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Applying for Citizenship

Newcomers can apply to become Canadian citizens if they have Permanent Resident status and have lived in Canada at least three years. Parents can apply on behalf of their children as long as the child is also a Permanent Resident. The person making the application must be at least 18 years of age.

Before you can become a Canadian citizen, you must demonstrate your ability to speak and understand one of Canada's two official languages, English or French. Adults will be asked to take a written test with questions about Canada's history, geography, political and electoral systems and citizen rights. If you fail the test, a judge may decide to give you an oral interview instead.

Many documents are available to help you prepare for a citizenship test. The Canadian government sends each applicant for citizenship a free study guide, Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship.

Certain individuals are not eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship. For example, individuals who have criminal backgrounds or are under criminal investigation, have spent time in prison or have had their citizenship revoked in the past five years can't apply for citizenship.

For More Information

Applying for Citizenship
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) information on becoming a Canadian citizen, how to apply, the citizenship test, the citizenship ceremony and citizenship judges.

New citizenship rules
Information about Canada’s new Citizenship Act, which came into effect on April 17, 2009. Includes Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the law, adoption and retention of citizenship.

Discover Canada, The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship
An online version of the new federal government study guide available in multiple formats: in HTML and PDF; as an e-book or a mobile app; or as MP3 audio files read by notable Canadians. The guide includes chapters on applying for citizenship, Canada’s history, federal elections, Canadian symbols, and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

Frequently asked questions about applying for citizenship
Answers to questions about becoming a Canadian citizen, renouncing citizenship, the new citizenship law, new citizenship rules, the study guide and test, proof of citizenship and searching records.

Check application processing times
Information about processing times for immigration and citizenship applications: temporary residence, permanent residence, and other immigration documents. Provides links to regularly updated pages showing how long it takes to process them in Canada and at various Canadian Visa offices. Also includes a set of frequently asked questions (FAQ).

What are the language requirements for Canadian citizenship?
An overview of the language requirements of citizenship applicants. Includes information about the written test and how to prepare for it. Available in Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), French, Gujarati, Pilipino (Tagalog), Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tamil, and Urdu.

Video Centre — Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
A selection of videos on topics of interest to newcomers. Includes tutorials for filling out immigration forms and other documents, personal stories of immigrants, immigrating and settling in Canada (process, requirements, etc.) becoming a Canadian citizen, applying for a Permanent Resident Card or a passport, multiculturalism in Canada and statements by Canadian politicians. Transcripts of each video are available in English and French. Versions of the videos are available in other languages on the corresponding CIC YouTube channels: Arabic, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Hindi, Punjabi, Tagalog and Urdu.

Community Computer Resources
City of Kingston website listing of organizations and locations that offer free computer usage to members of the community.

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