Find out if you’re eligible: Citizenship

To be eligible to become a Canadian citizen, you must meet all conditions, including:

If you have served in or with the Canadian Armed Forces, you might be able to apply through a fast-track process.

Age

You must be at least 18 years old to apply for Canadian citizenship.

If your child is under 18, you may apply for them if:

  • you’re their:
    • biological parent or
    • adoptive parent or
    • legal guardian
  • they’re a permanent resident and eligible for citizenship

Permanent resident status

If you’re applying for citizenship, you must have:

Your PR status must not be in question. This means you must not:

  • be under review for immigration or fraud reasons
  • have certain unfulfilled conditions related to your PR status
  • be under a removal order (an order from Canadian officials to leave Canada)

You don’t need a valid PR card to apply for citizenship. If you have an expired PR card, you can still apply for citizenship.

Time you have lived in Canada

You must have been physically present in Canada as a permanent resident for at least:

  • 1,460 days during the six years right before the date you sign your application
  • 183 days during each of four calendar years that are fully or partially within the six years right before the date you apply

When calculating how long you have lived in Canada, you can only count time spent after you became a permanent resident.

These requirements don’t apply to children under 18.

You may be eligible to apply even if you don’t meet the minimum time lived in Canada if you’re a:

  • Crown servant (certain categories of public officials)
  • family member of a Crown servant

Find out if you have lived in Canada long enough to apply to become a citizen.

Income tax filing

You must meet your personal income tax filing obligations in four tax years that are fully or partially within the six years right before the date you apply.

Intent to reside

You must declare your intent to live in Canada during the citizenship application process.

This means that to become a citizen, you must plan to:

  • live in Canada or
  • work outside Canada as a Crown servant or
  • live outside Canada with certain family members who are Crown servants

Once you become a Canadian citizen, you have the right to enter, remain in, or leave Canada as a basic right of citizenship.

Language abilities

Canada has two official languages: English and French. To become a citizen, you must show that you can speak and listen in one of these languages. This means you can:

  • take part in short, everyday conversations about common topics
  • understand simple instructions, questions and directions
  • use basic grammar, including simple structures and tenses
  • show you know enough common words and phrases to answer questions and express yourself

If you’re 14 to 64 years old, you must prove you can speak and listen in English or French at this level. Find out which documents you can use as proof to send with your application.

Citizenship staff will decide how well you can communicate in English or French during your interview. A citizenship officer will make the final decision on your application.

How well you know Canada

To become a citizen, you’ll need to take a test to meet the knowledge requirement for citizenship. You’ll need to answer questions about Canada’s:

The tests are:

  • in English or French
  • given to applicants 14 to 64 years old
  • made up of questions based on the Discover Canada study guide
  • usually in a written format, unless you need to take it orally with a citizenship officer

If you need any accommodations to take the test, let us know as soon as possible.

Everything you need to know for the test is in Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship.

Prohibitions

If you have committed a crime in or outside Canada, you may not be eligible to become a Canadian citizen for a period of time. This includes if you:

  • are serving a sentence outside Canada
  • are in prison, on parole or on probation in Canada
  • are charged with, on trial for, or involved in an appeal of an:
  • have been convicted in the four years before applying for citizenship of an:

Time in prison, on parole or on probation doesn’t count as time you have lived in Canada.

Read more about situations that may prevent you from becoming a Canadian citizen.

Features

Date Modified: