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Right of Citizenship FAQ

Canadian Citizenship is one of the most prized in the world. It creates new hope and opportunities for the 170,000 people who are accepted every year. The Right to Citizenship FAQ explains who qualifies for citizenship and the steps to take to become a Canadian citizen.

If you wish to read more about obtaining Canadian Citizenship, check out the Canadian Government website, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)

How do I qualify for Canadian Citizenship?

You must be 18 years old or over and have permanent resident status in Canada. You must have lived in Canada as a permanent resident or a visa holder for 3 years out of the last 4 years (1,095 days). You also need a good knowledge – both written and spoken of English or French and of the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizens. Additionally, you must not have been convicted of a criminal offence or investigated for a criminal offence in the last 3 years.

Can my children get Canadian Citizenship?

You can apply for Canadian citizenship on behalf of your children if you are their parent or legal guardian and if the child is a permanent resident card holder in Canada. One parent or guardian must already be a Canadian citizen or in the process of making a citizenship application.

Do I have to pass a test to become a Canadian Citizen?

If you are aged between 18 and 54 and you are eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship, you must take the Citizenship test.

What happens if I fail the Citizenship test?

If you fail the test you have to appear before a citizenship judge who will ask you about your knowledge of Canadian citizenship rights and responsibilities. Questions will be asked in either English or French depending on your preference.

How much does it cost to become a Canadian Citizen?

The application fee is CDN $200 for adults and CDN $100 for children.

Do I have to renounce my citizenship to my birth country if I become a Canadian citizen?

Canada allows its citizens to hold dual nationality with another country; however your country of birth may not recognize dual citizenship. Before you apply for Canadian citizenship, you should check with the Embassy of the country you are a citizen of to find out if they recognize dual nationality.

How do I apply for Canadian Citizenship?

You must first ensure that you meet the language, eligibility and residence requirements. If you do, you should download an application form from Citizenship and Immigration Canada and pay the application fee ($200 for adults, $100 for children). The form comes with an instruction guide detailing where to send it and what documents to include. CIC will send you confirmation of receipt and a booklet called Discover Canada, which you need to revise for your Citizenship Test.

What are the benefits of becoming a Canadian Citizen?

Canadian Citizenship entitles you to apply for a Canadian Passport and for many people this means greater ease of travel because many countries do not require Canadian visitors to hold visas. You can also travel in and out of Canada more freely than a permanent resident because you will not loose your rights to Canadian citizenship by leaving the country for long periods of absence. PR card holders do lose their right to PR status if they spend extended periods out of the country. You can also vote in federal elections and hold office in Canada.

What happens at the Citizenship Ceremony and who must attend?

The citizenship ceremony is where you take the oath of citizenship and receive your certificate proving that you are now a Canadian citizen; many other people will attend to take the oath at the same time. All adults and children aged 14 or over must attend the citizenship ceremony; children under 14 can attend but do not have to – their certificates will be given to their parents. You must bring all of your immigration documents with you including Records of Landing and PR Cards. You can also bring a Holy book if you want to swear your oath in this way.

What documents will prove my Canadian Citizenship?

You citizenship card, which you receive at the citizenship ceremony, will prove that you are a Canadian citizen. Once you have this card you can apply for a Canadian Passport and this too will prove your Canadian citizenship status. Other documents accepted as legal proof of Canadian citizenship are Naturalization certificates issued between January 1947 and February 14 1977; Certificates of Retention issued between January 1947 and February 14 1977; Canadian birth certificates. If you have a Canadian birth certificate issued after February 14 1977 you must be able to prove that one parent was a Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident.

Can you have "Dual" citizenship? Canadian and American?

Both Canada and the U.S. recognize dual citizenship. Verification of becoming dual citizen begins by contacting the following representatives of each country in question. You must provide personal information, such as place and date of birth, citizenship of parents, immigration details, etc. If the information is not sufficient then further information in regard to parents, as well as spouse and grandparents may have to be provided.

Do you have to pay again at the judge stage? i.e., fail first test then go to judge? Is there a fee at that stage? Also... how many of the 20 multiple choice questions at first stage can you get wrong? (To pass)

If you fail the test you will be sent a notice to appear for an interview with a Citizenship Judge. The judge will decide if you meet all the requirements for citizenship. You are not required to pay an additional fee for this. Please note if you miss the interview another date will be scheduled, and if you miss this a second time, your file will be closed and you would have to reapply and pay the fees again. The test comes in 3 parts and you are required to get 16 out of 20 correct (please note this is subject to change).

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