Obtaining Canadian Citizenship FAQ

1. When am I eligible to apply for Canadian Citizenship?

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) allows you to apply for Canadian Citizenship after you have been a physical resident of Canada for three years (1095 days) out of the four years immediately preceding your application. Where exceptional circumstances exist, however, you may be allowed to apply even if you have not been physically resident in Canada for the required 1095 days.

2. Do I have to apply for Canadian Citizenship as soon as I am eligible?

No, there is no obligation to apply for Canadian Citizenship at any time.

3. What are some of the advantages of obtaining Canadian Citizenship?

Unlike Canadian Permanent Residents, Canadian citizens have no residency obligations. Canadian citizens cannot lose their status unless it was obtained through material misrepresentation. Canadian citizens also receive Canadian passports and are entitled to vote in federal elections.

4. Will my time in Canada before becoming a Permanent Resident count towards my Citizenship application?

Citizenship and Immigration Canada recognizes time spent legally in Canada prior to becoming a Canadian Permanent Resident towards the calculation of the 1095 days required to qualify for Canadian Citizenship. Within the four years prior to applying for Canadian Citizenship, each day spent in Canada as a non-Immigrant (i.e. as a visitor, international student, temporary worker) is counted as half a day, up to a maximum total credit of one year. Each day spent in Canada as a Permanent Resident is counted as one whole day.

5. Will time spent absent from Canada be counted towards my Citizenship application?

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, time spent outside of Canada (other than for short vacations) will not be counted towards the calculation of the 1095 days required to qualify for Canadian Citizenship.

6. Will Canadian Citizenship make me eligible to work in the US, Mexico, or Chile?

Under the provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA), qualified Canadian citizens can benefit from facilitated admission into the US, Mexico and Chile for business and work-related purposes.

7. Does Canada recognize dual citizenship?

Since 1977, Canada has permitted its citizens to hold dual or multi citizenship. As a result, Canadian citizens will not lose their Canadian Citizenship if they retain their former nationality or become citizens of another country. Many other countries, including the United States, also recognize dual citizenship. If you intend to become a Canadian citizen, you are advised to verify whether the country of your current nationality permits dual citizenship.

8. As a Canadian citizen, must I pay Canadian income tax on my worldwide income?

Not in all cases. As a general rule, you are only required to pay Canadian income tax on worldwide income if you reside in Canada. It is always best to consult with a specialist in Canadian taxation for specific advice regarding any and all Canadian taxation matters.

9. I was a citizen as a child, but have not lived in Canada for many years. Do I still qualify as a citizen?

If you were born in Canada, you are most likely a Canadian citizen. You can contact CIC and request a search for citizenship records, and obtain new citizenship documents.

10. I had my Canadian citizenship revoked. How do I obtain a new citizenship?

Depending on when and for what reason your citizenship was revoked, you may be eligible to re-apply for Canadian citizenship. For complicated citizenship problems like these, it is best to have a consultation.

11. I no longer wish to hold my Canadian citizenship. What do I have to do?

Contact the CIC for instructions on renunciation of citizenship.