If you have been settled in Canada for a few years and feel a strong affinity to the country, you may wish to apply for Canadian citizenship. The process is not always straightforward, so you need to be properly prepared before you apply.
Firstly, you need to determine if you are eligible to become a Canadian citizen. You must :
- be at least 18 years old
- be a permanent resident of Canada
- have lived as a permanent resident in Canada for at least four years out of the past six
- have been physically present in Canada for 183 days of each year during the four-year period
- have correctly filed your taxes for at least four years out of the past six
- be fluent (speaking and writing) in either English or French
- have a clean criminal record
If you meet all of these criteria, you can apply for the Canadian citizenship. You can download all the forms that you need from the government website, and once filled out (along with details of your spouse/children if applicable), you will have to mail your application along with the required personal documents. Once you have paid the fees and your request has been approved (which can take a while), you will be called for a test about your knowledge of Canada. To obtain full citizenship you must pass this test, so make sure you’re well prepared! The government website has plenty of resources to help you read up for the test, collated in an online book “Discover Canada”.
Once you have passed the test, you are ready for Canadian citizenship! You will be invited to a ceremony, where you swear the oath to the country and are officially welcomed in the big Canadian family!