Canadian Citizenship

Canadians are proud to hold one of the most respected citizenships in the world. Every year about 170,000 people become earn their Canadian citizenship.

You must be at least 18 years old to apply for Canadian citizenship.   To apply for citizenship for a child under 18, you must:

  • Be the child’s parent, adoptive parent or legal guardian;
  • The child must be a permanent resident, but does not need to have lived in Canada for three years; and
  • At least one parent is already a Canadian citizen or is applying to become a citizen at the same time.   This also applies to adoptive parents.

To become a Canadian citizen, you must have valid permanent resident status in Canada, and that status must not be in doubt or subject to any proceeding that may result in the loss of that status. This means you must not be the subject of an immigration investigation, an immigration inquiry or a removal order (an order from Canadian officials to leave Canada).

Also, in order to become a Canadian citizen, adults must have physically resided in Canada for a significant period of time before making the application for Canadian citizenship.  This physical presence requirement represents a period of time mandated by the Government that the Applicant for citizenship must prove they have complied with.  Children do not need to meet this requirement.

Canada has two official languages—English and French. Applicants for Canadian citizenship will need to be able to speak one of these two languages in order to be granted Canadian citizenship status.

Bars to Canadian Citizenship

You cannot become a citizen if you:

  • have been convicted of an indictable (criminal) offence or an offence under the Citizenship Act in the three years before you apply
  • are currently charged with an indictable offence or an offence under the Citizenship Act
  • are in prison, on parole or on probation
  • are under a removal order (have been ordered by Canadian officials to leave Canada)
  • are under investigation for, are charged with, or have been convicted of a war crime or a crime against humanity or have had your Canadian citizenship taken away in the past five years.

If you are on probation or are charged with an offence and are awaiting trial, you should wait until after the probation has ended or the trial is over to apply for citizenship. However, you should consult with a professional immigration lawyer to determine if you can apply for Canadian citizenship following a criminal conviction.   If you have spent time on probation, on parole or in prison in the last four years, you may not meet the residence requirement for citizenship.   Time in prison or on parole does not count as residence in Canada. Time on probation also does not count as residence in Canada if you were convicted of an offence.   However, if you have spent time on probation from a conditional discharge, it may be counted toward residence.

Also, to become a citizen of Canada, you must know the rights and responsibilities of citizens, such as the right and responsibility to vote. You must also know some things about Canada’s history and geography, and about its political system.

Canadian Citizenship Evaluation

Canadian citizenship rules and regulations are constantly changing.  If you believe you have a valid claim to Canadian citizenship, r if you want to explore viable pathways that may lead to a valid citizenship claim, please contact Eddie H. Kadri to arrange a comprehensive legal consultation.  Working with a leading Canadian Immigration lawyer can help you navigate the changing legal climate and to determine the extent of your claim to status as a Canadian citizen.