Applying for Citizenship
When you apply for citizenship, officials will check your documents, confirm your immigration status and verify whether or not you have a criminal record. They will also make sure you meet the requirements of citizenship.
To become a Canadian, you must:
be 18 years old or older;
be a permanent resident of Canada who was lawfully admitted to the country;
have lived in Canada for three of the four years prior to applying for citizenship;
speak either English or French;
and know Canada's history, geography, system of government and the rights and responsibilities
Your application may take several months to process. Make sure that the Call Centre
always has your correct address during this time.
The citizenship office will send you a "Notice to Appear" telling you where and when to appear for your citizenship test or your oral interview with a citizenship official.
About the citizenship test
The citizenship test is usually a written test, although in some cases, it might be oral. The test is used to assess whether you meet the language and knowledge requirements. You will be asked questions to check your knowledge and understanding of either English or French. To pass the test, you must also demonstrate an understanding of:
the right to vote in elections in Canada;
the right to run for elected office;
voting procedures in Canada and how to register yourself as a voter.
You will also be asked questions to check your knowledge and understanding about:
Canada's geography; and
the rights and responsibilites of a citizen.
After the test
The citizenship office will inform you about the results of your test. If you are successful, you will receive a "Notice to Appear to Take the Oath of Citizenship" telling you the date, time and place of the citizenship ceremony, the final step in becoming a Canadian citizen. At the ceremony, you will take the Oath of Citizenship, sign the oath form and receive your Canadian Citizenship Certificate. You may want to bring your family and friends with you to share this occasion.
What Does Canadian Citizenship Mean?
Canadian history and traditions have created a country where our values include tolerance and respect for cultural differences, and a commitment to social justice. We are proud of the fact that we are a peaceful nation and that we are accepted in many places around the world as peacekeepers.
As a small population occupying a vast northern land enriched by immigration throughout its history, Canadians have developed a kind of genius for compromise and co-existence which lie at the heart of our federal system of government. We value the fact that we live in a democracy where every citizen is encouraged to do his or her share. Our democratic values are the basis of our laws. Canadian values include:
Equality--We respect everyone's rights, including the right to speak out and express ideas that others might disagree with; governments have to treat everyone with equal dignity and respect, which are both fundamental to our form of democracy.
Tolerance--We try to understand and appreciate the cultures, customs and traditions of our neighbours.
Peace--We are proud of our non-violent society and our international role as peacekeepers.
Law and order--We respect democratic decision making and the "rule of law"; we promote due process so that the courts and the police will treat everyone fairly and reasonably; and we ensure that our elected governments remain accountable to Canadians.
As you reflect on these values, ask yourself which responsibilities you will take on when you become a Canadian citizen.
Call Centre Numbers:
In Montréal (514) 496-1010
In Toronto (416) 973-4444
In Vancouver (604) 666-2171
For all other areas within Canada, call
1 (888) 242-2100 (toll-free).
Note: If you are calling from outside Canada, contact the Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate in your region.
Contact schools and colleges in your area.
Go to your local library or community centre.
Contact local settlement agencies or ethnocultural associations.
Ask a librarian to help you find books and videotapes about Canada. You could begin by asking for these books:
The Canada Yearbook (published by Statistics Canada)
Canada: A Portrait (published by Statistics Canada)
How Canadians Govern Themselves (written by Eugene Forsey, published by Public Works and Government Services Canada)
The Canadian Encyclopedia (published by McClelland and Stewart)
The Junior Encyclopedia of Canada (published by Hurtig Publishers, distributed by McClelland and Stewart)
The Story of Canada (written by Janet Lunn and Christopher Moore, published by Lester Publishing Ltd.)
Symbols of Nationhood (published by Public Works and Government Services Canada)
Federal programs and services
Contact the Information on the Government of Canada at:
1 8ØØ O-Canada
(1 800 622-6232)
TTY 1 800 465-7735