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Can I count any time I’ve spent outside of Canada toward the physical presence requirement when applying for citizenship?

The time you spend outside of Canada doesn’t count toward your physical presence requirement, except in some cases.

You can count time spent outside Canada toward the physical presence requirement for citizenship if you:

  • were a permanent resident employed in or with the:
    • Canadian Armed Forces
    • federal public administration
    • public service of a province or territory
  • lived outside Canada with your Canadian spouse or common-law partner or permanent resident spouse, common-law partner, or parent who was employed in or with the:
    • Canadian Armed Forces
    • federal public administration
    • public service of a province or territory

This doesn’t include employment as a locally engaged person.

The physical presence requirement only uses time after:

  • becoming a permanent resident
  • your common-law relationship began (for calculating residence with a common-law partner)

Use the online physical presence calculator. Complete and submit the CIT 0177 Residence Outside Canada form when you apply. We’ll decide if we can count the time you lived outside Canada.

The travel journal is an easy way to record your time outside Canada. It will help you fill out the physical presence calculator or the Residence Outside Canada form.


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