Ways of Obtaining Canadian Citizenship & Requirements


Be born in Canada:

  • For citizenship purposes, “Canada” includes being born on Canadian land, airspace, waters and Canadian-registered ships and aircrafts
  • Citizenship for the child is still obtained if parent(s) were/are not Permanent Residents, Canadian Citizens or are in Canada illegally
  • Children born abroad will be automatically granted Canadian citizenship if the Canadian parent(s) are employed abroad as a Crown Servant (with the Canadian Armed Forces, a Canadian Federal Public Administration or in the public service of a Canadian province or territory. This term does not include people who are hired locally and happen to be PR or CC
  • Citizenship is not obtained if parent(s) were in Canada in a diplomat or diplomat-like job and neither parents was a PR or CC at the time of birth


Be born outside Canada to a parent who is a Canadian citizen:

  • No connection to Canada needed
  • Needs to renounce Canadian citizenship if doesn’t want it
  • If parent(s) died, the hoes not affect citizenship eligibility
  • Adopted children born outside Canada and adopted by a Canadian parent are treated the same as other children born abroad to a Canadian parent in the context of obtaining Canadian citizenship


The first-generation limit:

  • If born abroad on or after April 17, 2009, one parent must have been born in Canada or naturalized before the birth
  • If born abroad before April 17, 2009, one parents must have been born in Canada or naturalized or could have been born outside Canada to a Canadian citizen (the birth should have been registered with the Canadian government even though the person was born abroad or one of the parents should have been granted Canadian citizenship before the person was born)
  • After April 17, 2009, if born abroad to a parent who was born abroad, that person is not a Canadian citizen unless:
  • The parent was a Canadian citizen employed abroad as a Crown Servant (if the parent’s parent was in the same position when the parent was born abroad, the first-generation rule would not apply)
  • The first-generation limit results in a person being stateless who has always been stateless


Become naturalized in Canada:

  • Must be at least 18 years old and hold PR status
  • To apply for children under 18, the parent or legal guardian must apply on behalf of the child and one parent must be a citizen or is applying for citizenship at the same time
  • Must have resided in Canada as a PR for 3 years (1,095 days) in the past 5 years before applying with no minimum amount of days per year required
  • A maximum of 1 year (365 days) can be counted if the person was in Canada as a TR before obtaining PR. 2 days as TR counts as the same as 1 day as a PR in this circumstance
  • Time spent employed abroad as a Crown Servant (while a PR) counts as if the time was spent in Canada
  • Time spent abroad normally residing with CC or PR parents, spouse or common-law partner who is employed abroad as a Crown Servant counts as if the time was spent in Canada
  • Must have filed income taxes for each of the 3 years
  • If between 18-54 years old, must:
  • Meet the language requirements
  • Pass the citizenship test
  • Take the Oath of Citizenship
  • Any of the above 3 requirements can be waived for compassionate reasons if the person has proof that he/she is unable to meet these conditions due to a mental or physical disability.


Citizenship language requirements:

  • Language Exam
  • CLB 4 must be proven for only listening and speaking. Reading and writing proof is not required
  • Exams accepted: IELTS-G, CELPIP-G, TEF
  • If previously submitted for Quebec immigration purposes, DALF, DELF, TCF, TCFQ results are accepted
  • Certification
  • Certification from a secondary or post-secondary institution proving that studies were completed in English or French either in or outside if Canada
  • Acceptable examples: Completed B.A. in History and all courses were taught in English
  • Non-acceptable examples: ESL-studies or studying English Literature in a non-English language program


Ways to not obtain Canadian citizenship:

  • PR requirements are no longer met, or status is in doubt by being subject of a fraud or immigration investigation or inquiry or a removal order.
  • Time in prison/parole/probation does not count towards citizenship and the applicant cannot apply during this time
  • Charged with, convicted of, on trial for, or appealing a charge under the Citizenship Act, or an indictable offence inside out outside of Canada or war crimes/crimes against humanity or an offense under the Citizenship Act in the 4 years before applying
  • Citizenship was taken away because of fraud in the past 10 years
  • A citizenship application was refused under misrepresentation grounds in the past 5 years
  • Cannot demonstrate adequate knowledge if Canada and CLB 4 to citizenship officer during the hearing
  • Note: The applicant can file for leave for judicial review within 30 days of the date on the refusal letter if application is refused.