Who can apply

To become a Canadian citizen, most applicants must

  • be a permanent resident
  • have lived in Canada for at least 3 out of the last 5 years (1,095 days)
  • have filed your taxes, if you need to
  • pass a citizenship test
  • prove your language skills in English or French

Spouses of Canadian citizens

  • You don’t automatically become a citizen when you marry a Canadian.
  • If you’re the spouse of a Canadian citizen, you must meet the same requirements listed above (no exception).
  • Children and grandchildren of Canadian citizens
  • If you have a Canadian parent or grandparent, you may be a Canadian citizen.

Permanent resident status:

Regardless of your age, if you’re applying for citizenship, you must have permanent resident (PR) status in Canada.

This means you must not:

  • be under review for immigration or fraud reasons
  • be asked by Canadian officials to leave Canada (removal order)
  • have unfulfilled conditions related to your PR status, for example: medical screening


  • If you committed a crime in or outside Canada
  • you may not be eligible to become a Canadian citizen for a period of time
  • time spent serving a term of imprisonment, on parole, or on probation doesn’t count as time you’ve lived in Canada