Canadian citizenship 2019-10-17T11:09:05-04:00


For many people, once permanent residency is granted, the next stop is citizenship. In the past few years, we have been witness to many changes in terms of what it takes to become a Canadian citizen. One thing stays the same however: for the vast majority, a very detailed account of your days of presence in Canada will need to be done in order to demonstrate the extent of your physical presence on Canadian soil. Many other factors will also be taken into account.

Unfortunately, application delays are relatively long. Moreover, a simple lack of clarity in your application may mean that your file gets put in the “complicated files” queue, and delays in that queue are quite painful. In this context, it is wise to obtain competent advice so as to avoid unnecessary delays and complications.



Generally, a permanent resident will need to be physically present in Canada three out of the previous five years, before asking for citizenship. Physical presence in Canada under a temporary status can also be taken into account, albeit to a lesser degree.  Other criteria will apply, including the capacity to speak one of Canada’s official languages, the applicant’s knowledge of Canada, the proper filing income tax reports, etc.


As is usually the case in the world of immigration, a criminal proceeding will have repercussions on your citizenship application. What type of infractions will hinder the process? For how long? What if the infraction takes place during the treatment of your application? What if the criminal process ended in a discharge?

The criminal benchmarks for citizenship are different from those being applied to immigration files. If you are the unfortunate holder of a criminal record or if criminal proceedings are underway against you, it is highly recommended that you determine the impact of these on your citizenship eligibility before filing an application, or if you are in the process of your application, as soon as the infraction takes place.