The highest level status in Canada is reserved for Canadian Citizens. Citizens gain their status either through birth or “naturalization”. Examples of naturalized citizens are typically permanent residents who have accumulated 3 years of residency in the 5 years prior to applying for citizenship.

Application Process

There are a number of specific requirements a person must meet in order to be eligible for Citizenship. Below you will find a brief summary of the most common requirements.

Age

You must be 18 years old to apply for citizenship. Parents may apply for their children’s citizenship if the child is a permanent resident. In such circumstances children are not required to meet the 3 year residency requirement for citizenship.

Status

Only those with permanent resident status are entitled to apply for citizenship. Permanent Resident status must be unconditional and not subject to inquiries or removal etc.

Residence in Canada

Applications for citizenship are based on residency. Adult applicants must have resided in Canada for 3 years (1,095 days) within the 5 years prior to the time the application is made.

Language Abilities

For applicants between the ages of 18 to 54 you must demonstrate that you have “adequate knowledge of either French or English”. This can be met by providing test scores from a CIC approved 3rd party which demonstrates that you are a level 4 according to the Canadian Language Benchmark. Other acceptable evidence would be graduation from a high school in Canada. You will also be judged by your ability to converse with the officer who meets with you at your Citizenship interview and who makes the final determination as to whether you meet the language requirements.

Knowledge of Canada

In order to gain citizenship you will be required to take a citizenship test. The information you would be expected to know is published by the government in a guide called, Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship

Prohibitions

Anyone who has committed a crime in or outside of Canada may not be eligible for Citizenship.

Why Hire a Lawyer to Process Your Citizenship Application?

There are a number of different people who can benefit from having a lawyer to process their citizenship applications. The types of applications we most often see fall into two main categories.

First there are people who are very busy with school or work and simply cannot afford to take the time to complete and monitor their application. By retaining our services they gain the benefit of our expertise as well as offloading the time and energy from their busy schedules.

The second category of applicants we see, are people who do not neatly fit the definition of citizen. Some people may have some urgency to their applications and thus require an application based on an exemption from the residency requirements. Others may have complications from past criminal convictions.  In some cases applications are not easily completed because of complicated timelines related to their residency.  In these cases much of our work is spent sorting through and accumulating evidence to ensure the application is presented clearly and complies with all requirements of the law.  In this way immigration is much more easily able to assess compliance and our clients enjoy the benefits of our expertise to arrive at a clearly written application which does not get bogged down on irrelevancies and or miscommunications.

Permanent Residents who have sufficient time, insufficient funds and whose applications are uncomplicated may wish to process their own applications without the need for assistance from either a lawyer or consultant. If you fit this category do not fall prey to those advising you that you are required to use a consultant to process citizenship applications.

Appeals

In addition to amending the citizenship laws to create more stringent conditions for approval, the government has also indicated that it believes there are a large number of citizenship approvals which have been obtained either through fraud and or misrepresentations.  As a result there has been an increase in the number of positive citizenship applications which the government has appealed.

If you have had your positive Citizenship application appealed or the government seeks to revoke your citizenship, contact our office to arrange a consultation. We can then assess the chances of success on appeal and recommend a course of action.