How to Apply for Canadian Citizenship

Canadian citizens are able to take advantage of their citizenship in numerous ways.

Eligible immigrants can apply for Canadian Citizenship, and have their applications processed within the timelines stipulated by IRCC. This topic examines requirements, processing time, fees, checklists and benefits of becoming a Canadian.

Canadian citizens get a comprehensive range of benefits that are unavailable to permanent residents or those on temporary permits. You need to get information from the right source if you seek to become a Canadian citizen.

Let’s walk you through the details by exploring all the things you need to learn about to apply for Canadian citizenship will update your knowledge in several important areas.

Benefits of becoming a Canadian citizen

Canadian citizens are able to take advantage of their citizenship in numerous ways. Suffice to say that you will be opportune to benefit vastly if your application for Canadian citizenship was successful.

Check out the benefits of becoming a Canadian Citizen

These benefits include:

  • Due to Canada’s reputation globally, Canadian citizens can enter several countries without applying for a visa. You only need to apply for a visa upon your arrival to the country.
  • Furthermore, some job positions in Canada such as working with the Canadian government or with a federal security agency are only open to citizens. These jobs are more rewarding than other jobs in Canada.
  • If you are interested in Canada’s politics, you must be a citizen to be entitled to vote for political candidates in elections. In addition, being a Canadian citizen qualifies you to run for Canada’s federal legislative assembly. You can retain your former citizenship status when you eventually become a citizen of Canada.
  • Ultimately, it is very easy to maintain Canada’s citizenship status. Therefore, it is almost impossible for you to lose your Canadian citizenship.

Canadian Citizenship Eligibility Criteria

Are you planning to apply for Canadian citizenship? Do not let this frustrate you as the eligibility criterion is what leads you to the application process.

However, the following are the eligibility criterion/conditions that must be satisfied to qualify for Canadian citizenship

  • Firstly, you must be a Canadian permanent resident.
  • Secondly, you must have resided in Canada for a period of 3 years in the previous 5 years.

Besides, the 3 years period amounts to 1,095 days in total. You can also count times when you were a protected person or permanent resident of Canada.

Furthermore, you can include days when you were outside Canada as a Crown servant or as a relative of a crown servant.

Additionally, you must not be undergoing an investigation for fraudulent activity. You also need not to have a removal order to depart from Canada.

  • Thirdly, you need to file income tax (if required).
  • Fourthly, you are required to succeed in Canada’s citizenship test.
  • More so, you must demonstrate your language skills via a certificate, diploma or recognized proficiency test (IELTS, TOEFL, CELPIP, PTE, among others).

Note: You need to satisfy more conditions if you are applying on behalf of a child below 18 years old or if you are applying for your non-Canadian adopted child.

You might be required to fulfill extra conditions if you were previously or presently a member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) applying via fast-track process or if you were formerly a Canadian citizen who lost status due to a reason.

#1. Canadian permanent resident

If you plan to apply for Canadian citizenship, you need to have secured your permanent residency before anything else.

You also must have satisfied each of the conditions on your permanent residency, including medical examination.

In addition, you are required to assess the documents you received after getting your Canadian permanent residency card.

#2. Filing income tax

Permanent residents who want to apply for Canadian citizenship are required to file income taxes for a minimum of 3 years in the last 5 years.

#3. Succeeding in Canada’s citizenship test

Canadian citizenship applicants of the age range of 18 to 54 years are required to undergo a citizenship test. It is mostly a written test but may be taken orally at times.

Besides, you must pass the test involving 20 questions on the rights and responsibilities of Canada’s government, economy, history, citizens, laws, geography, as well as symbols.

In addition, Canada’s citizenship test questions are set in either English or French language. You must complete the test within 30 minutes.

You are also required to get at least 15 questions correctly to pass the citizenship test.

The online practice test can help you prepare for the test by studying Canada’s official citizenship study guide called “Discover Canada”.

#4. Demonstration of language skills

To become a Canadian citizen, you need to demonstrate your language skills based on Canada’s official languages, English and French.

You are required to prove your language skills in either of these languages.

Moreover, Canadian citizenship applicants between the ages of 18 to 54 years must demonstrate their speaking and listening language skills at a particular level.

Besides, you will be assessed through the proof of language skills included in your application.

The Canadian citizenship official also pays attention to your fluency when you are called for a session during the application process.

As a Canadian citizenship applicant, you can prove your language skills through any recognized language proficiency test, certificate, or diploma.

Hence, you are required to attain a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) Level 4.

Hints on passing the testing of language skills during Canadian citizenship application process

Below are hints that can help you in meeting the language requirements of Canadian citizenship applications.

  • Firstly, you need to speak simple grammar and avoid using complex sentences in your speech
  • More so, it is best that you express yourself only through common statements and phrases

Canadian Citizenship Fees

Canadian citizenship application fee varies on the individual applying to become a citizen of Canada. The citizenship fees has been fairly stable, so timing is not one of the factors influencing how much applicants have to pay.

The following are the application fees, cost and other charges applicable to various kinds of Canadian citizenship applicants, often based on status.

  • Adult (for applicants at least 18 years old): $630 Canadian Dollars
  • Minor (applicants below 18 years old): $100 Canadian Dollars
  • Stateless adult-born to a Canadian parent (18 & above): $100 Canadian Dollars
  • Proof of citizenship/citizenship certificate: $75 Canadian Dollars
  • Search of your citizenship record: $75 Canadian Dollars
  • Citizenship renouncement: $100 Canadian Dollars
  • Resumption of citizenship: $530 Canadian Dollars – for Canadian citizenship applicants at least 18 years old), $100 Canadian Dollars – for applicants below 18 years old
  • Right of citizenship: $100 Canadian Dollars

Canadian citizenship processing time

This aspect answers your question on, “what is the Canadian citizenship processing time?”

The time it takes to process Canadian citizenship depends on several factors. Canadian citizenship processing time can also be affected by COVID-19 impacts.

However, the following are the estimated processing time for various citizenship applications and requests.

  • Citizenship grant: 12 months
  • Canadian citizenship certificate processing time: 15 months
  • Resumption of Canadian citizenship: 16 months
  • Citizenship renouncement: 6 months
  • Search of citizenship records: 10 months

How to apply for Canadian citizenship

You can apply online or via paper for your Canadian citizenship.

Online applications for Canadian citizenship

Not all permanent residents can apply online for Canadian citizenship. If you prefer applying for your Canadian citizenship online, you need to confirm if the online application is applicable to you.

Moreover, improvements are still going on regarding online applications for Canadian citizenship. This serves as a hope that all permanent residents will be able to apply online as time goes on.

Paper applications for Canadian citizenship

You need to opt for the paper application method if you cannot apply for your Canadian citizenship online.

However, the application process pertinent to a foreign national applying for Canadian citizenship may be different from another applicant.

Additionally, there are various application packages downloadable on IRCC’s website to assist Canadian permanent residents in becoming citizens.

Submitting Canadian citizenship applications via regular mail:

Case Processing Centre

Citizenship Grants

P. O. Box 7000

Sydney, Nova Scotia B1P 6V6


Submitting Canadian citizenship applications via courier mail:

Case Processing Centre

Citizenship Grants

47 – 49 Dorchester Street,

Sydney, Nova Scotia B1P 5Z2

Canadian Citizenship Application Status

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has a free online tool for checking status of Canadian citizenship applications. To check your status online, simply select your application type to get information about status and if there was a delay or missing requirements.


To ensure that all required documents are provided during your submission, use the Canadian Citizenship application checklist as provided by IRCC. The citizenship document checklist is one of the forms that you need to submit with your application.

Consult the Instruction Guide to find out if you are required to provide some or all of the forms and documents listed in this checklist. If any of the required documents listed below are missing, the process of your application could be delayed or it may be returned to you. If you are sending more than one applications.

Conclusively, you should be able to easily navigate your way into becoming a happy citizen when you read through all the things you need to learn about to apply for Canadian citizenship.

FAQs about Applying for Canadian Citizenship

Do I need a valid permanent residency card to apply for Canadian citizenship?
No, you do not need to possess a valid permanent residency card to apply for Canadian citizenship
Can I apply for Canadian citizenship using an expired permanent residency card?
Yes, you can apply for your Canadian citizenship with a PR card that has already expired
Does IRCC include prison term as the time spent living in Canada?
No. IRCC does not include prison terms, parole and trial periods of Canadian citizenship’s applicants as time spent living in Canada.
Will I become a citizen for marrying a Canadian citizen?
No, you cannot become a Canadian citizenship for marrying a citizen. Thus, you need to satisfy the requirements and follow normal application process to become a citizen as well.
Can I apply for Canada’s citizenship for multiple persons?
You can process Canada’s citizenships for more than one person by submitting the applications in the same envelope to the Case Processing Centre.
What is Canadian citizenship processing time?
The processing time of Canadian citizenship is usually 12 months.
Who is a crown servant in Canada?
A crown servant in Canada is an individual working with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), the federal government entities or with a Canadian province or territory.

We hope that the information provided in this guide will assist in completing your Canadian Citizenship application form and submitting them online. We strongly recommend you get the citizenship book, “Discover Canada” in case of any confusion. You may choose to study this book online as well. Good luck!