Canadian Citizenship

Canadian Flag

Canadian Citizenship may be a distant goal that probably isn't even worth considering for at least eighteen months to two years. It can take a long time to settle in, feel at home and become established. Even so, we feel that we have to cover it!

There are strict guidelines to be adhered to in the process and once accepted you will have to sear the oath of citizenship at a public ceremony. These normally take place each year on Canada Day (July 1st) with a public dignitary making the presentation.

To start the application process you must:

Be a permanent resident of Canada at least 18 years old.

Have lived in Canada for at least 3 of the previous 4 years and be able to communicate in either English or French.

Know about Canada and the rights and responsibilities of Canadian Citizenship.

Any time spent in Canada before you were a permanent resident may count towards your total and children under 18 don't have to fulfill the 3 year requirement. You can apply on behalf of your kids but they do have to be permanent residents too.

In 2016 it will cost $630.00 for each adult and $200.00 for each child for the application fee. This is subject to change so please check the official Canadian Citizenship website to ensure accuracy. This website holds all the details and is the authority on this subject.

You will be refused citizenship if you fail to meet the previous requirements or if you:

Have had your citizenship revoked during the last 5 years or are under a removal order.

Have been convicted of, or charged with an indictable criminal offence during the last 3 years.

Are being investigated for or convicted of war crimes.

Are now in prison, on parole or probation.

If your application is successful, you will have to sit the Canadian Citizenship test (if you are between the ages of 18 and 59). You will have to study for it and some people take classes. There are several online study guides - the Government produce a free booklet Discover Canada that holds all the information the test is based on. This will be sent to you once you have sent in your application.

Once you have sat the test and passed it and all other criteria have been met you may be asked to attend an interview.

The Ceremony itself is formal as it is a major event to be given Canadian Citizenship and you will receive a Citizens card and certificate. The oath you (and any children 14 or over) will have to swear is:

I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful

and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty

Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada,

Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully

observe the laws of Canada

and fulfill my duties as a Canadian Citizen.

Another consideration is to learn the Canadian National anthem - especially if you have school age kids as they may well sing it at school. It is also sang before most sporting and public events and it is quite embarrassing when you are the only one not singing! Here are the official lyrics:

O Canada! Our home and native land! True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise, The True North strong and free!

From far and wide, O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free! O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

You don't have to have Canadian Citizenship but there are many benefits to achieving it - the Canadian Passport being one. Dual nationality is permitted by the Canadian Government so as long as it is permitted by your old country you can keep both passports. You will also be able to run for political office, vote in federal elections and be entitled to stay in Canada indefinitely with full rights as a Canadian.

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