On the list of countries that are popular for immigration, Canada holds one of the leading positions, and for many, it is a dream destination. A high degree of social protection, a stable economy, the opportunity to realize one’s professional potential, a high-quality healthcare system, and many other factors lure people from all over the world, including Indians, to seek citizenship in Canada. However, the process of becoming a Canadian citizen is not an easy one, and it will take a lot of time and documents to get a passport with a maple leaf on it!
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What do you need to become a Canadian citizen? Top 9 key facts
1. You must be of legal age
If you are not of legal age, you will have a difficult ‘uphill’ climb, as the application must be completed and submitted by a parent or a guardian, who must be a permanent resident of Canada or, in the event of a parent, the applicant for citizenship in that nation.
2. Become a part of competent citizens
Yes, Canada has a fast-track immigration system called “Express entry,” through which skilled workers can make a quick transition to a new work environment in that country. Of course, the condition is that you are very good at what you do, or more precisely, that you are an expert. There is a ranking list for that, so once you have been assessed on your work expertise, you must rank among the top on that list to be considered for express entry into Canada (not citizenship, of course).
3. Settle at a permanent address
When you apply, you have the option of choosing any province in Canada, as well as Quebec, which has its own set of immigration requirements. A permanent address entitles you to free health care, the ability to work, study, and travel throughout Canada. The only things you won’t be able to do afterwards is to vote in elections, run for public or political office, or work in businesses with high-security requirements.
4. Clear intentions that you want to live in Canada
You must confirm your plans to remain a Canadian if you are invited for permanent residence. The government defines permanent residency as a desire to live in Canada for at least two years and up to five years. You risk losing your permanent residency status if you do not spend enough time within the borders. If you want to become a citizen, the greatest thing you can do is not leave the country and stay there within the time limits.
5. Become a permanent Canadian resident
You will also receive the so-called document known as a “Maple Leaf Card”, which is actually a Permanent Resident Card that confirms your new status. If you’re in Canada with an exchange student program or with a work visa, you will need this upgrade because, unlike all others, the Maple Leaf Card allows you to stay in Canada indefinitely. This card serves as both an identification card and a travel document. It makes it easier to travel with this document while you’re waiting to get your citizenship.
6. Spend six years on the same address
This is required if you want to become a Canadian citizen, as the scale for citizenship is not the same as for permanent residency. Not all permanent residents become Canadian citizens right away. Getting citizenship takes more time than it takes to become a permanent citizen. At first, six years may seem like a long period, but since you’ve decided to embark on this journey of getting citizenship, it’s just a piece of cake. After all, you know it’s all going to be worth it.
7. Learn to speak one of the two official languages
As you may already be familiar with that, Quebec is mostly a francophone province, where the majority of the population speaks French. Having that in mind, there are two official languages in Canada – English, and French. So, it’s either one or the other, and it is enough to be able to communicate with people on the streets, having casual conversations, but nothing as revolutionary as expert debates. The official makes the final decision on how competent you are at communicating.
8. Submit tax forms regularly
If you want everything to go according to the plan, then the government must see that you pay your taxes regularly and that everything you do is legal. You can’t have any side jobs or untaxed money. To be precise, four out of six years must be completed to provide the Canadian authorities an idea of the legality of your job/employment.
9. You must stay in Canada for 1095 days
When you become a permanent resident, you must have spent 1,095 days in Canada during the previous four years to qualify (these are 3 years out of those 4 to put it in perspective). Furthermore, these days do not have to be consecutive. The most important thing is to spend three out of four years in Canada. However, this does not apply to those younger than the age of 18.
Ready to become a Canadian citizen?
As you can see, it takes many years to become a Canadian citizen, but the process is more than worth it. When you admit the application, it will take some time for them to reach out to you (in case they accept it). Right now it’s probably going to take even more time, due to the COVID-19 restrictions and regulations. However, if you need more information about this test that you’re about to take, then click here. You’ll find a guide that will help you prepare for the test, covering different topics that you need to master to pass. Besides, if you want to check how much you already know, you can try the free practice citizenship test. With these practice tests that are almost identical to the real thing, you can increase your chances of passing your citizenship test.