Everything You Need to Know About Getting Canadian Citizenship

Have you always wanted to be a part of the Canadian community? Canada aims to welcome 1.23 million immigrants to become permanent residents by 2023, which is an incredible opportunity for anyone looking to get Canadian citizenship.

Every year, this immigration target will increase by 10,000 and you could be one of them. But what happens next?

After getting Canada permanent residence many newcomers are unaware of how to become or how long it takes to become a Canadian citizen of this amazing country.

So let's take a look at everything you need to know about becoming a Canuck in 2021 and beyond!

Frequently Asked Questions About Canadian Citizenship

1. How do you qualify to be a Canadian Citizen?

To become a Canadian citizen you will need to meet certain requirements:

Who Can Apply for Canada Citizenship

  • permanent residents who have:
    • lived in Canada for at least 3 out of the last 5 years (1,095 days)
    • filed taxes (if needed)
    • passed a citizenship test
    • proven their language abilities in English and/or French.

2. Is getting Canadian citizenship easy?

Yes and no. Canada is definitely one of the easier countries to settle in but to say that it's easy would be inaccurate. Citizenship is easier to settle in than in other countries. The Canadian immigration application process is by no means simple or easy, especially if you are going it alone. It’s important to take note that you need to be physically present in Canada for the three years required to become a Canadian citizen. You can leave Canada, but you must make sure that you have lived in Canada for the required amount of time.

As mentioned above, you must not only make sure that you have filed your taxes but that you have paid any money owed to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

3. How long does it take to get citizenship in Canada?

Usually, getting your citizenship grant shouldn’t take longer than 12 months to process, in fact, most times it will be less. But with COVID still affecting the application processing times, it could take longer. Getting your Canadian citizenship certificate or proof of citizenship, however, could take up to 15 months.

If you need your application to be processed sooner, you can apply for urgent processing. In order to qualify you must:

  • needing Canadian citizenship to:
    • apply for a job
    • avoid losing your job
    • go to a Canadian school, college, or university
  • needing to travel because of death or serious illness in your family and you can’t get a passport in your current nationality
  • receiving a successful Federal Court decision on an appeal on a previous application for citizenship

4. How much does it cost to become a Canadian citizen?

cost concept man holding money | Canadian Citizenship

There are various fees associated with applying for citizenship, as seen below:

Citizenship Fees 2021
FeeFee ($CAD)
Adult (18 and over) Processing fee ($530) and right of citizenship fee ($100)$630.00
Minor (under 18) Processing fee ($100)$100.00
Stateless adult (18 and over) born to a Canadian parent Right of citizenship fee ($100)$100.00
Citizenship Certificate (proof of citizenship)$75.00
Search for your record of citizenship$75.00
Renounce your citizenship$100.00
Resume your citizenship (18 and over)$530.00
Resume your citizenship (under 18)$100.00
Right of Citizenship$100.00
Partial payment for adults (18 and over) if you already paid $400$230.00
Partial payment for resuming your citizenship (18 and over) if you already paid $300$230.00

All citizenship fee payments can be made online.

5. Can you apply for Canadian citizenship online?

Yes. In fact, it’s actually better to apply for any visa or permit online as the processing time will be quicker. It is, however, important to check if you can as not all applicants are seen as eligible for online application. 

To apply online you must be:

Who Can Apply Online for Canada Citizenship

  • eligible for Canadian citizenship
  • have a valid email address
  • be at least 18 years old when submitting your application
  • applying for yourself ( ou can’t apply for your family members)
  • not be using a representative
  • sure that you have not included time spent outside of Canada in your physical presence calculation.

For more tips on how to submit your citizenship application, visit our website here.

6. What is the passing score for the citizenship test in Canada?

The Canadian citizenship test is made up of 20 true or false questions and shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes to complete. They are drawn at random from 200 citizenship questions. You will be asked questions about:

  • Rights and responsibilities of a Canadian citizen;
  • Canadian history;
  • Canadian politics;
  • Canadian economy
  • Canadian physical and political geography;
  • Symbols;
  • Specific questions about your region ie. the province or territory you live in.

In order to pass, you will need to answer at least 15 questions correctly or get 75 percent. If you are successful you will be invited to attend a ceremony in six months' time or be asked to complete a questionnaire.

The questions are based on Discover Canada: the Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship, which is available online, in MP3 format, as a PDF or eBook as well as a paper copy or study guide.

What to bring to the test

  • the notice asking you to take the test (“Notice to Appear”)
  • your permanent resident (PR) card (if you had one)
  • 2 pieces of personal identification (ID)
    • 1 piece of ID with your photograph and signature, such as a driver’s license or health card
    • foreign ID documents must be government-issued (Canadian ones don’t need to be government-issued)
    • if not in English or French, provide a translation with an affidavit from the translator
  • all your passports and travel documents, current and expired, that you listed on the application form
  • a certificate, diploma, degree, or transcript that proves your English or French language skills (if you were 18 to 54 years of age when you signed your application)
  • other documents we may ask for in your “Notice to Appear” letter

7. What happens if you fail the Canada citizenship test?

If you fail the citizenship test, you will be able to reschedule and retake the test four to eight weeks later. If, however, you fail for a second time, you may be asked to have an interview with a citizenship official. This should take between 30 and 90 minutes and can be done in person or by videoconference.

8. Can you be denied Canadian citizenship?

If you fail the citizenship test twice and the interview with the interview you will be denied citizenship. You will, however, be able to apply again to retake the test.

9. Can my age affect my citizenship application?

Yes. Both your age and your situation can affect the application process as well as whether or not you will need to have an interview:

Age & Your Citizenship Application
Your Age and SituationTake the TestGo to the interview
Adult 18 to 54 years of ageYesYes
Adult 55 and overNoYes
Minor under 18 with a Canadian parent or a parent applying at the same timeNoNo, except in some cases
Minor 14 to 17 without a Canadian parent or a parent applying at the same timeNoYes
Minor under 14 without a Canadian parent or a parent applying at the same timeNoNo, except in some cases

10. How Do You Apply for Canadian Citizenship

Step 1: Determine your eligibility

As with any application process, it's important to make sure that you qualify for citizenship before starting the application process. Please see the requirements above.

Step 2: Determine whether or not you can apply online

As mentioned previously, once you know that you are eligible it is best to see if you qualify to apply online versus applying on paper as it can take a lot longer to process.

Step 3: Pay your applications fees

Before you can submit your application you will be required to pay your application fees, which can be done online.

Step 4: Submit your application

Once your application is in order and your fees have been paid, you can then submit your application to be processed. Before submitting your application, make sure that you:

  • are eligible for citizenship the day before you sign your application;
  • have signed the application form;
  • have dated the form the day you signed it;
  • have the same application date on your application form and physical presence calculation for the following applications:
    • Adult (age 18 or older)
    • Minor (under 18) without a Canadian parent applying alone.
    • have a fully completed application form and have submitted all required documents on the checklist.

If you are sending your application by courier or by mail, your application must be dated 90 days before it is received, otherwise, it will be returned.

What’s Next?

Becoming a Canadian citizen is a life-changing experience. As with any application though, whether it's for a work permit, immigration, a study permit, or Canadian citizenship, it can get tricky. It is important to not only make sure that you are eligible to apply but whether or not you can apply online. The Canadian citizenship application process can take anywhere from 12 to 15 months so it's imp[ortant to make sure that you have all the documents you need and that your application is completed fully before submitting it.

Ready to find out if you qualify for citizenship or a Canadian visa?

We work with a team of Canadian immigration and visa professionals or Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) who will be able to guide and support you every step of the way. Why wait when opportunities like this only come around once, maybe twice in a lifetime. The time is now. Don’t let it pass you by.