is conducted either in person or via videoconference.
If you should not pass these stages, you may reapply and if applying with family, you can request their applications to be paused while you do this.
As mentioned above, if you pass this application process, you will be invited to a citizenship ceremony. You must bring the same documentation to this ceremony as you did the citizenship test, except, as well as your Ceremony Notice and the Permission Release and Consent form included with it.
During the ceremony you swear the oath of citizenship (you may bring a holy book if you wish to use one), get your citizenship certificate, sign an oath or affirmation of citizenship form and sing the national anthem.