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When can a permanent resident become a Canadian citizen?

A permanent resident may become a Canadian citizen if he/she is:

  • 18 years of age or over;
  • Has met the residency requirement, i.e., the person must have been physically present in Canada for at least three years or 1095 days cumulatively in the four-year period before the application (with each day in Canada as a temporary resident before becoming a permanent resident counted as 1/2 day); the exception is any day a permanent resident has resided with his/her spouse who was a Canadian citizen and was employed outside Canada in or with the Canadian armed forces or the federal government or a Canadian provincial government will be counted as one day of residence in Canada.
  • Is free from prohibitions, which include 1) being currently in prison, on parole or on probation, 2) having been in prison, on parole or on probation for a year or more in the past four years, 3) having been charged with or convicted of an indictable offence or an offence under the Citizenship Act in the past three years, 4) being under a removal order, 5) being under investigation for, charged with or convicted of a war crime or a crime against humanity, 6) having ceased to be citizen in the past five years, or 7) having failed to obtain the authorization to return to Canada under a removal order;
  • Has an adequate knowledge of one of the two official languages. If you are between 18 and 54, you must provide proof of your ability to speak and listen in English or French with your application;
  • Has an adequate knowledge of Canada and of the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship.


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