Applying to become a Canadian citizen can be seen as a very intimidating process. There is a lot of information and work that goes into becoming a Canadian citizen due to all the paperwork you have to do, and the eligibility criteria you have to meet. Some of the basic criteria you need to meet to become a Canadian citizen include:
- Be a Permanent Resident(PR)
- Have lived in Canada as a PR for at least 1095 days out of the 5 years before you apply
- Have filed your taxes for at least 3 years during those 5 years. Any income tax owed must be paid
- Provide evidence that you know how to speak and write in one of Canada’s official languages
In addition to following this criteria, you still have to complete and successfully pass a citizenship test and interview. In the citizenship test, you will be tested on topics such as geography, economy, history and laws.
At Legal Leaf, we’re proud to have helped numerous clients with the preparation and paperwork required to make a strong application.
A permanent resident in Canada is someone who is not a Canadian citizen but is currently living, working, and/or studying in Canada. However, just because a person is working or studying in Canada, this does not qualify them to be a permanent resident as they may be in the country through a worker or student permit.
Permanent residents do share a lot of the same benefits that Canadian Citizens do. They still have the right to:
- Receive social benefits such as health care
- Live, work or study in Canada
- Apply for a Canadian citizenship
- Protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Some of the limitations to permanent residents are that you cannot vote, run for political office, and/or hold a job that requires a high-level security clearance.
The application process for becoming a permanent resident can be broken down into three classes: the Economic, Business and Family class. Depending on your situation and socioeconomic status, you will be assigned into one of these classes. Individuals and families who show the qualities needed to adapt quickly to living in Canada are most likely to be approved.
Permanent Residency Renewal
Permanent residents of Canada are required to renew their PR card every five years.
Eligibility – to be eligible for a PR card, you need to:
- be a permanent resident, and
- submit your application in Canada
- If you’re outside Canada, apply for a permanent resident travel document to return to Canada. After you arrive, apply for a PR card.
- An individual should only apply for a PR card if:
- your card has expired or will expire in less than 9 months
- your card is lost, stolen, or destroyed
- you didn’t receive your card within 180 days of immigrating to Canada
- you need to update your card to:
- legally change your name
- change your citizenship
- change your gender designation
- correct your date of birth
Please note you are not eligible for a PR card if you were asked by the Government of Canada to leave the country. If you are a Canadian citizen, you can’t have (and don’t need) a PR card.
PR Residency Obligation: for a permanent resident to maintain status, he/she must have been in Canada for at least 730 days during the last five years. Note, these 730 days do not need to be continuous and some of your time abroad may count towards the 730 days.