In 2019, Canada welcomed 341,180 new permanent residents (PRs). Of that, close to 22% (74,586 individuals) originally had temporary residency status. All in all, the country’s 2019 PR admissions reflected a 6.3% increase from the previous year.
This 2021, Canada aims to admit even more: at least 401,000 new PRs. The federal government even has plans of welcoming 421,000 PRs come 2023!
That’s great news for those wishing to obtain citizenship in Canada. After all, becoming a PR is a crucial eligibility factor in becoming a Canadian citizen. However, a PR status is only one of the major requirements for becoming a Great White North citizen.
To that end, we came up with this guide detailing the requirements and steps on how to become a Canadian citizen. So, read on to discover what you can and need to do to become a proud Canadian.
Achieve a Permanent Resident Status
The majority of Canadians themselves have favorable views of their country’s immigration system. After all, it strengthens the economy by expanding the limited Canadian-born workforce pool. It also helps employers fill vacancies with qualified workers.
Since Canada relies a lot on immigrants, it offers more than a dozen ways to immigrate. Most of these are through economic streams, such as immigrating as a skilled worker. Others are through family sponsorship, while some immigrate as protected persons or refugees.
Of all those methods, the Express Entry program is the most popular. It’s for skilled workers who want to work, reside, and apply for citizenship in Canada. Most of the application is online, which is another reason behind its popularity.
Whichever immigration method you choose, the most crucial thing is to acquire a PR status. You then have to maintain your permanent residency status as part of your goal to become a citizen.
Meet the Physical Presence Requirement
Once you become a PR, you can apply to become a Canadian citizen after five years. This should be five years before the date you complete and sign your application.
However, to be eligible for citizenship, you must spend a total of three years or 1,095 days of that five years in Canada. Only the days you’ve been physically present in Canada count toward those three years. In some cases, the count may include the days you spent in Canada as a temporary resident.
File Necessary Income Taxes
Once you receive your PR status and begin working in Canada, you’d have tax obligations. As such, you’d need to file and pay income taxes. Doing this also makes you eligible to receive benefit payments and tax credits.
More than that, your way to becoming a Canadian citizen may also depend on your filed taxes. You must file and pay taxes for at least three out of your five-year PR status as a working PR.
Prove Your English or French Language Proficiency
English and French are the two main languages used in Canada. However, more than two-thirds of the country’s population only speak English. By contrast, more than 10% are French-only speakers.
However, there are more than six million people who speak both.
Of course, being bi-lingual is a great asset in your journey to becoming a Canadian citizen. It’s not a requirement, though.
What’s mandatory is that you can prove your proficiency in either English or French. This means you have to possess at least a level 4 rating in the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB). This rule applies to applicants aged 18 to 54 signing their citizenship application.
One way to do this is to submit the successful results of an IRCC-approved third-party test you took. Another is proof of secondary or post-secondary education taught in English or French. It doesn’t matter where you completed the education; what matters is that you passed it.
Pass the Citizenship Exam With Flying Colors
Canadian citizenship applicants aged 18 to 54 must also take a citizenship exam. According to https://www.citizenshipcanadian.com/canadian-citizenship-practice-test/, it consists of 20 questions. You need to finish it within 30 minutes and get at least 15 correct answers.
The questions, in turn, are all about Canada, from its history to its geography. It may also cover the nation’s political system and national symbols. Moreover, you can expect questions about the rights and duties of a Canadian citizen.
Most of the time, immigration officials administer these exams in written format. However, they can choose to give an oral exam instead. For example, they may do so to gauge your verbal communication skills.
If you meet and pass all the requirements, you will receive an invitation for your oath-taking. It usually takes place three months after the completion of the citizenship exam. However, you should get a notice one to two weeks prior to your scheduled ceremony.
Make sure you’re available to attend the oath-taking; if you have other plans, cancel them. Keep in mind that oath-taking is a formal ceremony in which you must take the Oath of Citizenship. This is the day that Canada completely recognizes you as one of its citizens.
During the ceremony, you’ll swear the recently revised Oath. You would then sign the Oath or Affirmation of Citizenship form. Make sure you know the national anthem, O Canada, by heart, too, as the ceremony involves singing it.
Of course, before you leave, you’d receive your citizenship certificate. From then on, you can proudly say that you’re an official Canadian citizen.
Obtain That Citizenship in Canada You’ve Been Dreaming Of
The rate of citizenship in Canada is no doubt higher compared to other Western countries. This indicates that the Great White North is very welcoming towards immigrants.
However, Canada’s path to citizenship is still a lengthy process, as it takes at least five years. As such, it’s best to start as early as you can by getting and maintaining your PR status.
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