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How to Apply for Canadian Citizenship

Canada is a spectacular mix of imposing mountains, undisturbed lakes, vibrant cities and delicious maple syrup. It also has a strong employment market, high-quality healthcare system, excellent education and a low crime rate. There’s no surprise that so many people want to move to the beloved country.

However, becoming a Canadian citizen isn’t easy. You first need to go through several steps like learning about the Canadian history, values, institutions and symbols of the country, before you can officially call the country home.

For those that are committed to becoming a Canadian citizen, here’s what you need to do:

Be eligible

Firstly, you need to make sure you are eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship. In order to be able to apply to be a citizen of Canada, you must:

  • be over 18 years of age
  • be a permanent resident in the country
  • have been physically present in Canada for three years out of the last five years before the day you apply
  • speak and write in either English or French (Canada’s two official languages)
  • have filed your taxes for at least three years during the last five years
  • have paid any incomes taxes you may owe

If you are over 18 and have children, you must include an application for their citizenship within your own.

Prove you can speak and write in English or French

One of the eligibility requirements for applying to be a Canadian citizen is that you must be able to speak and write in one of Canada’s two official languages, English or French. You must prove that you can do this by submitting one of these types of documents:

  • a certificate, diploma or transcript from an English or French school programme
  • proof that you have completed a speaking and listening course level CLB/NCLC 4 in a LINC or CLIC course, or from a provincially-funded language training course in Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia or Quebec.
  • test results from a third party, equivalent to at least CLB/NCLC 4

Complete application form

Once you have checked that you are eligible and have the required proof you can now apply for citizenship.

It’s time to download and fill out the application form. This application form must be totally complete before you send it off, otherwise, it will be returned. Making sure that you have finished it before sending will help the process go smoothly.

To avoid delays, make sure that you are thorough and don’t miss out any parts of the application. If a question doesn’t apply to you mark it with n/a. Ensure that you send the right fee and sign your application. Don’t forget to attach all required certified citizenship photos and supporting documents.

You will need to include:

  • two certified citizenship photographs
  • your proof that you can speak English or French
  • copy of your passport and any travel documents required
  • a copy of your immigration documents
  • two types of photo identification
  • any extra documents required

You will also need to pay the application fee and include your payment receipt in your application package.

The fees are as follows:

  • $630 for each person 18 years and older that are applying
  • $100 for each child 18 years and younger that are applying

Once this has been done, it’s time to mail your application the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. Then

Take the citizenship test

If your application is accepted, you will then be called to take the citizenship test and/or go for an interview.

What you must do will depend on your age:

  • adults 18-54 years of age will have to take the citizenship test and go to the interview
  • adults 55 and over only have to attend the interview
  • children under 18 years of age with a parent applying at the same time will only have to go to the interview in some special cases
  • children 14-17 years of age without a parent applying at the same time will have to attend the interview

The test will assess your knowledge of Canada and will ask you 20 questions about:

  • history
  • geography
  • economy
  • government
  • laws
  • symbols

You will be sent a letter containing the date, time and location of your test about one to two weeks beforehand. The test lasts for 30 minutes and you need to get 15 correct answers in order to pass.

The Oath of Citizenship

Once you have passed the test, the final step to becoming a Canadian is taking the Oath of Citizenship. After your citizenship ceremony, you will officially be a Canadian citizen. The hard work is over and you can finally relax and enjoy your new home.

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