Applying for Canadian citizenship is a journey with many steps. You will need to establish whether you qualify for citizenship, you will need to meet residency and other requirements, and you will need to apply.
If you are an adult, your application will include Form CIT 0002 (Application for Canadian Citizenship — Adults ).
As part of this application package, you will need to ensure you fill out all forms fully and honestly. There is a checklist included with the application package, CIT 0007, to ensure you complete all required parts of the application and include them. You will want to fill out CIT 0007 and mail it along with your application package. Your checklist will include 1:
The fully signed, completed, dated and accurate Form CIT 0002 (Application for Canadian
Citizenship — Adults ).
- A printout hardcopy of your results from the Physical Presence Calculator or a completely and correctly filled out, dated, and signed Form CIT 0407 (How to Calculate Phial Presence).
- A photocopy of an approved third-party test result or other approved evidence of your competency in English or French.
A photocopy of the biographical images from your passport or any other travel documents you have used over the past five years. If your passport validity was extended, you will also need to send photocopies of the pages showing the extension. If you do not have all your travel documents or passports from the last five years, follow step 4.14 of the application and complete question #14 of Form CIT 0002.
- Two photos which meet all the current requirements for citizenship photos.
- A photocopy of approved personal identifications which shows your date of birth, name, and photo. You will need to ensure the photocopy shows both sides of the ID document if the identification is printed on both sides.
- A copy of a receipt showing you have paid your application fees online.
In addition to the above, you may need to include off these items if any of the following apply to you:
- If any of the documents required in the citizenship application are in a language other than
English or French, you will need to have them translated. You will need to include an affidavit from the translator with your application.
- If you have transitioned, include a completed Form CIT 0404 (Request form for a Change of Sex Designation).
- If you need to correct your name, date of birth or sex, make sure to follow the instruction guide of the citizenship application to ensure that you include the right documentation.
- If you have used a representative, include a completed Form IMM 5476 (Use of a
- If you are exempt from residency requirements because you are a crown servant or the immediate family member of one, include a completed Form CIT 0177 (Residence Outside Canada).
- If you have lived outside the country in the past four years and have had residency in another country or countries for more than 183 days, include a police clearance or certificate from that country or consult the instructions to explain why such clearance is not available.
Failing to include all needed documentation with your citizenship application can cause delays. To get help in filling out your form, turn to Immigration Direct. The citizenship kit contains all the forms you need along with easy-to-understand instructions and the free citizenship resources can make you feel more confident about applying.
In order to become a citizen of Canada, applicants between the ages of 18 and 54 must show “an adequate knowledge” of either English or French, the two official languages of Canada. For the purposes of citizenship, “adequate knowledge” means an applicant meets Level 4 speaking and listening ability of the Niveaux de compétence Linguistique Canadien (NCLC) or the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB).
In general, this level of proficiency means you can use different tenses, simple sentence structures, and can answer questions in English and French. If you are at Level 4 in proficiency, you should be able to follow instructions in one of these two languages and have simple conversations.
Proving Proficiency with Tests
If you are currently enrolled in a post-secondary or secondary school in Canada, your transcript or your diploma from such a school can establish you meet language requirements. If you do not have a diploma and need to prove your knowledge of French or English, you can use the following tests:
- Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP). You can use either the CELPIP General test or the General LS, which tests both listening and speaking.
- International English Language Testing System General (IELTS – General)
- Test d’Évaluation de Français (TEF). This test assesses your French ability and you can take either the Test d’Évaluation de Français (TEFAQ) or the TEF pour la naturalisation, which tests both listening and speaking skills.
If you have immigrated to Québec, you may have submitted the results of tests such as the Diplôme approfondi de langue française (DALF), Test de Connaissance du français (TCF), Diplôme d’études en langue française (DELF), or the Test de Connaissance du français pour le Québec (TCFQ) as part of your immigration application. If that is the case, you can use the results of these tests as proof of your language skills when applying for citizenship.
If you have questions about applying for Canadian citizenship, Immigration Direct has a free Knowledge Base with resources to help you understand the process more fully. In addition, we have kits with everything you need to start the citizenship application process.
Canada allows for dual citizenship. If you are already the citizen of another country and apply for citizenship of Canada, you may be able to retain your original citizenship, provided your nation of origin also allows it. If you have Canadian citizenship and apply for naturalization in another country, you can retain your Canadian citizenship.
You do not need to apply for dual citizenship and there is no certificate offered for this status. If you wish to enjoy two passports, you will need to first ensure that the other nation you would like nationality from permits dual citizenship. Contact the embassy of the other nation to find out their regulations.
As of November 10, 2016, Canada has new rules for dual citizenship. If you hold citizenship of two countries and are traveling to Canada after this date, you will need to travel to Canada with your Canadian passport. You will not be allowed to board your plane without a Canadian passport and you will be required to carry both passports with you.
Previous to this, dual citizens could fly to Canada with a non-Canadian passport. Currently, the only exception to the rule is Canadian-American citizenship holders. If you hold citizenship from both Canada and the United States, you will not need a Canadian passport to enter Canada. However, you will need the appropriate travel documents.
Becoming a Citizen of Two Nations
There are many reasons why you might want to hold two citizenships. It allows you to maintain a strong tie to another nation and allows you to travel freely between nations. If you spend a lot of time in another country, dual citizenship gives you all the rights of citizenship in another nation so you can study, work, live, and even vote somewhere outside of Canada, too. If you travel often, having dual citizenship potentially allows you to appeal to the national authorities in two countries if you need assistance.
There may also be limits to having citizenship in more than one country. It may mean you have tax obligations to another nation or need to register for mandatory military service. Some countries do not recognize dual citizenship and may not recognize your Canadian passport or may not allow you to get help from Canadian embassies or consulates when you’re abroad. Before deciding on dual citizenship, research some of the possible drawbacks and advantages.
If you are already the citizen of another nation and wish to apply to become a Canadian citizen, you will need to submit an application. Immigration Direct can help you with the process by offering a number of resources for citizenship applicants. We even outline the benefits of Canadian citizenship for you so you can determine whether it’s something you want to pursue. Be sure to check us out, whether you need application support or news and information.
If you need to renew your PR card because it has expired, you will need to submit a full application, including supporting documents. Leaving out any required documents can slow your processing time and can create delays. While the documents you need will depend on your application, you will generally need:
- A photocopy of the main identification document. This document is typically a travel document or a valid passport. It must be an official document with your name, photo, birthday, and an expiry date. The photocopy should be clear.
- Photocopies of two additional forms of identification. These can include a driver’s license, an identification card from the province where you reside, identification from a college or university you attend or other eligible official documentation.
- Evidence of residency. You must be able to show you meet residency requirements by sending eligible and complete photocopies of Income Tax documents, school transcripts, school attendance records, or other eligible documentation.
- Two photos which have been taken in the last six months before you applied. The photos must be placed in a small envelope with the name of the applicant written on the envelope. Write the name on the envelope before placing the photos inside to ensure the photos are not damaged. In addition, do not use paperclips or staples with the photos. Make sure the photos meet current Photograph Specifications before sending.
Keep in mind that you may be asked for additional documentation at any point when you apply for a PR card renewal. If you are asked for more documentation, provide it at once to avoid delays with your application.
To ensure you have all the right documentation for your application, be sure to read and fill out the documentation checklist, IMM 5644. Complete IMM 5644 and include the completed form with your application.
Do you need help ensuring your application is complete? Failing to submit required documents with your application can mean your application is returned or delayed and if your PR card expires you will not be able to travel to and from Canada without getting additional travel documentation.
If you want to ensure you get the right documentation and fill out your PR card renewal application correctly, ImmigrationDirect has resources to help you. We have step-by-step guides to assist you through the application process in plain language and we explain everything clearly, so you understand what you must do to get your PR card. Since we use the latest forms and the most up-to-date information, you can be assured you’re using the correct versions of forms, too. We even have free information to help you understand PR cards better.
In the past, the term “landed immigrant” was used to describe a legal resident of Canada who could work and live in the country but who did not have Canadian citizenship. Today, this term is no longer used. Instead, what many people consider a “landed immigrant” describes permanent resident status.
Are You Eligible?
Permanent resident status in Canada allows you to live in Canada, travel to and from the country, hold jobs, study, move and get health care, among other privileges. To apply for permanent resident status, you must first establish you are eligible.
You are eligible to become a permanent resident of Canada if:
- You have at least 12 months of full-time skilled work experience in Canada and meet all the NOC (National Occupational Classification) and language proficiency required to apply for permanent residency under the Canadian Experience Class
- Have family who can sponsor you in Canada
- You have a specific job offer in Canada which allows you to apply to live and work in Canada
- You have no criminal record
- You meet the other requirements established by the eligibility criteria
- You meet the requirements for permanent residency based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds
Applying to Live in Canada
To apply for permanent resident status in Canada, you must fill out the appropriate application, based on how you are applying for permanent residency. For example, you may:
- Use Form IMM 1344 to sponsor a relative to immigrate to Canada
- Use Form IMM 0008 to apply for permanent residency through sponsorship
- Use the Government of Canada online form and profile to apply through job offers or through your work experience
It is important to use the right forms and to submit all relevant information as well as fees. Immigration forms also change, as do requirements. If you need support filling out the forms or selecting the right forms, ImmigrationDirect has many online resources to help you immigrate to Canada. Our information is always being refreshed, so you get the latest information and the latest versions of forms as well as help completing the forms fully and correctly.