To become a Canadian citizen, most applicants must:

  • be a permanent resident
  • have lived in Canada for at least 3 out of the last 5 years (1,095 days)
  • have filed their taxes. You may need to file taxes in Canada for at least 3 years during the 5 years right before the date you apply.
  • pass a citizenship test
  • prove their language skills in English or French

There are additional or different requirements if you are:

Spouses of Canadian citizens

You don’t automatically become a citizen when you marry a Canadian.

If you’re the spouse of a Canadian citizen, you must meet the same requirements listed above (no exception).

Children and grandchildren of Canadian citizens

If you have a Canadian parent or grandparent, you may be a Canadian citizen.

Permanent resident status

Regardless of your age, if you’re applying for citizenship, you must have permanent resident (PR) status in Canada.

You don’t need a valid PR card to apply for citizenship. You can apply with an expired PR card.

Time you’ve lived in Canada (physical presence)

You (and some minors, if applicable) must have been physically in Canada for at least 1,095 days (3 years) during the 5 years before the date you sign your application.

In your calculation, you may be able to include some of the time you spent

Language skills

Canada has two official languages: English and French. If you’re 18 to 54 years of age on the day you sign your application, you must show that you can speak and listen at a specific level in one of these languages.

To become a citizen, you need to meet the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) Level 4 or higher. IRCC accepts various certificates, diplomas and tests as proof of your language skills.

Pass a citizenship test

If you’re 18 to 54 years of age on the day you sign your application, you need to take the citizenship test. You’ll need to answer questions about the rights and responsibilities of Canadians and Canada’s history, geography, economy, government, laws and symbols

The test is 30 minutes long, you have to answer 20 multiple-choice and true or false questions (pass mark: 15 correct answers). You can take the test either in English or French.

Learn more about the citizenship test

Have you any question about Canadian Immigration Services?

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