Every country in the world has different regulations and rules the applicants need to accomplish before they apply for citizenship. One of the countries that people really love to move there is, of course, Canada. But, they can live and work there as foreigners too, until they are eligible to become citizens.
It can be a long process since they require you to be physically present for some time until you are ready to file your application, and the processing may also get some time, like one year, or more, depending on the conditions and situation.
But, before you apply for Canadian citizenship, you first need to check if you are eligible for that, by taking a test with a few simple questions that cover your current status there, your goals, purpose, and according to them, you can get to know if you can apply or not. After that, you have to check if you are a permanent resident and if you lived at least three of the last five years there. That means, you need to have 1095 days of active living in Canada in the last five years, and the business trips and vacations are not included there.
After that, you need to confirm that you filed the needed taxes if you have them. Once you’ve done it, the interesting thing comes. You need to pass the citizenship test, which is a must. It includes a lot of questions related to Canada’s history, politics, economy, society, and many other topics that authorities find important for their new citizens. You can practice for this test online on this website, and prepare for it. And, after you pass the test, you will be asked to prove your language skills – to show some proof you know English or French, or even take some test for that. If you already have a proof for these languages, make sure the grades are converted into the Canadian grade system.
What is a permanent resident status?
The permanent resident status means you aren’t under investigation for immigration, or any other type of crime, and you haven’t been asked to leave the country by the authorities. Also, you need to fulfill some conditions, including regular medical checks. Permanent residents enjoy Canadian benefits like healthcare, living, working, studying, and they are protected by the Canadian laws, and most importantly, they have the right to apply for citizenship. You are getting this card as a resident who immigrated there, who still isn’t eligible to become a citizen.
How long does it take to become a citizen of Canada?
As we already mentioned, before you can even apply, you need to be an active resident for at least 1095 days in the last five years, which takes around three years of active presence there. Then, once you submit the documents, you should count on the processing time, interviews, and other things that can make the process even longer. Roundly, before the COVID-19 situation, it took about one year until the documents are completely processed, and the person gets the initial decision on their status in Canada. Right now, not many people apply for it at once, so the processing time can be also one year long, or even more, depending on the current situation. Or, it will probably take you about six years from the first moment you step on the Canadian floor until you become a Canadian citizen.
If you accomplish those 1095 days at once, without leaving for business trips or vacation, this process can be even shorter, and take you about 4 years (and a few months more) until you get your final status.
Which languages do you need to know?
People in Canada have two official languages, English and French. So, if you want to become one of them, you need to be fluent in at least one, and you need to meet Level 4 or higher in Canadian Language Benchmarks. If you provide proof, as a certificate or diploma, make sure everything is clear and transparent because they will surely review it. Keep in mind that you need to know how to communicate in at least one of these languages. That means you need to know how to answer the questions, express yourself, have short conversations, understand the grammar, and so on. If you know these two languages, it won’t speed up the process, but it will be pretty beneficial for you, when looking for a job, and making new friends in Canada.
The citizenship test
We already mentioned this one too, and it’s a crucial part of your application, so they can check if you know your rights and responsibilities, but also your knowledge in history, economy, geography, politics, laws, symbols, your language skills… The test is pretty short, and it’s based on multiple choice answers or “true or false”. Most of the time the test is written, but they can also ask some questions, and you will have to answer them by talking.
Why do people want to become Canadian citizens?
Besides the polite and cool people who live there, there are many benefits that citizenship brings. That includes the great healthcare system, skilled doctors, and generous hospital staff. The education is also exceptional, and your kids will learn a lot. Society is open for the foreigners, and you have the same options and chances as the native Canadians if you show that you are skilled enough for a position, or something like that. Many native Canadians are worried that the people from other countries already changed the core of their culture, but that’s the cost of living in a highly developed country. The quality of life can be exceptional if you know how to fight for it. On the other hand, the bills and extra costs are pretty high, and so are the basic products for a living.
So, take your time and consider your aspirations once again. In the end, you have about three or five years to decide if you want to be a citizen of Canada or not.