Eligibility Criteria to Become a Canadian Citizen

A permanent resident is eligible to become a Canadian citizen only when he or she has met all the applicable criteria.


A person must meet all the applicable citizenship criteria before he or she can become a citizen of Canada. To be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship, the applicant must fulfil the following criteria:


  • Permanent residency status: In order to apply for citizenship, the applicant must be a permanent resident of Canada with no unfulfilled condition with respect to his or her permanent residency status.
  • Time spent by you in Canada: To be eligible to apply for citizenship, the applicant must have spent at least 3 years (1095 calendar days) in Canada within the last 5 years from the date of applying. Some of the time the applicant had spent in Canada on a temporary or protected status will also be counted while calculating the total number of days spent in Canada.
  • Income tax filing: Irrespective of the applicant’s age, the applicant may have to provide proof substantiating income tax filing for at least 3 Canadian financial years.
  • Language abilities: To be eligible, the applicant must prove that he or she will be able to speak and listen at an “adequate” capacity in one (or both) of Canada’s official languages – English or French. The language ability of the candidate is measured in terms of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB).
  • Knowledge about Canada: To become a citizen, the applicant need to take a test wherein questions related to the following areas will have to be answered:  
    • Canadian values
    • Canadian history
    • Canadian symbols
    • Canadian institutions
    • Rights, responsibilities, and privileges of being a Canadian citizen

To know more about the citizenship test, click here.

  • Prohibitions: If the applicant had committed a crime inside or outside Canada, he or she may not be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship for some time.


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