Citizenship & Visas

Canadian Citizenship

Government of Canada information about becoming a Canadian citizen. To be eligible to become a Canadian citizen, you must meet all conditions, including:
  • Permanent Resident status
  • Time you have lived in Canada
  • Income tax filing
  • Language skills
  • How well you know Canada
  • Prohibitions
Eligibility Criteria In order to apply for Canadian citizenship you must:
  • Provide proof that you know how to speak and write in 1 of Canada's official languages (either English or French)
  • Be a Permanent Resident (PR)
  • Have lived in Canada as a PR for at least 1,095 days out of the 5 years before you apply
  • Have filed your taxes for at least 3 years during the last 5 years and any income tax you may owe must be paid
  • IRCC will return your application as incomplete if you do not send acceptable proof that you have adequate knowledge of English or French. Learn more about the language requirements for citizenship on the IRCC website.
  • If you are or have been a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, you may be eligible for a fast-track application process.
  • You can use the Residence Calculator to find out if you have been in Canada long enough as a PR to apply for citizenship. If you have not been in Canada long enough, it will tell you when you will be eligible to apply.
  • The applicant must be a Canadian citizen or be applying to become a Canadian citizen. Minors do not need to meet the residency requirement.
  • If one of your parents was a Canadian citizen when you were born, depending on when you were born, you may already be a citizen. If that is true, to be recognized as a Canadian citizen you need to apply for proof of citizenship.
  • You cannot become a Canadian citizen if you have recently been or are in prison, on parole or probation, are serving a conditional sentence or have been charged or convicted of an indictable crime. If you are under a deportation order, you also cannot apply.

Work Visas

Canada work visas are issued under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Individuals who enter the Canadian labour market require prior authorization through the issuance of a temporary work permit. A Work Permit is an authorization that allows a foreign national who is a Temporary Resident in Canada to work. There are usually 4 conditions specified: the Employer; the Occupation; the Location; and the Duration of the Work permit.

The default category of work permit is based on a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) which requires a Canadian employer to demonstrate skills shortages and advertising for the position to demonstrate that there are no available Canadians for the role. There are numerous exemptions to the LMIA including agreements on international mobility, free trade agreements, specialized exemptions. The specific category of work permit should be determined prior to an application being made as the criteria vary widely and the level of support and documentation necessary to obtain the work permit will vary.

Contact Canadian immigration Counsel should you have any queries regarding your worker status and your work permit. It is important that you have the proper authorization for the duration of your work in Canada. It is your responsibility to maintain valid status as a worker or temporary resident while in Canada.

Your dependent spouse and/or children under age 22 can join you for the duration of your work permit in Canada. Speak to Canadian immigration counsel about dependent visas such as open spousal work permits, study permits for children, or visitor records for your dependents.

Personal Effects

When you are entering Canada with the intention of establishing, for the first time, a residence for one year or more, you are permitted to bring in your personal effects duty free.

Before moving or returning to Canada

Before you leave for Canada, you should prepare two copies of a list of all the goods you intend to bring into Canada as part of your personal effects. The list should indicate the value, make, model and serial number (where applicable) of all the goods. Divide the list into two sections. In the first section, list the goods you are bringing with you; in the second, list the goods to follow. Goods that arrive later will only qualify for duty- and tax-free importation under your entitlement if they are on your original list.

Arriving in Canada to Work

When you enter Canada, tell the border services officer (BSO) that you have come here to work. Be prepared to show the following documents:

  • your passport
  • your Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction
  • proof of funds
  • proof of health insurance
  • a ticket for your departure from Canada or sufficient funds to purchase such a ticket
  • copies of the documents you provided in your work permit application.

Electronic Travel Authorization

An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is an entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air. An eTA is electronically linked to a traveller’s passport. It is valid for up to five years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first. If you get a new passport, you need to get a new eTA. With a valid eTA, you can travel to Canada as often as you want for short stays (normally for up to six months at a time). You do not need an eTA for travel within Canada.

An eTA doesn’t guarantee entry to Canada. When you arrive, a border services officer will ask to see your passport and other documents. You must convince the officer that you are eligible for entry into Canada.

Applying for an eTA is a simple online process that takes just a few minutes to complete. Most applicants get their eTA approval (via an email) within minutes. However, some requests can take several days to process if you're asked to submit supporting documents. It is best to get an eTA before you book your flight to Canada. An eTA costs CAD $7. You can only apply and pay for one person at a time.

Biometrics

Starting July 31, 2018, citizens of Europe are required to provide biometrics (finger prints and photograph) when they apply for a visitor visa, study or work permit or permanent residence. Biometrics can be given at 8 major Canadian airports and at smaller airports and all land ports of entry. You will only need to give your biometrics once every 10 years. If you apply for permanent residence, you will have to give biometrics again for this process, even if you have already provided your biometrics in the past.

Permanent Resident Card

Government of Canada information about the Permanent Resident Card. A permanent resident is someone who has been given permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada, but is not a Canadian citizen. Permanent residents are citizens of other countries. A person in Canada temporarily, like a student or foreign worker, is not a permanent resident. Refugees who are resettled from overseas become permanent residents through the Government-Assisted Refugee Program or the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.
What permanent residents can do

As a permanent resident, you have the right to:

  • get most social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, including health care coverage, live, work or study anywhere in Canada
  • apply for Canadian citizenship
  • protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • You must pay taxes and respect all Canadian laws at the federal, provincial and municipal levels
What permanent residents cannot do

You are not allowed to:

  • vote or run for political office
  • hold some jobs that need a high-level security clearance
  • Application forms for permanent residency

Application forms for permanent residency

Frequently asked questions about the Permanent Resident Card.

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