Q. I've been a Permanent Resident for a number of years now. What are the benefits of becoming a citizen and what should I expect? Question submitted by Victor S.
Canada has a lot to offer. It's a big, beautiful country, known for its friendly people and winter months. If you are interested in immigrating to Canada you are likely already aware that you will need to become a Permanent Resident, but what are the real benefits of becoming a citizen?
As a Canadian citizen, you not only have the right to vote, you'll have the right to run for office and represent Canadians in an election if you want. Your voice can be heard!
A Canadian Passport
The Global Passport Index ranks a Canadian Passport the 3rd best passport to hold in the world, citing enhanced mobility, investment index, and quality of living. Canadians are generally well received across the globe when travelling as well, thanks to being well-known politeness and humour! Further, many countries allow Canadian passport holders to enter without a visa for certain purposes and Canada also recognizes dual citizenship. If your country of birth also recognizes dual citizenship, then you may be able to hold two passports.
Wider job opportunities
Canadian citizens are able to apply for jobs that are not always available for permanent residents. Jobs requiring specific security clearances and/or some government jobs are only available to Canadian citizens.
Permanent Resident status
Most PR cards are valid for just five years and require renewals. As a citizen, there is no need to renew your citizenship status. Citizenship certificates are valid indefinitely.
Further, there are few circumstances in which citizenship status can be revoked. False representation, fraud, knowingly concealing material circumstances, security, human or international rights violations, or organized crime. These are very serious circumstances that result in a loss of citizenship. However, merely not being in Canada for at least 730 days during the last five years can cause you to lose your PR status. There is security in citizenship.
Eligibility for Canadian citizenship
must be a permanent resident of Canada
must have been physically present in Canada for at least 1,095 days in the 5 years immediately before you apply
may need to file personal income taxes for at least 3 years within the 5-year period
must demonstrate adequate knowledge of English or French (if you are between 18 and 54 years old when you apply)
must demonstrate you have knowledge of Canada and of the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship (if you are between 18 and 54 years old when you apply—this is assessed after you apply)
can’t have any unfulfilled conditions related to their permanent resident status
can’t be under a removal order
can’t be inadmissible or prohibited on criminal or security grounds
You must pass a citizenship test
If you’re 18 to 54 years of age as of the day you sign your application for citizenship, you need to take the citizenship test. You’ll need to answer questions about the rights and responsibilities of Canadians and Canada’s:
The test is:
in English or French
30 minutes long
20 questions (pass mark: 15 correct answers)
multiple-choice and true or false questions
based on the official citizenship study guide: Discover Canada
usually written, but may be oral
The processing time is 27 months. This includes processing the
complete application, the citizenship test, interview, and ceremony.
Immigration Station Canada will work with you and guide you through the best process to achieve your goals, wherever they lead!
Immigration Station Canada is a dedicated, professional Canadian Immigration firm practicing out of Northumberland County, just east of Toronto, Canada. We serve clients from Kingston, Belleville, Brighton, Cobourg, Oshawa, the GTA, Guelph, Milton, Stratford and St. Catharines and around the world. Our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, Anne C. McCaughey (Annie) is an experienced immigration services provider and a fifth-generation Canadian who values the immigration process and the unique individuals who immigrate to Canada to become part of the fabric of this wonderful country. If you would like to submit a question to Ask Annie, use the contact form.
How Can We Help? We do work permits, study permits, visitor visas, Express Entry, spousal sponsorship, family class sponsorship, and Canadian citizenship with expertise in Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications and Global Talent Stream applications. Please contact us if you would like assistance with your immigration application or to book an appointment.