Canadian Citizenship & Permanent Residence

To become a Canadian citizen, you must:

  • Be 18 years of age or more
  • Be a permanent resident of Canada
  • Have lived in Canada for at least three of the four years before applying (see above)
  • Be able to communicate in English or French
  • Demonstrate knowledge about Canada and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship
  • Be a permanent resident of Canada (three year residency requirement not necessary)

The English and French languages are the two official languages of Canada. You must know enough of either language so that you can understand other people and they can understand you. This means you need to be able to speak and understand spoken English or French or be able to read and write in simple English or French.


Your application for Canadian citizenship may take several months to process.

You will receive the book A Look at Canada after Citizenship and Immigration Canada receives your application form. You should begin to study A Look at Canada as soon as you receive it to prepare for your citizenship test. You may also want to go to a citizenship class if one is being held near you.

  • You cannot become a Canadian citizen if:
  • You are or were in prison, on parole or on probation in the past four years.
  • You were convicted of an indictable offense in the past three years; or
  • You have been charged with a crime - an indictable offense;
  • You are under a deportation order and are not allowed to be in Canada now;
  • You are now charged with an offense under the Citizenship Act;
  • You are under investigation for a war crime or a crime against humanity; or
  • Your Canadian citizenship has been taken away (revoked) in the past five years.

Canada has had no restrictions on dual or multiple citizenship. However, some countries require citizens to give up their citizenship if they acquire the citizenship of another country. We invite you to check with the embassy of your home country.