Are you a permanent resident who wants to become a Canadian Citizen?
At BELLISSIMO 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.
A person 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.
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).
General Requirements and Exceptions
As a general rule, individuals who are applying for Canadian citizenship must be: 1) 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: 1) the child must be a permanent resident; 2) does not have to have lived in Canada for three years; 3) 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.
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.
Bellissimo Law has been the greatest help we could have asked for our journey. Our case needed an appeal which was very well organized, documented and presented to the authorities. We received a positive decision on the case all because of the expertise of Mr. Bellissimo and team. Keely and John are great at responding all smart and stupid questions and the team is very prompt to answer emails. They have the entire process streamlined, right from extension to evidences which makes our job easier. We got the quotes from some of the other law firms too who are all good and had lower charges. We chose Bellisimo because they are the best and in the long term a few extra bucks won't matter but the results will. Highly recommended.
16:51 06 May 19
Our immigration process was handled by Bellissimo Law Group. The first consultation with Mr Bellissimo was very insightful. Ms Keely Anderson was particularly very helpful. She guided us through the process. I will definitely recommend this law firm. They know what they are doing. Thanks once again for guiding us through the process.
19:27 28 Mar 19
I greatly recommend Bellissimo Law Group. After a long time waiting, I will finally be reunited with my son here in Canada. We are very grateful for all the great, very professional services that they have done for my case. My personal thanks to Kelly Anderson and her group. More power to all of you!
23:36 04 Mar 19
I wish I’d found Bellissimo Law 9 years ago before taking the advice of a so called Immigration Consultant who led our family to a very costly near disaster in our quest to immigrate to join our family in Canada. Years later, in desperation, at a Procedural Fairness Letter stage internet research seemed to suggest Bellissimo Law may be the company to deal with our problem. From the first consultation with Bellissimo Law their extremely thorough, very focused telephone interview personified professionalism and reassurance. All subsequent dealings with any member of the team were of the same high standard. It was clear to us that Mario Bellissimo leads from the front and that his staff not only respect him but that they are trained to match his standards and caring approach. I believe it is very important to mention that although they seem expensive, when our particular problem resolved more quickly and easily than anticipated they refunded the money which had not yet been used. Thanks particularly to Keely, our lead person, and to all at Bellissimo. I will always, highly recommend Bellissimo Law. Keep up the good work. In less than 6 months all our worries are over. We are now permanent residents.
23:33 22 Mar 19
Very professional and very informative on the phone. Good to see that it is not all about money and more about relationship building. Highly recommended. Thank you!
17:19 16 Apr 19
Great service and successfully guided us through the immigration and citizenship processes. Terrific attention to detail, and created a terrific case for our application, which was successfully approved. Attached is a picture with the judge. A wonderful day. So proud to be a Canadian!
15:45 26 May 19
Bellísimo law group made a dream a reality. They help me throughout the entire process of becoming a Canadian permanent resident. Great service. I will definitely use their services again in the future. Highly recommended
01:01 29 May 19
We had a fantastic experience with Bellissimo Law Group. From Mr. Bellissimo to the entire staff, in particular Viola Gniadek, were professional, diligent, knowledgeable and available at all times. We thank the entire group for a successful resolution for my friend Catherine. I would highly recommend the firm for any and all of your immigration needs. Thank you all for a job well done!
14:53 01 Jun 19
I sponsored my parents in 2007 and I was refused in 2013 based on medical inadmissibility of my mentally challenged brother. I found Late Mr. Rotenberg as my original lawyer who passed away during the process. I was very disappointed as I was counting on his expertise to help me with my situation. Mr. Bellissimo was God send for me to help me with my case. I am very thankful that he took on my case. His team member Ms. Tamara Thomas worked with me and advised me with regards to the documents that I needed to obtain, they did extensive research on eligibility criteria of various social and health systems. They worked with me on the interview preparation. The time spend working with them was very targeted and very specific to address the Minister's concerns. They ensured there was no further waste in time or any delays. The way they presented my case and helped me win it only a world class Law firm can do that as there were times I was going to lose my hopes. I would totally recommend this law firm to anyone who is going through similar situation as mine with both hands down. Mr. Bellissimo and the team (Ms. Tamara Thomas) you guys are amazing and thank you so much again for reuniting me with my family in my beautiful dream country Canada.
17:46 04 Jun 19
They’re very professional and the advice was given 100% accurate. The lawyer Justin Toh didn’t rush at all. He took the time to answer all our questions in details. I’m very happy with their service.