Canada visas

Canadian Citizenship



You must be at least 18 years old to
apply for Canadian citizenship.

To apply for citizenship for a child under 18,
make sure the following conditions are met:

  • The person applying is the child’s parent,adoptive parent or legal guardian;
  • The child is a permanent resident, but does not need to have lived in Canada for three years and one parent is already a Canadian citizen or is applying to become a citizen at the same time;
  • This also applies to adoptive parents.

To become a Canadian citizen, you must have permanent resident status in Canada, and that status must not be in doubt. In other words, you must not be the subject of an immigration investigation, an immigration inquiry or a removal order (an order from Canadian officials to leave Canada).


To become Canadian citizens, adults must have lived in Canada
for at least three years (1,095 days) in the past four years before applying. Children do not need to meet this requirement.

You may be able to tally time you spent in Canada before becoming a permanent resident, if that time falls within the four-year period.


Canada has two official languages: English and French. You need to have adequate knowledge of one of these two languages. You must know enough English or French to understand other people and for them to understand you.

CRIMINAL HISTORY (prohibitions)

You cannot become a citizen if you:

  • Have been convicted of an indictable (criminal)
    offence, or an offence under the Citizenship Act
    in the three years before you apply;
  • Are currently charged with an indictable offence,
    or an offence under the Citizenship Act;
  • Are in prison, on parole or on probation;
  • Are under a removal order (have been ordered
    by Canadian officials to leave Canada);
  • Are under investigation for, are charged with, or have been convicted of a war crime or a crime against humanity, or
  • Have had your Canadian citizenship taken away
    in the past five years.

If you are on probation or are charged with an offence and are awaiting trial, you should wait until after the probation has ended or the trial is over to apply for citizenship.

If you have spent time on probation, on parole or in prison in the last four years, you may not meet the residence requirement for citizenship.

Time in prison or on parole does not count as residence in Canada. Time on probation also does not count as residence in Canada if you were convicted of an offence. If you have spent time on probation from a conditional discharge, it may be counted toward residence.


To become a citizen, you must understand the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, such as the right and responsibility to vote in elections. You must also have an understanding of Canada’s history, values, institutions and symbols.