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The Perks of Being a Canadian Citizen

by Vanessa Simao and Gin Aguilar

Being a Canadian Citizen is something to be proud of. Along with being a part of a country that is very welcoming and multicultural, there are also many other perks to being a Canadian Citizen that some people may not know about. When you become a Canadian Citizen, doors are opened to bigger opportunities, such as access to restricted jobs. Some jobs in Canada require you to have Canadian citizenship, such as government jobs or work at the federal level which requires a security clearance. If you have been living in Canada for quite some time, chances are you have an opinion on how the country, province or city should be run. By having Canadian citizenship, you have the privileges of voting in federal, provincial and municipal elections, and even run for public office.

Becoming a Canadian also means that you will be issued a Canadian passport, which happens to be one of the best and most powerful passports in the world. Holding a Canadian passport means that you may travel visa-free to 166 countries* and it also allows you to exit and re-enter Canada freely without any trouble. When you are a Canadian citizen, you never have to worry about losing status, unlike if you are a permanent resident, you will need to comply to some residency requirements.

If ever you are convicted of a crime in Canada as a citizen, you will not lose your citizenship, but if you are a permanent resident, you might face deportation. You also do not have to worry about renewing your immigration documents because once you gain your citizenship, it stays with you forever. The only document you need to renew every ten years is your Canadian passport.

Aside from these great benefits, being able to call yourself a Canadian citizen hold much more value – it means you have access to freedom, rights, and equality. Canada is an amazing, welcoming and multicultural country and I know you will be proud to call yourself a Canadian citizen because I am proud to be one.

Requirements for Becoming a Canadian Citizen:

After reading the above benefits, you are now fully convinced that you truly wanted to become a Canuck (a slang term for Canadians… don’t worry the article about Canadian slangs will be posted soon!!). But how do you become one?

The following are the requirements to be qualified to apply for Canadian Citizenship:

  1. You must have a Permanent Resident (PR) status in Canada. Regardless of age, if you are applying for citizenship,
    you must have a PR status in Canada, which also signifies that you must NOT:
    • be under review for immigration or fraud reasons
    • be requested by Canadian officials to leave Canada (removal order)
    • have unfulfilled conditions related to your PR status, such as medical screening

  2. Have lived in Canada for at least 3 years (out of the last 5 years).
    You need to ensure that you have been physically present in Canada for at least 1095 days (or 3 years)
    during the last five years from the date you submitted your application.
  3. You have filed your Income Taxes, as needed
  4. Proven Language Skills in English or French
    • If you’re 18 to 54 years of age on the day you sign and submit your application, you must prove that you can speak and listen at the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) Level 4 or higher in either English or French ( which is Canada’s 2 official languages). Certificates, Diplomas or tests that prove your language skills may be submitted along with your application.
  5. Show how well you know about Canada by passing the citizenship test
    • If you’re 18 to 54 years of age on the day you sign and submit your application, you need to take the citizenship test.
      You’ll need to answer questions about the rights and responsibilities of Canadians and Canada’s (a) history, (b) geography, (c) economy, (d) government, (e) laws, etc.
    • The test may be taken in either English or French and consists of 20 multiple-choice and true-or-false questions.
      It is based on the official citizenship guide (Discover Canada) and you need to get a passing rate of at least 75% (or 15 correct answers out of 20).

    Ready to take that leap of faith? JCA Law office can help you get started by assisting you in getting that Permanent Resident status. Please call +1 855 522 5290 or email info@filipinolawyer.ca.

    References: *Passport Index https://www.passportindex.org/?country=ca Government of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en.html