Canadian citizenship can be obtained by foreigners who have lived in the country for at least 5 years: 2 years as temporary residents and 3 years on a permanent residence card.
Those applicants who do not have higher education, do not know English or French or do not have enough money to invest, to get a Canadian passport will be extremely difficult. Consider the numerous bureaucratic difficulties, for which foreigners often seek help from immigration lawyers. Despite the complexity of the procedure for registration of status, the authorities of Canada are interested in attracting immigrants for the development of their country. Therefore, we will understand the main stages of obtaining a Canadian passport, as well as the requirements for Canadian citizenship.
Canada is one of the most economically developed countries, and its passport holds 8th place in the Henley Passport Index. In addition to the standard rights to liberty and security, the passport of citizenship endows its holders with a number of unique benefits:
- free travel to more than 180 countries on a visa-free regime;
- dual citizenship is legally permitted;
- the right to vote and hold public office;
- access to one of the best healthcare systems in the world, where 95% of all hospitals operate on the principle of non-profit private organizations, and health care itself is mostly free;
- The opportunity to study at renowned universities, such as the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo;
- Social security, insurance, and benefits for residents. For example, Income Support is designed to reduce extreme poverty by providing monthly payments to low-income Canadians and residents.
Long-term legal residence in Canada entitles you to naturalization. The grounds, in this case, are studies in higher education, employment, or business activities in the territory of the state. Applicants can obtain a Canadian passport if they meet the legal requirements:
- Being of legal age;
- Have a stable source of income;
- Have proficiency in French or English at least at the intermediate level (B1);
- Know your civic responsibilities;
- Have lived legally in the country for three out of the last five years.
- When applying for citizenship, the applicant must provide all the documentation necessary to prove that the grounds are legal.
A foreign applicant who has lived in Canada for 3 years as a permanent resident, has a stable source of income, and has not broken the law can apply for Canadian citizenship. In order to receive a certificate of citizenship, you must be interviewed by an immigration officer and take the oath of allegiance to the country.
The next and final step is to apply for Canada’s internal documents on the basis of the citizenship certificate. For this, it is necessary to submit the documents to the Passport Office and pay a state fee of 160 CAD (about 120 USD). It is also obligatory to have 2 adult witnesses, who can confirm the identity of the applicant, present at the time of application.
The processing fee is 530 CAD for adults (100 CAD for minors and 100 CAD for adults). The fee is non-refundable even if the status is denied. If the applicant is rejected or withdraws the citizenship application, only the citizenship fee is refunded.
If more than one family member applies for Canadian citizenship, the fees are paid jointly. Once the total amount of fees is paid, a receipt must be printed and attached to the application packet.
All immigrants applying for Canadian citizenship are required to take a national history test. Applicants aged 18-54 years old may be invited to take the test a few weeks after submitting their application and paying the fees. Minors and applicants over 54 years of age are exempt from taking the language test. There are 20 questions on the test —you must answer at least 15 questions correctly to pass. There is a study guide on the Government of Canada website to help you prepare. If a candidate fails the test the first time, they can take it again in about 4 to 8 weeks.
An immigration officer may set up an interview with the applicant at the Department of Citizenship and Immigration office to check the credibility of the documents, the validity of the stay, or to clarify other issues that arose during the course of the case. The immigration officer may check the applicant’s knowledge of English or French, as well as his or her history, geography, and legal responsibilities as a Canadian citizen. If it is decided that an interview is necessary, the alien must use the contacts indicated on the application
If the foreign applicant meets all the requirements for citizenship, he or she receives a “Notice to Appear for the Oath of Office” in his or her account on the country’s government website. This is the last step in obtaining a Canadian passport.
All foreign nationals 14 years of age or older (applicants under 14 may be present if desired) must pledge their allegiance to the country by reciting the oath of allegiance. This may be done in either English or French. At the official ceremony, candidates receive a certificate of eligibility and must then sign an oath of allegiance form.
The Canadian citizenship application process is a long and time-consuming process, where any non-compliance with the legal requirements can be a reason for rejection. The process of immigration and obtaining a Canadian passport requires careful preparation of documents with due diligence, which is why many foreign applicants seek help from migration specialists, who are more likely to bring the case to a successful Canadian passport.