Apply for Canadian citizenship

Apply for Canadian citizenship

Apply to become a Canadian citizenship, prepare for the citizenship test, and find out how you can resume or give up your Canadian citizenship.

Who can apply

To become a Canadian citizen, most applicants must

  • be a permanent resident
  • have lived in Canada for at least 3 out of the last 5 years (1,095 days)
  • have filed their taxes
  • pass a citizenship test
  • prove their language skills in English or French

Other requirements may apply.

Apply

You can apply online or on paper. Apply on paper only if you’re not eligible to apply online. Don’t apply both ways.

The fees are the same to apply online or on paper:

  • Adult (18 or older): $630
  • Minor (under 18): $100

No matter how you apply, pay your fees online and include the receipts in your application.

Eligibility

To be eligible to become a Canadian citizen, you must:

  • be a permanent resident
  • have lived in Canada for 3 out of the last 5 years
  • have filed your taxes, if you need to
  • pass a citizenship test
  • prove your language skills

There are additional or different requirements if you are:

  • applying for a minor (under age 18)
  • a Canadian applying for your adopted child born outside Canada
  • a current or former Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) member applying under the fast-track process
  • a past Canadian citizen who want your Canadian citizenship back (including current and former CAF members)

Spouses of Canadian citizens

You don’t automatically become a citizen when you marry a Canadian.

If you’re the spouse of a Canadian citizen, you must meet the same requirements listed above (no exception).

Children and grandchildren of Canadian citizens

If you have a Canadian parent or grandparent, you may be a Canadian citizen.

Permanent resident status

Regardless of your age, if you’re applying for citizenship, you must have permanent resident (PR) status in Canada.

This means you must not:

  • be under review for immigration or fraud reasons
  • be asked by Canadian officials to leave Canada (removal order)
  • have unfulfilled conditions related to your PR status, for example: medical screening

Before applying for citizenship, you should review the documents you received when you became a permanent resident to make sure you’re eligible.

You don’t need a valid PR card to apply for citizenship. You can apply with an expired PR card.

Language skills

Canada has two official languages: English and French. If you’re 18 to 54 years of age on the day you sign your application, you must show that you can speak and listen at a specific level in one of these languages.

The ways we measure your language skills in English or French include:

  • reviewing the proof you send with your application
  • noting how well you communicate when you talk to a citizenship official anytime during the process
  • assessing your language level during a hearing with a citizenship official, if necessary

To become a citizen, you need to meet the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) Level 4 or higher. This means you can:

  • take part in short, everyday conversations about common topics
  • understand simple instructions, questions and directions
  • use basic grammar, including simple structures and tenses
  • show you know enough common words and phrases to answer questions and express yourself

We accept various certificates, diplomas and tests as proof of your language skills.

Pass a citizenship test

If you’re 18 to 54 years of age on the day you sign your application, you need to take the citizenship test. You’ll need to answer questions about the rights and responsibilities of Canadians and Canada’s:

  • history
  • geography
  • economy
  • government
  • laws
  • symbols

The test is:

  • in English or French
  • 30 minutes long
  • 20 questions (pass mark: 15 correct answers)
  • multiple-choice and true or false questions
  • based on the official citizenship study guide: Discover Canada
  • usually written, but may be oral

Prohibitions

If you committed a crime in or outside Canada

  • you may not be eligible to become a Canadian citizen for a period of time
  • time spent serving a term of imprisonment, on parole, or on probation doesn’t count as time you’ve lived in Canada

Find out about situations that may prevent you from becoming a Canadian citizen:

  • If you’re not sure whether the situations apply to you, contact your lawyer or arresting police officer.
  • Wait until the situation no longer applies before you apply for citizenship.
  • We’ll review your application on a case-by-case basis.

Apply for citizenship: How to apply

Apply online, if you can

Some applicants can now apply online to become a Canadian citizen.

We

  • will keep testing and improving the online application
  • are working to make sure that more people can apply online

Apply on paper

Get an application package

The application package includes the instruction guide and all the forms you need to fill out. Use the instruction guide and the document checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Choose the application package for your situation:

  • Adult (age 18 or older)
  • Parent or guardian applying for a minor (under age 18)
  • Minor without a Canadian parent applying alone
  • Adult who served with the Canadian Armed Forces
  • Adoption by a Canadian citizen
  • Stateless person born to a Canadian parent

Pay the application fees

Your fees depend on whether you’re an adult (age 18 and over) or minor (under age 18). Your fees may include:

  • the processing fee
  • the right of citizenship fee

If you’re submitting more than one application at the same time, you can pay all the fees together.

You have to pay your fees online. Only pay your fees once you’re ready to submit your application. Make sure to include the fee receipt with your application.

Pay your fees online(opens in a new tab)

Submit your application

You must be eligible for Canadian citizenship the day before you sign the application form.

Make sure you

  • sign the application form
  • date the form the day you sign it (don’t use a date in the past or future)
  • have the same application date on your application form and physical presence calculation for the following applications:
    • Adult (age 18 or older).
    • Minor (under 18) without a Canadian parent applying alone.
    • Send your completed application form and all the documents on the checklist
      • by mail or courier
      • as soon as possible after you sign and date the application form
        • If it’s dated more than 90 days before we get it, we’ll send it back to you.

      Sending more than one application

      If you apply for more than one person and want us to process your applications at the same time, put all applications in the same envelope. Otherwise, we process them separately.

Processing your application

When we receive your application for citizenship, we review your application to make sure you

  • answered all the questions on the form
  • sent all the required documents
  • paid the fees

If your application is complete

We start processing it and send you an acknowledgement of receipt letter.

Your unique client identifier (UCI) is in the acknowledgement of receipt letter.

If your application is incomplete

We return it to you with a letter that explains why your application is incomplete and what the next steps are.

The letter will tell you

  • which forms, documents or fees are missing
  • if you have to
    • fill out a new application form
      • if so, use the newest version of the form
      • sign and date the form
    • recalculate your physical presence/time you’ve lived in Canada (opens in a new tab)
      • if so, include the new calculator printout when you resubmit the application
    • submit a new fee receipt
      • if the letter doesn’t ask for a new receipt, include the same receipt that you used with your first form, when you resubmit the application
    • resubmit any documents

Check the Document Checklist included in the application package. Once you get the information we ask for in the letter, resubmit your complete application.

Check and update your application

You can check your application status online

  • to find out our progress with your application
  • only after you’ve received an acknowledgement of receipt (AOR) letter or email
    • You’ll get an AOR after we receive your application and check that it’s complete.
    • It can take some time before you receive it.

Due to COVID-19, it’s taking us longer to

  • check that your application is complete
  • send you an AOR letter or email with your application number

We may contact you to get more information if your case is non-routine.

While we process your application, contact us if any information on your application changes or if you

  • change your address
  • plan to leave Canada for more than 2 weeks in a row
  • can’t check your application status online and the normal processing time for your application has passed
  • are charged with a crime

After the citizenship ceremony

Find information and services for new citizens such as

  • applying for a passport
  • voting in an election
  • 1 year of free admission to Canada’s natural parks and cultural centres

Read also: Canada Visitors Visa: 6 things you must know

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