Canadian Citizenship is the final step in the immigration journey that, for many foreign nationals, started with a work or study permit years earlier. In order to qualify, you will have to meet the following requirements.

Hold a Permanent Resident Status in Canada

You must be a permanent resident of Canada and your status cannot be in question. In other words, your status cannot be under review for immigration or fraud reasons. In addition, you cannot be under removal order (asked to leave Canada) or be inadmissible due to other criminal or security reasons.

Importantly, if your Permanent Resident Card (PR Card) is expired, it is not a problem. As long as you meet the requirements to be and stay a permanent resident, you can apply with your expired PR Card.

Be Present in Canada for the Required Time

In order to qualify for Canadian Citizenship, you will need to be physically present in Canada for a minimum of 1095 days in the five year period prior to the date you sign the application. 1095 equals to three years and can be distributed over the period of five years. 

There is no longer a minimum limit of days the applicant must be physically present in Canada each year. The time accumulated prior to obtaining permanent residence is counted as follows: for each full day the applicant receives a half day for up to 1 year.

The only exceptions to the physical presence rule apply to Crown servants (including family members); and to minors (under 18) who have a Canadian parent or a parent who is applying for Canadian Citizenship at the same time.

File Canadian Tax Returns

All applicants, who are required to file Canadian Tax Return, must do so for at least three years that are fully or partially within the five years prior to the application submission. You will not need to submit Notices of Assessment (NOC). However, you will have to provide consent to IRCC to verify with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) that you have, in fact, complied with the requirement.

Meet the Language Requirement

Applicants between 18 and 54 years of age are required to demostrate that they can speak and listen (have oral understanding) at a specific level in English or French. There are a variety of proof accepted, including a proof of attendance from a school where you studied in English or French, language test results and proofs from langauge training programs.