How to become a citizen of Canada

How to become a citizen of Canada

Here is useful information about becoming a Canadian citizen. Read this page to decide if you are ready to take this step.

Requirements for citizenship in Canada

To become a Canadian citizen you must:

  • be 18 years of age or older;
  • be a permanent resident of Canada;
  • have lived in Canada for at least three of the four years before applying;
  • be able to communicate in either English or French;
  • know about Canada;
  • know about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship;

Time spent in Canada before becoming a permanent resident may be counted towards becoming a Canadian citizen.

A child (under 18 years of age) must be a permanent resident of Canada to apply for Canadian citizenship. To apply on behalf of your child you must either:

  • already be a citizen; or
  • apply for citizenship together as a family.

Children do not need to have lived in Canada for three years before applying.

Citizenship test

If you are between the ages of 18 and 59 you must pass a citizenship test. For more information on Canada and the citizenship test read the online study guide A Look at Canada.

Who cannot become a Canadian citizen?

Before you apply you should make sure that you are eligible for citizenship. You cannot become a Canadian citizen if you:

  • are under a removal order;
  • are now charged with an indictable criminal offence;
  • have been convicted of an indictable criminal offence in the past three years;
  • are now in prison, on parole, or on probation;
  • are being investigated for or have been convicted of war crimes;
  • had your citizenship revoked in the last five years.

Please note that time spent in prison, on parole or on probation may not be counted towards becoming a citizen.