All Permanent Residents (PRs) of Canada have obligations which Canadian citizens do not have, such as: always maintaining a valid permanent resident card, meeting residency obligation requirements, not being able to vote or run for political office, and a chance of getting the PR status revoked due to a serious offence. Obtaining Canadian citizenship removes these constraints assuming that there are no misrepresentation concerns in the citizenship application or the initial PR application.

Canadian citizenship is not automatically awarded to permanent residents. To obtain it, a proper request and application for citizenship must be made to the Government of Canada. Basic eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Be a Permanent Resident of Canada and at least 18 years of age at the time of application;
  • Have lived in Canada for 3 out of the last 5 years (or 1,095 days in the past five years) as a PR;
    • 365 days maximum will be counted if the applicant lived in Canada on a valid temporary resident status before becoming a PR. This includes visitor records, study and/or work permits.
  • Have filed annual income tax returns (if applicable);
  • Prove language skills*;
  • Pass a knowledge test on Canada’s history.

*Only applicants between 18 and 54 years of age are required to demonstrate their English or French language ability. Evidence of language ability includes:

  • Results of government approved third-party language test;
  • Diploma/certificate or transcripts from a secondary or post-secondary education program in Canada or abroad, where the language of study was English or French;
  • Proof of completion from certain government-funded language training programs.

After submitting a completed application, applicants will be invited to take the citizenship test, which consists of 20 questions. After the test, provided that the applicant continues to meet the requirements for the Canadian citizenship, the applicant will receive a notice to appear for the Oath of Citizenship ceremony.

The ceremony is the final step in becoming a Canadian citizen. Adults and children aged 14 and over, must take the oath. Those younger than 14 are not required to attend the ceremony and will receive certificates of citizenship through their parents. However, they are welcome to join their family and take part in the ceremony.

Alternative ways to become a Canadian citizen are available in the following circumstances:

  1. Adopted or natural children of Canadian citizens that were born outside of Canada;
  2. Children who were born in Canada, even if their parents are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents;

If you are looking for a Canadian Immigration Lawyer that can assist you with your matter, there is no need to look any further. At UL Lawyers, for all immigration matters, we offer free consultation for the first 15 minutes and in the event our law firm is retained, we will credit the consultation fee towards your legal fees. For more information, you can contact us via telephone or WhatsApp at 1-905-744-8888 or email us at We look forward to assisting you with your immigration matter.