Are you a permanent resident who wants to become a Canadian Citizen?
At BLG we can help you determine if you are eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship, assist you with your citizenship application and advise you of the measures you should take to successfully obtain Canadian citizenship.
One can acquire Canadian Citizenship in a number of ways. In general, anyone who is born in Canada is automatically a Canadian citizen. In certain situations, a person who was not born in Canada can apply for a certificate of citizenship showing that he or she derived citizenship at birth from a Canadian citizen living abroad. Depending upon the circumstances, and whether the applicant is residing legally in Canada, it is possible to obtain a certificate of citizenship.
Amendments to the Citizenship Act
The Citizenship Act was amended with a new law which came into effect on 17 April 2009. It gives Canadian citizenship to certain people who had lost it as well as to others who have been recognized as citizens for the first time.
Citizenship was restored to people who became citizens when the first citizenship act took effect on 1 January 1947 as well as to people born in Canada or who became citizens on or after 1 January 1947 and then lost their citizenship, and those born outside Canada on or after 1 January 1947 in the first generation to a Canadian citizen. Under the new law some people, including those who meet these requirements, can be granted citizenship for the first time.
Children born to Canadian parents in the first generation outside Canada can only be Canadian citizens at birth if one parent was born in Canada or one parent became a citizen by immigrating and was later granted citizenship (naturalization).
General Requirements and Exceptions
Individuals who are applying for Canadian citizenship must also be 18 years of age. However, if a child is under the age of 18, the following circumstances must be met: the child must be a permanent resident without having to have lived in Canada for three years, the person applying is either the child’s parent, adoptive parent, or legal guardian, and one of the parents is already a Canadian citizen or is in the process of applying to become a citizen. This applies for adoptive parents also.
As a general rule, individuals with three years (1095 days) of permanent resident status during the preceding four years can qualify for Canadian citizenship. However, this does not apply for children under the age of 18. The permanent residence status in Canada must not be in doubt at any time, meaning that you must not be involved in an immigration investigation, immigration inquiry or a removal order. Applications are submitted at the local citizenship office in the area of an applicant’s residence. Applicants admitted to Canada on temporary status can receive credit for one half day, to a maximum of one year, for each day of such temporary status in Canada.
There are prohibitions on an individual applying for Canadian citizenship if a criminal history is present. An individual with a criminal history cannot become a Canadian citizen in the following circumstances: in the three years prior to applying, one has been convicted of a criminal offence under the Citizenship Act, is presently accused of a criminal offence under the Citizenship Act, is currently in prison, parole, or probation, has been asked by Canadian officials to leave Canada (under removal order), is being investigated for, accused of, or convicted of a war crime or a crime against humanity, and has had his Canadian citizenship removed in the past five years.
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