This piece will be vital in showing you how to become a Canadian citizen and all you need to successfully become a citizen of this great country.

Canada is one of the countries thousands of people are always eager to explore various opportunities ranging from employment to education and tourism. The country is situated in the continent of North America and statistics show that nearly 250,000 people try to become its permanents citizens on a yearly basis. This article broadly discusses the requirements, guides, and instructions needed to obtain Canadian citizenship. Whether you’re already a temporary resident of Canada or somebody just preparing to move to the country.

Fulfilling the Preliminary Requirements For Becoming A Canadian Citizen

The instructions you need to fulfill the preliminary requirements for Canadian citizenship are discussed below.

  • Applying for a Visa

It’s very evident that moving to Canada is one of the steps in becoming a Canadian citizen but it isn’t a reasonable idea to start arranging your belongings for relocation to Canada without first meeting the preliminary requirements.

As part of the preliminary requirements, you are required to obtain your tourist visa. Once your tourist visa is ready, you’re required to have a work permit (for employment) or a school permit (for study) or get married to a Canadian just to legalize your stay in Canada.

How to become a Canadian citizen

Before leaving your home country for Canada, you’re expected to have applied for the Canadian visa type you’re eligible for. It’s advisable that you apply for your visa early enough because visa processing takes a whole lot of time.

  • Relocating to Canada

Moving to Canada is the next step after the completion of your paperwork. Make sure you have all the necessary documents (including ID) to authenticate your legal residency status in Canada. If you can’t show any convincing proof legalizing your residency in Canada, you’ll be termed an illegal resident.

  • Obtaining Your Permanent Resident Card

To become a permanent resident of Canada, it’s very essential to have the Permanent Resident Card which is casually called “Maple Leaf Card’’. Candidly, the “Maple Leaf Card’’ gives you the chance to stay in Canada for an unspecified period. Having only a working visa or a student visa is not enough to prolong your stay in Canada. Like certain other types of visa, a working visa, as well as a student visa, gives you the chance to stay in Canada for a specified period. To prolong your stay over an indefinite period, getting the “Maple Leaf Card’’ is the way out.

Just like applying for a visa and getting it to process, applying for the Permanent Resident Card comes with procedures which can be quite demanding. You’ll have to fill out important paperwork, pay some necessary fees and exercise patience for the application to be processed. Of course, getting the “Maple Leaf Card’’ is a compulsory step in becoming a certified citizen of Canada because your temporary Canadian visa can’t make you a Canadian citizen.

  • Staying in Canada for 4 Years

Staying in Canada for 4 years (alternatively 1,460 days) is one of the important things to authenticate your permanent residency status. It isn’t necessary that those 1,460 days are consecutive but you must have spent 4 years in Canada out of the past 6 years. Your passport will be examined thoroughly to see whether you have fulfilled this condition as a permanent resident of Canada. It should be noted that minors (particularly those below the age of 18) are exempt from this rule of staying for 4 years.

Before you become a permanent resident of Canada, 1/2 credit will be given to you for each of the days you spend in the country. This is a vital step towards establishing how long you have stayed in Canada.

  • Speaking One of Canada’s Official Languages

Undoubtedly, speaking one of Canada’s official languages is one of the necessary requirements to obtain Canadian citizenship. English and French are the two official languages of Canada and it is required of you to communicate effectively in at least one of these two languages. Majority of Canadian residents speak at least either of English or French.

To verify that you can communicate fluently in either of French or English, you’ll undergo a citizenship test. In the course of this test, you’ll be examined orally. This only demands that you understand everyday words (in French or English) and can communicate effectively using these words. You shouldn’t bother about having profound knowledge. All you need is to prove that you can express yourself in French or English using everyday words. Also, you should note that this oral exam is very important and any failure to pass it means you’ll be denied Canadian citizenship.

The immigration website of Canada will accept a list of documents to verify that you fulfill the language requirement if your native language is very different from French or English.

  • Protecting Your Canadian Stay

If you have strong intentions to become a citizen of Canada, you should always stay clean and free from criminal activities. Any official order implying that you should leave Canada is a clear indication that you’re no longer needed in Canada. In that case, you’ll be eventually stopped from becoming a Canadian citizen.

Staying clean is one of the things that qualify you to pursue Canadian citizenship. Somebody who has been on probation in the 3 years before deciding to become a Canadian citizen will not be qualified to pursue Canadian citizenship. The same thing applies to somebody who has been to prison. But upon the declaration that you’re clean (with no criminal offense), you can then begin another application for Canadian citizenship.

To ensure you don’t have a criminal record in Canada, it’s always advisable that you desist from activities that violate Canada’s law. It won’t be possible to pursue Canadian citizenship if you’ve been declared guilty of a current criminal offense, considered a “security risk’’ or you’re under a criminal investigation.

Trying to Know about Canada and Loving its People

There isn’t any need to emphasize this if you’re truly passionate about becoming a Canadian citizen. Of course, you need to show that you’re very conversant about Canada and that you admire its beauty, people, and achievements. In fact, there is a section of the Canadian citizenship test that requires you to show how knowledgeable you are about Canada.

Still On How To Become A Canadian Citizen

Completing the Canadian Citizenship Application

You can complete your citizenship application by following the instructions below.

  • Downloading and Filling Out the Citizenship Application

Once you’ve met the requirements we have discussed so far in this article, you can then proceed to the Citizenship and Immigration website to download the Canadian citizenship application. You’re required to fill out important things upon downloading the application. The application contains several instructions which you’re required to comply with in order to provide all the necessary details accurately.

You’ll also find a document checklist in the application packet. You’re strongly cautioned to go through the checklist thoroughly because it’s extensive. Besides including all the things you need, you’re expected to fill out everything accurately. If you don’t comply with this instruction, they might send the checklist back to you. Always ascertain all the things you need are provided and in the right order. Once again, ensure you go through the application carefully in order to fill out all the required details.

  • Keeping Original Documents and Making Photocopies of Almost Everything

While preparing to obtain Canadian citizenship, try always to keep the original copies of important documents and make photocopies of them. You should always bear in mind that the Canadian citizenship office doesn’t need the original copies of your documents and if you send them during Citizenship processing, they will be gone and you won’t be able to present them when you’re eventually summoned for the actual interview.

It’s always advisable that you make as many as necessary photocopies of important paperwork including travel records, your ID card, school records, transcripts, proof of language evidence and your Maple Leaf Card.

  • Paying the Application Fees

It’s compulsory to pay the application fees and only in Canadian currency. You’ll find these application fees in the instruction manual you’re given. Sending in your application and paying for application fees must be done at the same time. You should be very sure you are ready to obtain Canadian citizenship before paying the application fees simply because they are non-refundable. In other words, you can get the application fees back after paying them. The application fees can vary but as recorded in 2013, the sum of $200 CAD was the total fee for an adult.

You can visit a Canadian financial institution to make payment for the application fees but it’s more preferable that you make the payment online. In case you’re visiting a financial institution to make the payment, you’ll be provided a payment receipt form (IMM 5401) and required to fill it out. The most difficult aspect of this will be handled by the cashier at the financial institution while you’ll have to fill out the half returned to you and include it in your application.

  • Going through the Application Instruction Manual for Photograph Directions

The application instruction manual presented to you contains essential directions on what to do with your photographs. First of all, you’re expected to take two photographs and they must meet your application requirements. At the bottom of each photograph, a signature should be provided using your name. With that done, you can then use a pin the photographs to your citizenship application using a paperclip.

  • Completing and Submitting the Citizenship Application

Before you submit your citizenship application, make sure all necessary requirements have been attached to it. After ascertaining that you have filled out the application accurately and provided all necessary attachments, you can simply mail your application to the address below;

  • Case Processing Centre –
    • Sydney
      • Grant Adults
      • P.O Box 7000
      • SYDNEY, NS
      • B1P 6V6

Note: You’ll find the above address in the application instruction manual.

how to become a Canadian citizen

Alternatively, you can mail your application by courier to the address  below;

  • Case Processing Centre,
    • Sydney
      • Grant Adults
      • 49 Dorchester Street
      • Sydney, Nova Scotia
      • B1P 5Z2

Securing Your Canadian Citizenship

This is, of course, the next step after mailing your duly completed application to the appropriate mail address. Meanwhile, below are the key instructions for securing your Canadian citizenship.

  1. Get and Read the Book “Discover  Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship’’: As soon as the relevant authorities receive your citizenship application, you’ll receive this book. Preferably, you can vouch for the PDF version of the book and its available for download online. Also, some popular Canadians are said to have read the audio version of the book. This book will be very important for anyone preparing to observe the Canadian citizenship test simply because it covers all the questions that will be asked during the test. Meanwhile, these questions will be centred on Canada’s history, geography and political system. More importantly, you’re required to pass this test in order to obtain Canadian citizenship.
  2. Wait for the Completion of the Decision-Making Process: Due to delays, many people are are likely to be frustrated when the citizenship processing reaches this stage. However, you have to exercise patience and hope your desire come true. The decision-making process can take quite a long time because the CPC forwards your citizenship application to the closest CIC to you. This is usually done to make way for the quickest delivery. To review your documents, the CIC may summon you to its office and this review can be very tedious. Whichever way, do ensure you go along with the original copies of your important documents. Usually, it takes a period of 25 months to become a Canadian citizen once your application is received by the appropriate authorities. However, this can take up to 35 months if there are irregularities or your application is not accurate.
  3. Get Notified of Your Interview and Citizenship Test: You’ll be sent a “Notice to Appear’’ for your interview immediately they start processing your citizenship application. Ensure you comply with all the instructions about the time and the venue for your citizenship test and interview. During the interview, you’ll still be asked the same questions contained in your citizenship test. The only difference is that the interview questions are oral.
  4. Turn Up for Your Citizenship Oath: Once you’re notified by mail to turn up for your citizenship oath, be rest assured that you have made a success with the citizenship test you wrote and the interview you sat for.

Conclusion On How To Become A Canadian Citizen

As discussed above, anyone can argue that a whole lot of procedures are required in becoming a permanent Canadian citizen. Some of these procedures are quite demanding, making Canadian citizenship a sort of difficulty for some people. Nevertheless, you can acquire Canadian citizenship by simply complying with the rules and regulations that guide legal citizenship

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