Those seeking to become a Canadian citizen must first make an application to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, similar to applying for permanent residency (IRCC). Applicants who meet the criteria for eligibility will then be requested to sit and pass the citizenship test. To help them obtain a passing grade on the 30-minute test, IRCC will provide a study guide for citizen applicants. There would be no provision for applicants under the age of 18 to take the exam.

Citizen applicants will be expected to present themselves with all appropriate (original paperwork relating to their permanent residency in Canada, immigration papers, photo identification, and passport to be admitted to the exam space. It will not accept photocopies. To be registered, anyone wishing to acquire Canadian citizenship must also comply with the minimum language requirements, and most must also provide.

  • A transcript or diploma in English or French from post-secondary studies.
  • Results of language testing from an accredited testing agency.
  • For the Canadian Standard Benchmark 4 or higher, proof of achievement.

Some applicants may also be asked before a citizenship judge to undergo an interview. Citizenship applicants who successfully fulfil the eligibility criteria and pass all exams (and if requested interviews) are expected to attend a citizenship ceremony where they will receive their Canadian citizenship certificate and become official citizens of Canada.


Significant amendments to Canadian citizenship laws came into force in late 2017, making the process of applying for Canadian citizenship quicker and simpler than ever before.

The following eligibility criteria must be met by permanent residents hopeful of becoming a Canadian citizen.

  • During the five years before signing and submitting your application for citizenship, you lived in Canada for three years (1,095 days). In the last five years, days spent physically in Canada as a student, tourist, worker, temporary resident, or protected person can be used to count one half-day, up to 365 days, against the total of 1,095 days.
  • Meet the minimum requirements of the language in either English or French. Applicants between 18 and 54 years of age will be expected to demonstrate evidence of their language proficiency.
  • Have a basic knowledge of the rights and obligations of a Canadian citizen, as well as knowledge of the history, geography, and political system of Canada to pass the Canadian citizen test once their application is approved.
  • There must be no criminal records preventing the granting of Canadian citizenship.

Ineligibility for Citizenship

Inversely, applications for citizenship would be refused to applicants who

  • The permanent inhabitants of Canada are not;
  • Do not comply with or cannot provide evidence of the minimum standards for residency;
  • Do not comply with minimum language proficiency in either French or English;
  • Failing their exam and/or interview for Canadian citizenship;
  • Were told to depart Canada;
  • Have been convicted in the last three years of a criminal offense;
  • Get their nationality revoked;
  • They are on parole, on probation, or in jail;
  • They have been accused of a crime against humanity or a war crime, or are under investigation.