Are you a permanent resident who wants to become a Canadian Citizen?If so, we can help!
At Bellissimo Immigration Law Group PC, our team of citizenship experts can help you determine if you are eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship, assist you with your citizenship application and advise you of the best measures you should take to obtain Canadian citizenship.
Generally, anyone who is born in Canada is automatically a Canadian citizen. However, people wanting to acquire Canadian citizenship can do so in a number of ways. 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.
Amendments to the Canadian Citizenship Act The Canadian Citizenship Act was amended on 17 April 2009 to grant 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).
Canadian Citizenship Requirements and Exceptions
As a general rule, individuals who are applying for Canadian citizenship must meet the following 3 requirements:
1) Be 18 years of age
2) Be a permanent resident of Canada
3) Meet residency obligations (reside in Canada for 1095 within last 1460 days – three out of four years).
However, if the applicant is a child is under the age of 18, the following circumstances must be met:
The child must be a permanent resident
The child does not have to have lived in Canada for three years
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.
In addition, the applicant must meet two other requirements: 1) language requirement (be able to understand and speak basic English or French); and 2) knowledge about Canada requirement (Canada’s history, geography, government, and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship). A language test is required to be provided with an application and a test is to be taken to proof knowledge about Canada. Persons 55 years of age and over are exempt from these two requirements.
In addition, 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.
Applicants residing in Canada prior to becoming permanent residents can receive credit for one half day, to a maximum of one year, for each day of residing in Canada.
Prohibitions regarding criminal history
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, or has been in the last 4 years, 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.
The federal government is working on reforming the Citizenship Act (Bill C-24). The changes will require that citizenship applicants to be present in Canada for four years out of six (rather than three years out of four), and will raise the age of exemption from language and citizenship tests to 65, from 55.
Daniel Colgan ★★★★★ Extremely well prepared for our consult having read the material and questions I had provided. Provided clear sound advice that I felt very confident in. Thanks.Aleksandra D ★★★★★ They are knowledgeable, provide options and genuinely care about their clients. Highly recommend their services. They have been wonderful.Joanna Krasnodębska ★★★★★ We would like to thank you very much for your professional service, understanding and commitment to our case. Thank you also for taking on this difficult task. Only thanks to your hard work we managed to start a new life in Kanda. We know that our case was not easy, so we are even more glad that you were able to help us. We would like to thank the entire team dealing with our case for giving our daughters a better start in adult life and giving us peace of mind about their future.I will call you with all my heart and full responsibility and I can recommend the Bellissimo Law Firm. Full professionalism and involvement in the matter.Malavika Rajasekharan ★★★★★ My experience with Bellissimo and their team that assisted with my judicial review process and study permit re-application process were nothing short of exceptional. They conducted themselves with the utmost professionalism, they were very very thorough, extremely detail oriented, very prompt with their fillings and always provided answers to all my questions at all stages of case process ( I asked a lot of questions!!).I am finally here in Canada, as an international student after two rejections all credits to Bellissimo and their team. I want to give special thanks to Amanda D'Angelo, Alexandra Goncharova, Michelle Boeriu, Athena Portokalidis, and Mario Bellissimo - I can't thank you enough for everything you've done for me during the litigation process.I would highly recommend Bellissimo to anyone that wants to retain a team that can get you the results you desire.Hasib Vai ★★★★★ It has been a great journey with Bellissimo Law Group PC! Previously, we filed our SOWP & SP through another regulated ircc consultant and got our applications denied. Our case was very critical with our applications being refused twice. We were terrified as my wife was at Canada completing her studies but our daughter and I were stuck back at home country. Luckily we came through this firm and we directly consulted Mr. Mario D Bellissimo. Honestly he is very professional and a knowledgeable lawyer, he didn't straight away advise to apply but rather focused on the risks involved and the long term consequences. Later with his advice, we applied right after my wife received her work permit. Our file was handed to Ms. Lijing Cao who is a passionate lawyer and undoubtedly expert in immigration laws. She has a great team along with Ms. Shuai Dong who was very dedicated, responsive and cooperative in every step. We got our applications approved this Dec, 2023 and flying for Toronto this Jan, 2024. We are very happy as we got a chance to reunite as a family after a long time. And my deepest respect towards the law firm as a whole. I would definitely recommend this law firm to anybody going through immigration difficulties as I believe by now that each file is taken care in the most dedicated fashion. Special thanks to Mr.Bellissimo, Ms.Lijing and Ms.Shuai to make this possible. It was a big one for us!!Raha Salarzaie ★★★★★ Thanks to the amazing work of BLG, our family is reunited. They have a very professional and trustworthy team that work on a timely manner. They are responsive and work thoroughly on your application, covering every nook and cranny as not to leave a single detail behind. Of course we had our stresses when submitting the application, considering the final decision maker is someone else, but we had peace of mind that we had prepared a perfect application. We will definitely choose BLG again for future applications.Dorma W ★★★★★ The Bellissimo Law Group is the absolute best!My experience with this law firm has been nothing short of extraordinary. Facing my complex case, their meticulous and thorough approach shone brightly from the very outset.They conducted a thorough interview with us, delving deep into the intricacies of my situation in order to understand fully what it would take to handle my case.Despite the complexity, their expertise turned challenges into opportunities, resulting in a successful outcome.What truly sets the Bellissimo Law Group apart is their commitment to their client. I especially admired how they meticulously instructed me on all necessary forms and information submissions, ensuring I was well-prepared at every stage.The professionalism exhibited by the entire Bellissimo Law Group is also commendable. Their consistent communication and transparent updates provided reassurance for me throughout the journey of my Permanent Residency (PR) application.In conclusion, I wholeheartedly would recommend Bellissimo Law Group for anyone seeking legal immigration representation. Their expertise, dedication, and client-centric approach make them a standout choice for navigating the complexities of any case.Thank you, Bellissimo Law Group, for your unwavering support and outstanding service, you are truly one of a kind!Jagjeet Singh ★★★★★ I want to express sincere gratitude to Mr. Belissimo, Ms. Keeley, and the entire Belissimo Law Group team for their invaluable support during the challenging process of obtaining our permanent residency. Our case was particularly complex, receiving a procedural fairness letter from CIC with only one chance to reply. The dedication, hard work, and professional expertise demonstrated by Mr. Belissimo and the team are truly commendable. Their professionalism and intelligence as lawyers shine through, successfully navigating our tough case to secure our permanent residency. I highly recommend them as the top experts in this field. Thank you once again for the immense help and support.Jagjeet.