How to Move to Canada and Become a Citizen

For many young people affected by the news that DACA is being rescinded, there are worries about the future. While the Trump administration has said Congress will find a way to protect children of undocumented immigrants in the United States, not everyone is optimistic about the promise. With only six months before DACA is rescinded and close to 800,000 residents of the United States become eligible for deportation, many DACA program participants are looking for alternative options.

One such option might exist to the North.

Canada is an English and French-speaking nation with many cultural similarities to the United States. It also has a few options for immigration. In fact, there are a few options for getting to Canada:

1) Check to see if you are already a citizen. If your parents have Canadian citizenship or you were born in Canada, you may already be Canadian. The government has a page to help you determine your status.

2) Apply through Express Entry. If you have a degree and some work experience, this system gives you points for desirable skills, job offers, language skills, and more. If you apply to be in the Express Entry pool and score high enough, you will be asked to apply for permanent residency. After living in Canada for six years, you can then apply for citizenship.

3)  Become a permanent resident. Each province has a different path to permanent residency and Quebec, especially, has a different immigration system. You can become a permanent resident by being an entrepreneur, by getting a job offer in Canada, by being sponsored through family and through other routes. Once you are a permanent resident, you will need to live in Canada for at least two years out of a five year period until you can apply for citizenship. Your residency requirements will be different if you are a Crown Servant or the immediate family member of a Crown Servant. After declaring your intent to reside in Canada and becoming a permanent resident, you can study, work, travel, and enjoy many benefits of being a Canadian.

4) Meet the requirements for citizenship. In addition to being a permanent resident, you will need to maintain a clean criminal record, understand French or English, and prepare for the citizenship test. You can study for the test with the Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship guide. You must also have at least four out of the last six years of tax filings before applying to become a citizen.

If you’re considering Canada as a location after DACA ends, start today to determine how you can move to and live in Canada. If you need help, Immigration Direct has numerous resources to help you, including a guide on how to become a Canadian citizen and kits including everything you need in order to apply to become a permanent resident through Express Entry.