I recently submitted my Canadian citizenship application online after I met the eligibility requirements and I’m sharing my experience with the process in this post.
The Canadian citizenship application was a straightforward process that wasn’t complicated and only took a few days once I collated all the documents required.
What Are the Requirements for Getting Citizenship in Canada?
To apply for Canadian citizenship, you must meet the following requirements:-
- Be a permanent resident of Canada
- Have lived in Canada for 3 out of the last 5 years
- Filed taxes every year if required
- Provide proof of your language skills
There may also be additional requirements depending on your immigration status. You can check your eligibility to apply for Canadian citizenship HERE.
Canadian Citizenship Application Process
I started gathering my documents for the application early this year and collating them in a separate folder on my computer.
It didn’t take as much work as I thought it would and of course, I was psyched to find out I could submit the application online!
Once, I’d confirmed eligibility, I headed over to the Canadian citizenship application page to set up an account.
After confirming my email address, I was able to log on and start submitting my application. The following pages are available on the online application:-
- Personal info
- Contact info
- Residence and tax info
- Work and school info
- Language proof
- Photo and ID
- Fee receipt
You can download a full document checklist here to help with your prep work.
After filling and uploading all required information, there’s a “Review and submit” page to check for errors or any missing information.
While completing my application, there was a slight moment of panic when I thought I’d lost my IELTS certificate but eventually managed to locate it.
If you no longer have the certificate, you can contact IELTS to get another one or a record. However, you can also provide proof of your knowledge of English or French in other ways.
For instance, a secondary or post-secondary certificate, diploma, or transcript in English or French is acceptable as proof.
Anyway, once I’d uploaded all the required documents and checked status was OK, I went ahead and submitted the application and then downloaded a copy of the application.
How Long Does Canadian Citizenship Application Take?
Unfortunately, the pandemic situation seems to have affected the processing times.
As of this month, the Canadian citizenship application process takes 27 months approx. Yep, over 2 years after they confirm you’ve submitted all the required information!
Hence, another waiting game commences. I have updated the clock below to reflect the current time frame for the Canadian citizenship application process.
A link is provided to track the progress of your application but you can only use this link after you’ve received an AOR (acknowledgment of receipt).
How Much Does Canadian Citizenship Application Cost?
The cost of the Canadian citizenship application is $630 (processing fee + right of citizenship fee) for each person over 18.
An additional cost of $100 per person for any dependents under 18 also applies. You can view current citizenship application fees HERE.
Can I Leave Canada While Waiting for Citizenship?
Yes, you can. That was one of the first things I checked before I submitted the application.
However, you must still meet the residency requirements (3 out of 5 years) while waiting for the processing of your citizenship application.
Of course, you must also make sure your PR card doesn’t expire while you are outside Canada. You can view all the conditions to note HERE.
Canadian Citizenship Test
This is the next step after your application is processed. To pass the Canadian citizenship test, you’ll need to get up to speed on some information.
While waiting for your application to be processed, you can study for the citizenship test.
The test comprises 20 questions about the rights and responsibilities of Canadians and Canada’s history, geography, economy, etc.
All the citizenship test questions come from Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship.
The guide is available to read online, listen to, download or order. I wanted a hard copy for my library so I put in a request for it.
It’s free to order from the IRCC in French and English. Shipping is also free. I ordered it online HERE.
The guide arrived less than 2 weeks later and I’m now going through it every few days or so.
You can also take Canadian Citizenship practice tests online. As of April this year, all citizenship tests are online.
Canadian Citizenship Application Timeline
- Application submitted – April 2022
- Acknowledgment of Receipt (AOR) – May 2022 (further updates below)
- Citizenship test – TBD
- Oath of citizenship – TBD
- Passport application – TBD
FAQs About Canadian Citizenship Application
Can I Apply For Canadian Citizenship After 3 Years?
You can apply for Canadian citizenship after 3 years as long as you meet the residency requirements (3 out of 5 years) and other requirements outlined above.
3 out of 5 years is approximately 1,095 days. You can use the physical presence calculator to confirm if you meet the residency requirements.
What is the Physical Presence Calculator?
The physical presence calculator helps you find out if you have been physically present in Canada long enough to meet citizenship application requirements.
You need to be present in Canada 1,095 days out of the past 5 years preceding your citizenship application to qualify.
The physical presence calculator is simple to use. Just answer a few questions and fill in any travels out of Canada for work or vacation.
When you submit, the physical presence calculator will let you know how many days you were in Canada and if you meet eligibility requirements.
You will then print the physical presence calculator results page and submit this along with your application.
It’s recommended to have several days’ buffer before submitting your application in case you miscalculated or something.
For instance, I calculated a few weeks after my original landing date just to be sure and had physical presence results of 1,130 days so I had a buffer of 35 days.
Can I Apply For Canadian Citizenship Online?
You can apply for Canadian citizenship online. However, not everyone qualifies for this.
For instance, if you are applying as a family or group, you cannot apply online. You will have to submit a paper application.
You can check if you can apply for Canadian citizenship online HERE.
Can I Apply For Canadian Citizenship With Expired Passport?
If the passport you landed in Canada with has expired, you can still apply for Canadian citizenship as long as you meet the residency requirements.
You will need to provide an explanation while completing your citizenship application. And you should have a copy of the passport on hand.
It will still likely depend on your status in Canada though. In all cases, have copies of expired documents and valid explanations.
Where To Apply For Canadian Citizenship?
You can apply for Canadian citizenship online or on paper. You can download all the forms for a paper application HERE.
Where To Send Canadian Citizenship Application?
If you’re sending in a paper application, you can send it via regular mail or courier mail.
Both are to be delivered to Nova Scotia but to different addresses. You can find the addresses HERE. Click on “Apply on paper”
I will be updating this post with any changes regarding my application along the way.
Good luck with your Canadian citizenship application!
Canadian Citizenship Application Updates
- April 2022 – Completed and submitted Canadian citizenship application.
- May 2022 – Received an AOR and a few weeks later, received a link to set up an account where I can track application status and updates. This can only be done after you receive an AOR. Updates are shown as “in progress”.
Pin it for Later – My Canadian Citizenship Application Process 2022
Abi has lived and worked abroad for over 13 years. She loves traveling, reading, and writing. She is a big believer in following your dreams and has been marching to the beat of her unconventional drums for a long time. Learn more about her HERE.
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