Applying For Canadian Citizenship

If you have been a permanent resident of Canada for some time and you know you’re going to stay, you might want to consider becoming a Canadian citizen. This is a special honour that will give you all of the rights and freedoms enjoyed by individuals who were born in Canada.

These rights include the following:

  • Legal rights
  • The right to assistance from a Canadian embassy while abroad
  • Equality rights
  • Mobility and accessibility rights
  • Aboriginal Peoples’ rights
  • The right to vote in municipal, provincial and federal elections, and in referendums
  • Freedom of thought, speech and religion

As a Canadian citizen, you will also have some responsibilities, which include the following:

  • The obligation to obey Canadian law, and the laws of the province you reside in
  • Respect for the rights and freedoms of other people
  • A duty to help those in need in your community through volunteering, donations or other charitable activities
  • Protection of our environment and Canadian heritage
  • The elimination of discrimination and injustice

How do I apply for Canadian citizenship?

In general, individuals who have been physically present in Canada for a minimum of 1,095 days as permanent residents over the previous five years are eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship. This is done by submitting a formal application, supporting documents and an application fee to Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Once IRCC is satisfied that the application is valid and you meet the eligibility criteria for citizenship, they will provide you with a study guide called A Look At Canada. You will asked to present yourself and all relevant documentation to an IRCC office, where you will write a citizenship test. This test will cover major points in Canada’s history, geography and political processes, as well as the rights and responsibilities of a Canadian citizen.

In addition, you will be required to prove proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages, English and French, by providing results from an approved language test, transcripts or a diploma from a post-secondary institution that operates in English or French, or evidence of attaining a Canadian Level Benchmark score of 4 or higher in language skills.

Individuals who are below the age of 18 are not required to complete the citizenship test or prove language proficiency.

Some applicants are required to appear before a citizenship judge for an interview, which takes 15-30 minutes. You should bring all documentation relating to your citizenship application and your permanent resident status to the interview with you.

What happens if my application is successful?

Once you successfully complete all of the steps in your citizenship application, you will receive a letter inviting you to attend a citizenship ceremony, in which you will officially become a Canadian citizen. This is a special event that you will share with other new citizens from all over the world.

The ceremony will take place in a court presided over by a citizenship judge. You will give the Oath of Citizenship to Canada in the presence of the judge in one of the two official languages, and then you will sing the Canadian national anthem. You will then be granted your Canadian citizenship and receive your citizenship certificate.

Why was my Canadian citizenship application unsuccessful?

Before you apply for citizenship, it is important that you review the terms and conditions laid out in your permanent resident documentation. If you have not met all of the terms and conditions, such as the minimum length of stay in Canada, you will not be eligible for citizenship.

Further conditions that may exclude you from citizenship include the following:

  • You have a criminal record or are facing criminal charges, either in Canada or elsewhere
    You have been ordered to leave Canada
  • You have been denied Canadian citizenship, or your permanent resident status has been revoked, as a result of misrepresentation
  • You previously held Canadian citizenship and this was revoked

Canada’s Oath of Citizenship

English: I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.

French: Je jure (ou j’affirme solennellement) que je serai fidèle et porterai sincère allégeance à Sa Majesté la Reine Elizabeth Deux, Reine du Canada, à ses héritiers et successeurs, que j’observerai fidèlement les lois du Canada et que je remplirai loyalement mes obligations de citoyen canadien.

Canada’s National Anthem


O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love
in all of us command. With glowing hearts
we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free! From far and wide,
O Canada,
we stand on guard for thee. God keep our land
glorious and free!
O Canada,
we stand on guard for thee. O Canada,
we stand on guard for thee.


O Canada!
Terre de nos aïeux,
Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux.
Car ton bras sait porter l’épée,
Il sait porter la croix.
Ton histoire est une épopée,
Des plus brillants exploits.
Et ta valeur, de foi trempée,
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.


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