Eligibility for Canadian Citizenship

Under the current law, after you live in Canada as a permanent resident for a minimum three-year period, you may be eligible to become a Canadian citizen if you meet the following requirements:

  • you are 18 years old;
  • you have resided in Canada for at least 3 years (1095 days) in the past 5 years before you apply. This does not apply to children under 18;
  • you have adequate knowledge of either English or French language if you are between 18 and 54 years old
  • you have not been in trouble with the law in the past three years before you apply:
    • Time in prison or on parole or probation may count as time you have lived in Canada, if you were charged as a young offender, or in the case of parole if you have successfully completed your parole with no further violations;
    • In general, however, time spent in prison or on parole does NOT count as physical presence in Canada when calculating the number of days you have lived in Canada during the 5 years previous to your applying for citizenship;
  • you have not had your Canadian citizenship taken away (revoked) for fraud during the past 10 years;
  • you have not been investigated for, or charged with, war crimes or crimes against humanity;
  • you have not been convicted outside of Canada of an offence that is equivalent to an indictable offence under Canadian law during the past 4 years;
  • you have not been convicted of terrorism, treason, or spying while a permanent resident of Canada;
  • you have not served in the armed forces or in an armed group of a country that has engaged in armed conflict with Canada, while you were a permanent resident of Canada;
  • you still meet the requirements of citizenship when you apply;
  • you must pass the citizenship test.


Documents required

You do not need to have a valid PR card in order to apply for citizenship.

You will need the following documents when you apply:

  • Original printout of online Physical Presence Calculation (form CIT 0407)
    • Each day spent physically in Canada as a temporary resident or a protected person during the last 5 years can usually count as a ½ day, up to a total of 365 days
    • Use the online Physical Presence Calculator to ensure accuracy
    • Time spent living outside Canada may only count towards your physical presence if:
      • You, your Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident spouse or partner, or your Canadian permanent resident parent
      • Worked abroad with: The Canadian Armed Forces, the Canadian public service, a Provincial or Territorial Public Service
  • If in the past 4 years, you have spent 183 or more days in a country other than Canada, you must provide a Police Certificate from that country.
  • Photocopies of all valid and expired passports or travel documents covering the previous 5 years
  • If you did not have a passport during the past 5 years, you must provide photocopies of 2 government-issued pieces of ID with:
    • Name
    • Date of birth
    • Photograph
  • If you are 18 – 54 years of age, you must provide proof of proficiency in English or French which can include:
    • Third-party language test results (IELTS for example)
    • Diploma, Certificate, or transcripts from an English-language or French-language secondary or post-secondary school in Canada or abroad.
    • Proof of completing government-funded language training programs that show you have achieved a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 4
  • If you are 18 – 54 years of age, and are unable to show proficiency in English or French due to a medical condition you must provide:
    • An audiogram and an attestation by a Canadian audiologist that you are hearing-impaired, or
    • Evidence from a Canadian medical practitioner that you have a disorder, disability, or condition that is cognitive, psychiatric, or psychological in nature
  • Photocopies of personal ID. Examples include:
    • Driver’s license
    • Health insurance card
    • Senior citizen’s card
    • Age of majority card
  • 2 identical citizenship photographs that are:
    • Taken within the last 6 months (they may be in black and white or colour)
    • Taken against a plain white or light-coloured background
    • If photographs are digital, they must not be edited/altered in any way
    • Your face must be square to the camera with a neutral expression (neither smiling nor frowning and with mouth closed)
    • You may wear non-tinted prescription glasses as long as your eyes are clearly visible. Sunglasses are NOT permitted
    • Hairpieces or other cosmetic accessories are acceptable if they do not disguise your normal appearance
    • Headscarves for religious purposes may be worn if your full facial features are not obscured
    • The photograph size must be: 50mm x 70mm (2” x 2 ¾ “)
    • Show full frontal view of face, head, and top of shoulder
    • The size of your head from chin to crown in the photograph must be between 31mm and 36mm (1 ¼ “ and 1 7/16 “)
    • Crown means the top of your head
    • If your photographs do not meet the specifications, you will have to provide 2 new photographs before authorities can proceed with your application.
  • Proof of online payment of fees. Go here for more information on paying your fees. Once your application is being processed, there is no refund.


Citizenship Application Fees

The applicable fees are:

Citizenship ApplicationFee
Adult (18 years and older)
Processing fee $530
Right of Citizenship fee $100
Minor (under 18 years old)
Processing fee $100


Submitting a Canadian Citizenship Application

Regular Mail:

Case Processing Centre – Sydney

P.O. Box 7000


B1P 6V6

Courier Address:

Case Processing Centre – Sydney

49 Dorchester Street

Sydney, Nova Scotia

B1P 5Z2


Taking the Canadian Citizenship Test

After you submit your citizenship application, you will have to take a citizenship test. It will test if you have an adequate knowledge of Canada and the responsibilities and privileges of Canadian citizenship.

All applicants from 18 through 54 years of age must take the test.

Go here to listen to, read online, or download the study guide: Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship

The study guide will include sample questions to help you prepare for your citizenship test

The IRCC will email you when the date of your citizenship test will be. Remember to update online any new email address you obtain, by going here and then updating your new email address. This will ensure you always receive notification of when your test will be.

If you cannot attend the citizenship test at the date and time given, write a letter indicating this and mail it to the IRCC office that scheduled your test or fill out a webform here.

If you missed the test, you can either write a letter or fill out a webform as shown immediately above giving the reasons why you missed the test within 30 days of the date of the missed test, OR, you can wait to have your first test automatically rescheduled.

If you miss a final notice to write a test (the notice your receive when you missed your first opportunity and had your test re-scheduled) you have to respond within 30 days or your citizenship may be revoked. In that case, you will have to apply for citizenship again and pay the fees again.


Proving of Canadian Citizenship

The following documents are accepted as proof of citizenship:

  • birth certificate from a Canadian province or territory.  (Note: Your birth certificate will not be accepted as proof of citizenship if you were born in Canada after February 14, 1977 and when you were born, neither of your parents was a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and one of your parents had status as a foreign diplomat in Canada. However, if you were born before February 14, 1977 to a parent with foreign diplomat status, you can apply to verify if your birth certificate is valid proof of citizenship.)
  • naturalization certificates issued before January 1, 1947
  • registration of birth abroad certificates issued between January 1, 1947 and February 14, 1977, inclusive, and
  • certificates of retention issued between January 1, 1947 and February 14, 1977, inclusive.


Inheriting Canadian Citizenship Abroad

Canadians used to be allowed to pass on their citizenship to endless generations born outside of Canada. It was changed as of April 17, 2009 that Canadian parents can only pass on their citizenship to their children born outside of Canada, but not their children’s children.

However, the citizenship can be passed on to the second or third generation if at the time of your birth, one of your parents or grandparents was employed outside of Canada in or with the Canadian Armed Forces or the federal or provincial or territorial public administration or services.


If you are not sure if you qualify, contact Maxcan Immigration in Markham, Ontario. Maxcan Immigration is easily accessible from anywhere in the Greater Toronto Area.