“We want people to become citizens because we believe that’s part of the integration journey, that helps them feel part of Canada and ultimately should improve all the economic, social and political outcomes of the country.” ~ Andrew Griffith, a former senior immigration official
The next step to conquer your dream after getting a permanent residency in Canada is to acquire the Canadian Citizenship to avail all the advantages offered to a Canadian citizen. The relaxed rules for obtaining the Canadian Citizenship were brought into effect on October 11, 2017, paving way for the smooth road to achieving the citizenship of Canada. The amendment resulted in a surge in Canadian Citizenship applications. The number shot up to 17,500 applications from an average of 3,653 applications the week after the new requirements kicked in.
Canada is an ideal destination for those who yearn for a better quality of life. The growing economy of Canada offers a plethora of opportunities to people from various parts of the industry, setting up the stage for them to broaden their horizons and contribute actively to their respective sectors.
Benefits of getting a Canadian Citizenship
Being a permanent resident of Canada, you get an access to a myriad of the same resources that Canadian citizens have- Benefit from publicly funded school and healthcare, Work location flexibilities and Protection of Civil Liberties.
However, there are numerous other advantages if you hold a Canadian Citizenship. Being a Canadian Citizen comes with various benefits that are not available to permanent residents. Some of them are as mentioned below:
- Canadian Citizens Can Vote and Run for Political Office- Citizens can vote in federal, provincial and municipal elections, run for office and become involved in political activities, meaning they have a say in who runs the various levels of government that exist in Canada.
- Canadian Citizens Can Travel on a Canadian Passport- The power of a Canadian passport is proved by a fact that it is placed amongst the top 10 passports in the world. With a Canadian passport in hand, you can travel to more than 150 countries with no visa requirements.
- Canadian Citizens Never Have to Worry about renewal- Once you become the citizen of Canada, you don’t have to renew your citizenship or fret about losing your status. You get free from bothersome processing time issue of citizenship renewal, saving $50 that you usually spend on the renewal of your PR card every 5 years. Moreover, you don’t have to give up your previous citizenship when you become a Canadian citizen as the Canadian government recognizes multiple-citizenship.
Eligibility Criterion to apply for Canadian Citizenship
The government outlines several caveats for being a citizen of Canada. In order to be eligible for Canadian citizenship the following requirements must be met:
- To apply for Canadian Citizenship, applicants must have the status of Canadian permanent resident. Moreover, he/she must have lived for at least three years out of five years in prior to applying for citizenship (Children under 18 must also have permanent resident status, but do not have to satisfy the three-year requirement.)
- Language is also one of the major criterions on which your citizenship depends. An applicant must be able to speak either one or both of Canada’s two official languages- English or French. The requirement of these languages is to make sure that you are capable enough to communicate in Canadian society.
- As mentioned by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), if you have committed a crime, in or outside Canada, you may be ineligible for citizenship for a period of time.
- Applicants must be aware of the rights and responsibilities of citizens and have a basic knowledge of Canada’s geography, political system, and history.
- Applicants must submit a formal application to IRCC and pay a government processing fee and a right of citizenship fee.
Canadian Citizenship Application Process
Once you satisfy all the above-mentioned eligibility criterions, follow the below-mentioned steps and go ahead with the application process to gain the Canadian Citizenship.
Apply for your Canadian Citizenship
Take a print out of the citizenship application form and before filling the form, read the application guide thoroughly available at the official website. Complete the form and pay the required fees. Mail the form with all the relevant, necessary documents- filled out, signed and dated application forms, proof of permanent residence, copies of two pieces of identification, two signed citizenship photos and the receipt of payment to the citizenship case processing center.
Verify your Canadian Citizenship status and start your preparation for the test
Once your Canadian citizenship application gets received by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, they convey the same by sending you a notice of confirmation. Once you receive the confirmation, verify the status of your application and start studying for the test as soon as possible. The test is conducted to evaluate your knowledge about Canada.
The test to acquire Canadian Citizenship
Citizenship and Immigration Canada sends you a notice with the time and date for your test that can be either a written test or an oral test. IRCC can make the decision to allow you to have an oral test based on a number of factors, such as, having difficulty reading and writing in English or French. It is suggested to bring all the originals of the documents that you submitted with your application when you go to sit for your test.
Unfortunately, if you fail to pass the written test, but meet the other criteria for citizenship, you will be scheduled for a second test that is usually conducted after 4-8 weeks of your first test. If you fail to pass the second test also, IRCC sends you a notice telling you to appear for a hearing with a citizenship officer.
The Canadian Citizenship Ceremony
This is the final step to turn your dream into reality. Once you pass the test and fulfill all the requirements to become a Canadian Citizen, you get a notice to attend a ceremony to take the oath of citizenship. It is important to carry all your original immigration documents to the ceremony.
You will take an oath of citizenship in a room full of people who are soon to become Canadians. You accept the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and once you finish your oath, you become an integral part of Canada. The ceremony gets accomplished as soon as you receive a certificate of Canadian citizenship.
The entire Canada Citizenship Application process is bothersome and confusing, so you must look for the help of immigration experts who are knowledgeable in this field. Note that “Today’s realities are, Yesterday’s decision, Tomorrow’s realities will be, Today’s decision”, hence make a sagacious decision and choose CS Immigration who offers ICCRC accredited immigration help, thereby making your entire Canadian Citizenship process smooth and hassle-free.