Citizenship, Visas and Passports
Q. I have a question regarding the citizenship application. I am a permanent resident in Canada for the last 5 years. I would like now to file an application for citizenship, but I want to know whether I am eligible to file at this point. I was placed under probation for 18 months, which I completed successfully one year ago. But, during my probation period I was again charged, but these charges were later on withdrawn. So my question is can this period of 18 months probation be counted as residing physically in Canada and qualify towards the time required for a citizenship application.
A. This is an excellent question and unfortunately at this time you are excluded from applying for Canadian citizenship. Specifically, the following people are excluded from becoming a citizen for reasons other than failing to meet the residency requirement: (1) anyone who is in prison, on parole or probation; (2) anyone who has been in prison, on parole or probation for a year or more in the past four years; (3) anyone who has been “convicted of an indictable offence or crime, or an offence under the Citizenship Act in the three years preceding” their application; (4) anyone who, at the time of their application, is charged with any offence under the Citizenship Act, or an indictable offence or crime; (5) anyone who has been issued a removal order; (6) anyone who has been convicted of a crime against humanity or war crime, or anyone who is being investigated or has been charged with such crimes and (7) anyone whose Canadian citizenship has been revoked in the past five years. You must also be concerned that your conviction (depending on the type) could trigger proceedings to revoke your permanent residency status. So citizenship is not a possibility and your concern now should lie with maintaining your permanent residency. Thank you for your question.