Canada Permanent Resident Status to Canada Citizenship- Application requirements and stages

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has given following guidelines for Canadian permanent residents who wish to become Canadian Citizens.

To become a Canadian citizen, you must have a permanent resident status in Canada, and that status must not be in doubt. You must meet the residency requirements and you must not be the subject of an immigration investigation, an immigration inquiry or a removal order (an order from Canadian officials to leave Canada).

Period of Residence in Canada

To become Canadian citizens, adults must have lived in Canada for at least three years (1,095 days) in the past four years before applying. Children do not need to meet this requirement. You should be able to give the exact time period that you spent in Canada before you became a permanent resident, if it falls within the four-year period. It is important to note that under certain circumstances, one can be considered to have “lived in Canada” even while being physically out of Canada. Read our analysis on residency requirements for an insight into this critical area of law.


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

To apply for citizenship for a child under 18, make sure the following conditions are met:

Criminal History (Prohibitions)

You cannot become a citizen if:

  • You have been convicted of an indictable (criminal) offence or an offence under the Citizenship Act in the three years before you apply.
  • You are currently charged with an indictable offence or an offence under the Citizenship Act.
  • You are in prison, on parole or on probation.
  • You are under a removal order (have been ordered by Canadian officials to leave Canada).
  • You are under investigation for/are charged with/have been convicted of a war crime/a crime against humanity/have had your Canadian citizenship taken away in the past five years.

If you are on probation or are charged with an offence and are awaiting trial, you should wait until after the probation has ended or the trial is over to apply for citizenship.

If you have spent time on probation, on parole or in prison in the last four years, you may not meet the residence requirement for citizenship.

Time in prison or on parole does not count as residence in Canada. Time on probation also does not count as residence in Canada if you were convicted of an offence. If you have spent time on probation from a conditional discharge, it may be counted toward residence. For details, contact the Call Centre (see Contact Us at the top of this page).

Language Abilities

Canada has two official languages—English and French. You need to be able to speak one of these two languages well enough to communicate with people. In other words, you must know enough English or French to understand other people and for them to understand you.

Knowledge of Canada

To become a citizen, you must know the rights and responsibilities of citizens, such as the right and responsibility to vote. You must also know some things about Canada’s history and geography, and about its political system.

Steps to Becoming a Canadian Citizen

  1. Determine if you are eligible to become a citizen.
  2. Apply for citizenship.
  3. Take the citizenship test, if you are between the ages
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  4. Attend a citizenship ceremony, if you are 14 or older.

Applying for Canadian citizenship is NOT compulsory

It is important to note that a permanent resident who meets the residency requirements and wishes to retain the citizenship of the home country (from where he migrated) is permitted to do so. He may apply for renewal of the Permanent Resident Card after it expires. More popularly known as the PR Card, this card is issued for and carries a validity of five years. It must be understood, however, that he will not be able to enjoy rights and benefits of being a Canadian Citizen, including right to vote and a Canadian Passport.

In conclusion, the road to Canadian citizenship requires careful planning and the permanent resident holder must ensure that he meets the residency and the citizenship application requirements. He must also work around issues such as language and knowledge of Canada.

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  • Luz


    I’m Luz, a permanent resident in Canada. I have no work this time but I recently applied and received my Employment Insurance(EI) Benefit . Does this EI affect to my application for Canada Citizenship?

    Thank you and GOD bless!

  • fred

    I have a problem. This is problem ,im permanent resident sine 1996 my age that time im 14 years old,may father already got canadian citizen since 2001, my father did not included me filling canadian citizenship,i thought he included me,now i want to ask what should i do

  • rani

    We have applied for canada PR in May 2010 but till now we dint get medicals.
    Can any one tell when can we expect medicals?

  • kapil kumar

    hi all ,
    i had applied for canadian immigration in 2006 , but i did not get any response till then , but now i am getting some results from their side , please tell me that is this original or false , so that i will not get scammed by anyone , please reply me as sson as possible . thanks .

  • Christina

    I am a Canadian citizen and would like to move back to Canada from Sweden. I have a 4 year old daughter with my ex boyfriend but do not want to separate my daughter from her father. Is there any way the father of my child can get a permanent residence in Canada? I and my daughter are Canadian citizens but her father is a Swedish citizen. Please someone give me some answers if this is possible or not. Thank you in advance!


  • my name iqbalsingh i am 27 year old i am single i have 3 years diploma in civil eng.
    and my feounce b.e.d in teaching line my first question can i apply canda pr. my wife is doing ilets which band band she give us plz explain me and good information i wont

  • Gurpreet

    I have applied for canada in december 2004 as a skilled worker but still waiting for medicals.i want to know how much time it will take and what is the current status of embassy for 2004 cases ?

  • Vidya Nagarajan

    I am applying for my PR.I am a graduate in Anthropology and Sociology and am presently working a social worker.I am 43 years old.What are my chances for a job in Canada?What is the cost of living there and how about the housing?Who should I contact for help?Please guide me..Vidya.

  • Applicant

    Hi,My husband is in Canada. I had applied for a PR since a long time back. My application is still pending and my daughter was born last month. How can I include her in my application? What additional documents do I need to send? I am very much confused. Please let me know. Thanks.

  • angel

    dear sir,
    i have contacted by an agency from canada regarding immigration to canada basically iam anurse who has master degree the agency said that i am eligible to apply for PR canada. my concerns is how will i get job if i land to canada with my family.. jus would like to know about the status for job before completing CRNE..
    plz guide me

  • Raman gill

    Dear sir,
    I m from India.My wife is canadian citizen.She is 29 years old but i m 26 years.can i apply case of canada.Plz tell me sir,will do not age problem in my canada case.My wife Post graduate & i also Post diploma in plastics mould design & more other qualification.
    Plz help me in my case.

  • chrystalle

    My father has been staying in canada for more than ten years and i just turned 18.ive been checking the websites for the citizenship applications.I would like to know if i stand a chance of geeting one since iam no longer a minor and i havent been to canada?
    Thank you in advance.

  • Angel

    hi, i would like to ask about how long is the processing in Bahrain going Canada and what are the requirements?after my employer get my LMO..thank you..

  • rajbeer dhillon

    what is family plan .to getting canada pr…….

    how much we need property?

  • karan

    i m doing diploma in mechanica engg ,last year i want to do degree in canada .what should be the requirments to take admission in canadian government universities ?

  • nahida

    Dear Sir,

    I have applied to renew my mother’s pr card last year… now i am going to apply for her citizenship.. I kind of forgot the working/education information of her for last 4 years… my question is-if the information is little bit different from the pr card form, r they going to send back the citizenship form?

  • sid

    dear sir ,
    i had completed my degree in ( hotel management and catering techonology ) i just want to go abroad with the help of permanent residency. so what is the procedure so that i can get the canadian pr . please let me know about this.

  • mamun

    My sponsorship of my wife had been refused on section 117 (9)(d). I can sponsor my son(2 years old) as he is not restricted with that law. He is still in Bangladesh.I will apply for his permanent resident in Canada. I will also be eligible to apply for my citizenship in Canada end of August 2011. So my question is if I should wait for my son to get the PR, then I apply for the citizenship, so that my son also become citizen. Or if I apply for my citizenship and add him later after he gets the PR. Or my will be automatically be a citizen once I get the citizenship even though he will be in a different country.

    Please advice.

  • sherif mohammed abd el hakeem kassem

    i am pharmacist . i want to settle and work in canada i am 33 years old .11years experiance.

  • adel mohammad


    we have done our medical this may, it was mentioned in the letter that CIC will ask for our passport for stamping within 3/4 month. My question is how long will CIC keep our passport? As both me and my wife requires to travel prety often for work.


    • sanam

      Dear Adel,

      It depends case to case they might keep your passport for max 2 months.

      • adel mohammad

        I have sent my passport on 1st Oct 2011, still no knews, I am kinda worried. Any advice how can I contact them, i tried email n fax but no reply.


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