Canadian citizenship gives you additional rights, benefits and protections that are not available to Canada Permanent Residents, including the right to vote and the right to hold public office. Citizens are no longer required to meet residency and other requirements of Permanent Residents.
There are many differences between Canada Permanent Residents and Canadian Citizenship. PRs who do not become citizens are not entitled to the same rights and privileges as citizens. Penalties for committing a crime in Canada for citizens are different from permanent residents and temporary residents - including permanent deportation from Canada.
Benefits of Canadian Citizenship
Canada Permanent Residents are not entitled to the same rights and privileges as Canadian citizens. Citizens are entitled to many benefits, rights and protections that are not available to PRs.
Canada Permanent Residents have rights including:
- Rights to the same social benefits as any Canadian citizen, including healthcare coverage.
- The right to live, work, study anywhere in Canada.
- Protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
- The right to apply for Canadian citizenship.
- The right to live outside of Canada if they have lived in Canada for at least two years in a five-year period. If you live outside of Canada for longer, you may lose your status.
Canadian citizens have all the privileges that permanent residents are entitled to, but also have additional protections and privileges including:
- run for federal office
- hold jobs that require a high-level security clearance
- get a Canadian passport that entitled you to visit many other countries and to enter, remain in, and leave Canada
- children born outside of Canada to Canadian citizens automatically also become Canadian citizens
- if you are a Canadian citizen and are not a dual citizen of another country, you cannot be deported or lose your citizenship except in very limited situations
The penalty for committing crimes in Canada is different for citizens versus permanent residents or temporary residents. Non-citizens who commit certain crimes in Canada can face severe penalties that include permanent deportation from Canada.
How To Apply For Canadian Citizenship
There are many eligibility criteria to qualify to become a Canada citizen, including:
- be a Canada Permanent Resident
- be at least 18 years of age to independently apply for citizenship or qualify to apply for citizenship as a minor
- spent sufficient time living in Canada
- meet all Canadian income tax requirements
- pass language proficiency tests
- submit various supporting documents and fees
Canadian Armed Forces Fast Track Citizenship
Canada’s Armed Forces fast-track process for citizenship speeds up the citizenship application process for members of the military:
- permanent residents serving in the Canadian Armed Forces
- foreign military members on exchange with the Canadian Armed Forces
If you are a current or former member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) you can apply for citizenship using a fast-track process.
Canadian Citizenship Test
Meeting eligibility requirements for Canadian citizenship does not guarantee you can become a citizen. If you are between 18 and 54 years of age when you apply for Canadian citizenship, you must take the citizenship test. All the test questions are based on the Discover Canada Guide.
- Applicants must study this guide in order to prepare for the test.
- The guide is available in both English and French.
- The time and place of the test is provided once the application is processed and you learn the results immediately after completing the test.
Your Canadian citizenship application can be denied for many reasons including
- legal or criminal issues
- failing the citizenship test
- insufficient English or French language skills
- failure to prove you meet the residency requirements
- your citizenship was revoked within the past 5 years
Learn More About How To Become A Canadian Citizen:
- Canada Permanent Residents Can Now Submit Citizenship Applications Online
- Caution: Why Canada Permanent Residents Should Become Citizens
- How to Prepare for the Canada Citizenship Test – Free Checklist
Do You Have Questions About Becoming a Canadian Citizen?
Applying for Canadian citizenship for your or your family members can be confusing and overwhelming. A simple paperwork mistake, missed deadline or a forgotten document can cost you time, money and stress. An experienced immigration lawyer can guide your journey to Canadian citizenship and help
Contact the immigration professionals at Ackah Business Immigration Law today at (403) 452‑9515 or email us directly.