Citizenship requirements for physical presence, language and knowledge changed on October 11, 2017.
The popular question I can see online is “How to immigrate to Canada,” and next to that is anything related to Canadian citizenship application.
We can all relate to these questions especially since the processing fee for Canadian citizenship is getting higher.
When will it ever decrease or at least stop increasing? Instead of focusing on the changes, I started to prepare for the Canadian citizenship test and learn the process of applying for citizenship.
In this post, I will share the tips and fails in aiming for the ultimate goal of immigrants: Canadian citizenship. The post is divided into the following topics:
- Find out if you are qualified.
- Collect all the requirements.
- Submit the complete application.
You can move from one section to another in no particular order. Or if I’m missing something, you can remind me on the comment.
Reminder: Before we move on, I’d like to remind you that you DON’T have to pay anything other than the fee mentioned below. You may end up on a website offering an online assistance to apply for Canadian citizenship for a FEE. It’s unnecessary.
DO IT YOURSELF. You can apply for Canadian citizenship by following the steps in this blog post.
Qualifications for Canadian Citizenship Application
Are you one of those who were affected by the changes in the Citizenship Act? If yes, we are on the same boat. And it may continue to change since Bill C-6, the act to amend the Citizenship Act,
hasn’t been finalized received Royal Assent on June 19, 2017.
For now the qualifications for Canadian citizenship application for adults are as follows:
- Be a permanent resident, 18 years of age or older.
- Intend to live in Canada.
- Have filed income tax returns for at least 3 years during the last 5 years with fully or partially paid of any amount owed.
- Prove the proficiency in English or French (applicants 55 years of age or older are exempted). Answer questions to find out what language proof you can submit.
- Present in Canada for at least 1,095 days (3 years) in the 5 years before you apply.
Present in Canada for at least 183 days (more or less 6 months) during 4 years within 6 years before you apply.
Are you confused with the days within years or years within years? Because I am.
To get the correct total of days of residency in Canada, use the physical presence calculator.
The result shows if you have stayed long enough to qualify for Canadian citizenship application. It also computes how many more days are required before you apply.
Note: If you are qualified, print a copy of the calculator result and attach it to your application.
Ineligibility for Citizenship
On the other hand, applicants being in any of the following statuses are NOT eligible for citizenship:
- Have a criminal record
- Are facing criminal charges in Canada or outside Canada
- Have been ordered to leave Canada
- Have been refused Canadian citizenship because of misrepresentation
- Have had your Canadian citizenship revoked
- Have not met the terms and conditions of your permanent resident status
- Document Checklist (CIT 007)
- Application for Canadian Citizenship – Adults (Form CIT 0002)
- Photocopy of Record of Landing (IMM 1000) or Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292 or IMM 5688)
- Photocopy of both sides of your Permanent Resident Card (PRC)
- Photocopy of any of the following language evidences if you are 18 to 54 years old:
- Results of an accepted third-party test (eg: CELPIP-G, IELTS, TEF, etc.)
- Proof of completion of a secondary (high school) or post-secondary (college/university) program conducted in French or English either in Canada or abroad (ie: diploma, transcript, or certificate indicating successful graduation or completion)
- Photocopies of biographical pages of valid and expired passports or travel documents within 5 years or since you became a permanent resident
- Photocopy of both sides of two (2) pieces of personal identification, one of which must have photo on it
- Two (2) citizenship photos
- Original police certificates or clearance from each country (other than Canada) where you were present for a total of 183 days or more in the four (4) years before the date of application. (For Filipinos, some maybe required to apply for police certificate/NBI Clearance.)
- Copy of the result from the online physical presence calculator
- Copy of the receipt showing the amount paid
Check the requirements way ahead of time especially the diplomas from other countries.
I discovered that my high school diploma was written in Tagalog; it required a translation service in Immigrant Services Calgary for a fee which depends on the word count.
How to Pay the Fee
The ONLY way to pay for the Canadian citizenship application is through online. The IMM 5401 payment receipt is acceptable only if it was dated by a Canadian financial institution before April 1, 2016.
Breakdown of fees:
Adult (18 and over): processing fee ($530) + right of citizenship fee ($100) = $630
Minor (under 18): processing fee = $100
The right of citizenship fee ($100) is refundable if the application is refused.
How to Submit the Application for the Canadian Citizenship
This is the final stage of applying for citizenship. The complete and updated address of the Case Processing Centre is found in the Instruction Guide.
My mantra when it comes to the application is to always check. Check. And check again. Read and change any typos. Sign the forms.
If the application is for more than one applicant, send all the applications in the same envelope. But remember, if at least one of the family members’ application is incomplete, ALL the applications will be returned.
Based on the IRCC’s website the processing time for the citizenship application is 12 months from date of submission. I have a good news especially for those who are done reviewing for the citizenship exam.
Some of my acquaintances received the letter for them to take the Canadian citizenship test within three months.
It may not happen to everyone but it is best to start studying right after the submission of the application. Even better, start NOW.
As for citizenship in general, I consider it as a right and privilege. (No intention of setting up a stage for a debate showdown.) Immigrants, permanent residents, and the likes have worked hard to meet the qualifications.
Not everyone made it here in Canada.
Some have tried several times before stepping on the Canadian soil; while others left as part or not of their plan. Luck or fate, you are one step closer to become a Canadian citizen and even have a dual citizenship (eg. Filipino-Canadian).
For those who have made it this far, strive to continue to become a responsible citizen upholding the values and embracing diversity.
Are you ready to become a Canadian citizen? How are you preparing for the test?