Last Updated on June 11, 2021 by Fair Punishment Team
If you are thinking about moving to Canada, or you have lived there for the past few years, then you may have considered becoming a Canadian citizen.
However, this is not a decision that should be taken lightly, as it will take a lot of dedication, determination and effort to gain your Canadian citizenship.
To gain your citizenship, there are many legal requirements, protocols, tests and other factors to consider. If this sounds doable to you, then perhaps you are ready to take on the task of becoming a Canadian!
Luckily, we are here to help, and answer all of your questions about becoming a Canadian citizen.
For instance, you may be wondering how hard it is to get Canadian citizenship, how long it takes, and what it will entail.
With our guide, you will find out how an American can become a Canadian citizen, and what requirements you will need to meet! So, how can an American become a Canadian citizen?
How can an American become a Canadian citizen?
If you are considering becoming a Canadian citizen, then you will need to know how exactly this can be done. There are many requirements and protocols that you need to meet in order to gain your citizenship.
If you are an American citizen, you could be wondering if there is a faster way to become a Canadian citizen, seeing as you are close neighbors.
However, unless you already have citizenship through your parents, you would have to follow the same process as everyone else.
Before anyone applies to become a Canadian citizen, they must have a permanent resident status, or a PR in Canada.
This means that they are not under investigation for immigration, or fraud, and have not been handed a removal order. In addition you would have to check to see if you are eligible to apply for citizenship.
If you do have a Canadian parent with citizenship, then you can submit a Proof of Citizenship application, which may fast track your application in becoming a Canadian citizen.
In addition, another simpler way of becoming a Canadian citizen is through a spouse, as a student or as a skilled worker.
If you have a spouse that is a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident, then it may be easier for you to gain citizenship, as Canada believes in family cohesiveness, and so if you are starting or raising a family in Canada with your partner, it may be easier.
However, you cannot get married in order to gain Canadian citizenship, as this is considered immigration fraud, and your benefits may be revoked.
As a skilled worker, you can join the Federal Skilled Worker Program, which is a program dedicated to inviting skilled workers to move to Canada and gain Permanent Residency.
That being said, you would have to have a trade, or skill to do so, or you would need an explicit job offer in order to move and live in Canada as a resident.
On the other hand, if you have studied in Canada at a university, or have worked in a Canadian company for a certain amount of time, then you can apply for a Permanent Residency, and then a citizenship.
To become a Canadian citizen, there are a few requirements that you would need to meet. For instance, you must be a permanent resident of Canada, and have lived in the country for at least three years out of the last five years.
In addition to this, you would have to have filed your taxes for at least 3 years out of 5 in Canada.
Along with this, you should have proven your language skills, and finally, you would need to take a citizenship test and pass! Only then can you be a Canadian citizen.
In order to become a Canadian citizen, you would have to be eligible, and pass the citizenship test, however, there are a few discrepancies in the application depending on whether you are applying for a minor, an adopted child, or if you have previously been a citizen.
Although it can be simpler to gain citizenship through a spouse, you would still have to meet the same requirements as others applying for citizenship.
How hard is it to get Canadian citizenship?
It can be difficult for some people to gain a Canadian citizenship, as you would need to have good language skills, and you have to pass the Canadian citizenship test first.
Canada has two officially recognized languages, English and French. To become a Canadian citizen, you would need to show that you can speak and listen at a good level in at least one of the languages.
This is measured through your records and documents that you send with the application, and will be noted when you communicate with a citizenship officer or official.
In addition, you may need to attend a hearing, where your language and communication skills will be assessed.
If you are not a native English or French speaker, then do not worry too much, the language assessment is not excessive, as you need to be able to partake in short conversations, such as everyday communication.
You would also need to be able to use simple structures, tenses, sentences and basic grammar to pass.
To become a citizen, you would also be able to understand basic instructions, directions, questions, and demonstrate that you can understand and use common phrases or words to communicate.
If you do not need a hearing, you are able to provide certificates, tests, qualifications and diplomas to verify that you have good language and communication skills.
You would also have to take the citizenship test if you are between the ages of 18 and 54. This test entails many details about the culture, rights and responsibilities of a Canadian, and of the country itself.
You will be expected to answer questions about history, government, economy, geography, laws, symbols and other features of Canada.
This test will be 30 minutes long, and made up of 20 questions, of which you will need at least 15 right to pass.
You can also choose to take the test in either English or French. After you have completed and passed the test, you can be considered a Canadian citizen!
How long does it take to be a Canadian citizen?
Before you can even apply to become a Canadian citizen, you have to have been in Canada physically for at least 1,095 days, which is three years out of the last five years before you sign and complete the application. The application itself also usually takes around 12 months to complete, too.
How much money do you need to become a Canadian citizen?
In order to become a Canadian citizen, you would need to pay the application fee. This is around $530 dollars, along with a right-of-citizenship fee of $100 which will be returned to you in the event of the application being rejected.
Is it hard to get Canadian citizenship?
It can be difficult to gain a Canadian citizenship, as some people are not considered eligible.
For instance, if you have committed a crime within four year of submitting the application, or you are serving time, or on parole, then the citizenship may be declined.
You also need to keep track of your time in Canada, to prove that you have been there and had a physical presence for at least 3 years.
The Canadian government also advises that you spend more time than the minimum requirement, in case there is an issue with counting the days or tracking the time.
To ensure that you are eligible for citizenship, and save time applying, use the Canadian Citizenship Eligibility Checker here.
What are the benefits of Canadian citizenship?
There are many benefits of Canadian citizenship, which is why you may want to upgrade from Permanent Residency.
For instance, Canadian citizens are eligible for more jobs, whereas permanent residents may be limited. In addition, Canadian citizens can vote, and can run for office.
Permanent Resident Cards are only valid for up to 5 years, and will need to be used as proof of residential status by your employers, or the government.
In this case it can be difficult having to reapply for a Resident Card every few years, and pay the fee.
As a Canadian citizen, you will also have a Canadian passport, and you can travel without any deportation or immigration consequences.