Naturalized Canadian Citizen: Individuals who apply for citizenship, pass the test, and take the oath become naturalized Canadian citizens. Some of these people will need a Canadian citizenship certificate, but they already have one because they were naturalized.
“You can enjoy all the perks of being a Canadian as long as, furthermore, you can show proof that you are a citizen.” This includes being able to vote in federal elections, get a social insurance number (SIN), use national health care, get a driver’s license, and have one of the strongest passports in the world.
When someone meets the legal standards to be a citizen, that country considers that person a citizen. Most people who live in Canada are Canadian citizens by birth, but some became Canadian citizens through adoption.
Being a Canadian citizen comes with rights and duties that people who are not Canadian citizens do not have. “For example, only people who are Canadian citizens can get a Canadian passport, serve on a panel, vote, or run for political office.”
“Moreover, they can also get help from the Canadian consulate while they are moving or living in another country.”
The census tells us about the citizenship status of the people living in Canada. Citizenship is a key factor that helps predict how many people will be able to vote and plan citizenship lessons and programs.
To add to that, Canada also lets its people hold citizenship from other countries. In this way, the census gathers data on people who are citizens of more than one country. This helps give a fuller picture of the identity of the people living in the country.
The rules and laws about Canadian citizenship have changed over time. Changes like these, the COVID-19 outbreak, and other events in the world may have affected the trends for becoming a Canadian citizen. “Additionally, this Census in Brief will show the most important citizenship results from the 2021 Census.”
Canadian citizens by Birth
Some people, like the children of officials, are not automatically Canadian citizens because they were born there. There are also people who were born outside of Canada but have at least one parent who is a Canadian citizen.
“We call these people “Canadian citizens by birth.” “However, you can only become a Canadian citizen by birth after a certain number of generations of people born outside of Canada.”
Canadian citizens by Naturalization
Immigrants who go through the formal process to become Canadian citizens are also citizens by naturalization. The first thing you need to do is become a legal resident (also known as a “landed immigrant”).
The Canadian government has given people the right to live in the country forever. We call these people permanent residents. Permanent residents can apply to become Canadian citizens once they meet the conditions.
Those who are accepted must now attend a citizenship event and affirm their citizenship by taking the Oath. Immigrants are people who have been or are now legally living in the United States.
Canada’s immigration authorities have given the person in question permission to live there forever. People from other countries who became Canadian citizens through adoption are in this group.
Before applying to become a permanent resident, some people may come to Canada briefly as a non-permanent resident. A non-permanent resident is someone from another country who usually lives in Canada and has a work or school permit or has applied for asylum.
Most of the people who live in Canada are Canadian citizens.
Over nine out of ten people living in Canada (91.2%) were Canadian citizens in 2021. Most of them were born in Canada (74.4%), which is about 27 million people. Another 16.8%, or 6.1 million people, became Canadian citizens by naturalization.
Eighteen percent of the people living in Canada were not citizens. These people were either permanent residents or new immigrants, or they were not residents at all.
Each group’s size has grown over the last 30 years, but not at the same rate: Canadian citizens by birth, Canadian citizens by immigration, and non-Canadian citizens.
Between 1991 and 2021, the number of Canadian citizens by birth and Canadian citizens by adoption more than doubled. The number of Canadian citizens by birth rose more slowly, from 22.4 million in 1991 to 27.0 million in 2021.
83.1% of Canadians in the 1991 Census were born in the country. The number of Canadian citizens by birth dropped to 74.4% by 2021. This was due to an older population, a falling birth rate, and continued immigration.
On the other hand, a bigger part of Canada’s population was either naturalized Canadian citizens (16.8% vs. 11.3%) or not Canadian citizens (8.8% vs. 5.7%).
The Naturalization Process
Before you can embark on your journey to become a naturalized Canadian citizen, you must meet certain eligibility criteria. These criteria include:
- Permanent Resident Status: It is essential that you have obtained the status of a permanent resident in Canada.
- Time Spent in Canada: You must have physically lived in Canada for at least 1,095 days out of the last five years before applying.
- Tax Compliance: You must have filed your taxes for at least three years within the five-year period, if required under the Income Tax Act.
- Language Proficiency: You must demonstrate adequate knowledge of English or French by taking a language test.
- Knowledge of Canada: In order to become a citizen of Canada, you are required to take and pass a test that covers Canadian history, values, institutions, and symbols.
- Criminal History: You should not be under a removal order or charged with a serious crime.
The Application Process
Once you are confident that you meet the eligibility criteria, the next step is to prepare your application. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
Gather Documents: Collect all necessary documents, including your permanent resident card, tax documents, language test results, and any additional supporting evidence.
Complete the Application: Fill out the Canadian citizenship application package (form CIT 0002) thoroughly. Make certain that all of the information is correct and up to date.
Pay the Fee: Pay the required processing fee for your application. Payment can usually be made online.
Submit Your Application: Mail your completed application package to the appropriate address as indicated in the guide.
Citizenship Test and Interview
If your application is accepted, you will be invited to take a citizenship test and attend an interview. The test assesses your knowledge of Canada’s history, values, institutions, and symbols. The interview is an opportunity for a citizenship official to assess your language proficiency and ask questions about your application.
Upon passing the test and interview, you will receive an invitation to a citizenship ceremony. This is a significant and heartwarming event where you will take the Oath of Citizenship, officially becoming a naturalized Canadian citizen. It’s a momentous occasion celebrated with fellow new citizens and often attended by family and friends.
Benefits of Canadian Citizenship
One of the most important privileges of Canadian citizenship is the right to vote in federal, provincial, and territorial elections. Your vote helps shape the future of Canada and ensures your voice is heard in the democratic process.
Access to Social Benefits
As a Canadian citizen, you are entitled to a wide range of social benefits, including healthcare, education, and unemployment benefits. Canada’s social safety net is designed to support its citizens and residents during various life stages.
Passport and Travel Benefits
Canadian citizens are eligible for a Canadian passport, one of the most respected and widely accepted travel documents in the world. With a Canadian passport, you can travel freely to many countries without the need for a visa.
Eligibility for Public Office
If you aspire to participate in Canadian politics, Canadian citizenship is a prerequisite for running for public office at the federal, provincial, or territorial level.
- Naturalized Canadians enjoy citizenship benefits.
- Citizenship grants voting rights.
- Access to social benefits.
- Canadian passport for travel.
- Eligibility for public office.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Canadian Citizenship:
What is Canadian citizenship?
Canadian citizenship is the legal status that grants individuals the rights and responsibilities associated with being a citizen of Canada.
How can I become a Canadian citizen?
You can become a Canadian citizen through birth in Canada, birth abroad to Canadian parents, or by going through the naturalization process as a permanent resident.
What are the eligibility requirements for a Naturalized Canadian Citizen?
To become a naturalized Canadian citizen, you must have permanent resident status, meet residency requirements, file taxes, demonstrate language proficiency, pass a citizenship test, and have a clean criminal record.
What is the citizenship application process like?
The process involves gathering documents, completing the application package, paying the processing fee, and submitting your application to the designated address.
What does the citizenship test assess?
The citizenship test evaluates your knowledge of Canadian history, values, institutions, and symbols.
What happens at the citizenship interview?
During the interview, a citizenship official assesses your language proficiency and may ask questions related to your application.
What is a citizenship ceremony?
The citizenship ceremony is a special event where you take the Oath of Citizenship, officially becoming a naturalized Canadian citizen.
What are the benefits of Canadian citizenship?
Benefits include voting rights, access to social benefits like healthcare and education, the ability to obtain a Canadian passport, and eligibility to run for public office.
Can I hold citizenship from another country as well?
Yes, Canada recognizes dual citizenship, so you can hold citizenship from another country along with your Canadian citizenship.
How can I check my Canadian citizenship status?
You can verify your Canadian citizenship status by obtaining a Canadian citizenship certificate or contacting the appropriate government authorities.
Can I lose my Canadian citizenship?
Yes, in some cases, you can lose your Canadian citizenship if it was obtained through fraud, misrepresentation, or if you voluntarily renounce it.
Is there an age limit for applying for Canadian citizenship?
There is no minimum or maximum age requirement to submit an application for Canadian citizenship. However, certain eligibility criteria must be met.
How long does it take to process a Canadian citizenship application?
Processing times can vary, but it typically takes several months to process a citizenship application.
Can I apply for Canadian citizenship if I have a criminal record?
It depends on the nature of the criminal record. Serious crimes can affect your eligibility for Canadian citizenship.
Do Canadian citizens need a visa to travel to other countries?
Canadian citizens holding a valid passport can travel to many countries without a visa. However, visa requirements vary by destination.
Can I vote in Canadian elections as a citizen by birth?
Yes, Canadian citizens, whether by birth or naturalization, have the right to vote in federal, provincial, and territorial elections.