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Residency Requirements for PR, Canadian Citizenship, and Proof of Citizenship FAQ

Updated: Jul 22, 2020

In the post, we're going to answer frequently asked questions about:

  • Canada PR Residency Requirements

  • Canadian Citizenship Requirements

  • Proof of Canadian Citizenship

In the current climate of travel restrictions, many people have looked more closely at their citizenship and immigration status in order to determine their options. In this blog we hope to provide basic information in response to the most common questions we have received.

Am I a Canadian citizen?

Someone can be a Canadian citizen without making an application citizenship. If you were born outside of Canada but one of your parents was a Canadian citizen at the time of your birth, you are probably a Canadian citizen. In order to obtain proof of your Canadian citizenship, you would need to file an application explaining the circumstances of your birth, and proof of your Canadian citizenship in the form of a citizenship certificate will be sent to you. Processing times are usually 5 months on average, however these times are longer as government staff gradually return to work and catch up on applications currently in process.

In the meantime, however, you may be able to cross the Canadian border simply with proof that your application for proof of citizenship has been made. Contact us for further details.

I am a permanent resident. What are the residency requirements for Canadian citizenship?

To apply for Canadian citizenship, you must have permanent resident status and have been in Canada for at least three of the last five years (at least 1095 days). If you had status as a temporary resident or a protected person before attained your permanent residence, you can apply each day you were in Canada as a half-day towards your 1095-day count, up to a total of 365 days. If this applies to you, you may only need two years of residence in Canada as a permanent resident in order to apply for citizenship.

Who do these residency requirements apply to?

The above residency requirements for citizenship apply to individuals between the age of 18-54. They also apply to minors (individuals under the age of 18) who are applying for Canadian citizenship who do not have a Canadian parent or a parent who is applying for citizenship at the same time. If minor permanent residents have a Canadian parent, there is no residency requirement and they can apply for citizenship immediately.

If you or your Canadian or Permanent Resident spouse, common-law partner, or parent is employed with the Canadian Armed Forces, a federal public administration, or the public service of a province or territory, then you may be able to count time outside of Canada towards your residency requirement.

Are there other requirements for Canadian citizenship?

If you are a permanent resident, other requirements for applying for Canadian citizenship may include:

- Having Permanent Resident status

- Filing your taxes

- Passing a test on your rights, responsibilities and knowledge of Canada

- Passing a language test to prove sufficiency in English or French

I am a permanent resident outside of Canada. How can I keep my permanent resident status?

Once you attain permanent resident status, you must be in Canada for at least 730 days (two years) during any five year period in order to keep it. These days do not have to be continuous.

You can track your time in Canada by using a travel journal (keeping track of when you left/re-entered Canada, where you travelled to, and why), or by asking a Canadian border officer when you enter Canada.

If you are outside of Canada with your Canadian citizen spouse or partner or if you are working outside of Canada for a Canadian business or government, you can count this time toward preserving your permanent resident status. For other ways to maintain your permanent resident status, contact us.

If you would like to apply for permanent resident or citizenship status in Canada, feel free to contact our office to book a consultation about your options. Emails can be sent to, or call 416-203-2899 ext. 30.


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