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There are numerous advantages to holding Canadian citizenship. Becoming a Canadian citizen comes with benefits that are not available to permanent residents, such as: access to restricted jobs; the right to vote and run for political office; and the ability to travel with a Canadian passport. Canadian citizens also have the security of holding a status that is not easy to lose or relinquish.
Canadian citizens are eligible for certain unelected government jobs that require citizenship as well as jobs requiring security clearances. Permanent residents, on the other hand, may find themselves with employment choices that are limited by their status.
With Canadian citizenship comes the right to vote in provincial and national elections. By voting, Canadian citizens play an important role in influencing provincial and federal politics. In addition, Canadian citizens may hold political office, and represent Canadian constituents on issues like taxes, education, and foreign policy.
For many naturalized citizens, a Canadian passport is a more useful passport than a passport issued by the country of birth, since many countries allow Canadians to enter without a visa for certain approved purposes. Canada recognizes dual citizenship, so if your country of birth also recognizes dual citizenship, then you may find yourself in the privileged position of holding two passports. If your home country does not permit dual citizenship, then you may want to take some time to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of travel documents issued by both Canada and your home country.
Unlike permanent residents, who must comply with certain residency requirements, Canadians citizens can spend as much time as they like outside of Canada with no immigration consequences. In addition, Canadian citizens will not ordinarily lose citizenship if convicted of a crime, while permanent residents will face deportation if the crime is considered serious enough to merit this consequence.
Permanent Resident Cards are valid for only five years. The cards are required for international travel and may be requested as proof of permanent resident status by employers or other government agencies. Therefore, permanent residents are in the unenviable position of needing to file a new application for a Permanent Resident Card, and pay a new fee, every five years. Citizens have no similar obligation. A Citizenship Certificate is valid indefinitely and Canadian citizens who wish to travel internationally need only renew their passports every ten years.