After 6 years living in Canada, I decided that it is time to get my Canadian citizenship. As a result, I will share with you during the following weeks what it is going to happen during the process. One of the things that I did not realize is that, even that I’ve been living in Canada for 6 years, doesn’t mean that I met the criteria from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. What you have to consider is the date that you will sign your application (say today, from example) and then, come back 4 years. As an example: If I am signing my application today (September 15, 2009) I have to go back 4 years (September 14, 2005). The period that I’ve been living here between 2003 and 2005 does not count.
Who can apply? You must meet the following requirements:
- Age: At least 18 years
- Permanent resident status: It is obvious, of course you have to live in Canada
- Time lived in Canada: As I said on the paragraph above, you must have lived in Canada for at least three years [1,095 days] in the past four years before applying
- Language abilities: You need to be able to speak in English or French well enough to communicate with people
- Knowledge of Canada: If you live in Canada, you should know something about your new country right? That’s the well known citizenship test, where you can study reading the free booklet A look at Canada or you can also take online tests.
- No criminal history
What are the steps involved in applying for citizenship in Canada?
- If you met the criteria above, the next step is to go to Citizenship and Immigration Canada website and download the instruction guide.
- After downloading the guide, you should also download the Application for Canadian citizenship.
- Then, you gotta take 2 pictures and you must follow the criteria used for photo specifications.
- And finally, don’t forget anything and download the document checklist.
- As you may know, to become a Canadian citizenship you have to pay a fee. As of today, it is $200 dollars per person. If you’d like you can pay your fees online.
- Following the steps above you have to fill up the form, sign and mail the application to the following address:
P.O. Box 7000
SYDNEY, NS B1P 6V6
The most tedious and difficult part is to calculate the number of days that I’ve been living in Canada. If I were you, I’d start checking your passports the dates that you went out and also come back to Canada, to where you went and what did you do there. Don’t calculate the days using the form provided on the application – do it online using the residence calculator, print and attach to your application.
What should I keep in mind?
Below you can find a list of things that you should know when applying for citizenship in Canada:
- Keep your Confirmation of Permanent Residence form (this is the form that you will receive once you get your visa) or your Record of Landing;
- Write it down the days that you left Canada, the day that you came back and to where you did go;
- Use the residence calculator – It is very easy and intuitive. You can create a login and go back/forth before printing the document and attaching to the application;
- At that time I assume you already have at least one ID with a photo. Remember that you will need two and it could be your passport, driver’s license, health card, etc.
As of today, I am just preparing the documents to mail to CIC. All the forms are signed and ready. I still need to take pictures and pay the fees, which I plan to do until the end of this week. As soon as I mail the documents I will update this post.