Canadian Citizenship Act and Eligibility Rules

The Canadian Citizenship Act represents Canadian citizens, defines their rights and duties, and formulates all procedures and provisions under the Act. New immigrants to Canada are eligible to become Canadian citizens. Though citizenship is natural, it can also be acquired by those wanting to live in Canada as its rightful citizens. Citizenship application to Canada needs an extremely close attention to detail, insight into complicated legal procedures of Canada, right documents, and enough knowledge of any objections that your application might face at any of the stages. Always remember that objections once raised can lead to a long hassling process of re-applying, enquiry and unnecessary wait. We advise you to get legal assistance right at the time of application filing so that you may save yourself from unnecessary last hour rush. The Canadian Citizenship Act represents Canadian citizens, defines their rights and duties, and formulates all procedures and provisions under the Act. There are certain requirements to be fulfilled in order to apply for citizenship of Canada.

Current Eligibility Criteria

  • You must have lived 3 out of last 5 years in Canada and must be a permanent resident at the time of application.
  • You must meet the residency obligations i.e., must have lived in Canada for a minimum of 1095 days (3 years). Y
  • You must be over 18 years old.
  • You must be able to provide proof of language skills in English or French language. People between 18-54 are required to show their language proficiency in order to be eligible.
  • Pass Canadian Citizenship test.
  • You must have filed income tax in Canada.
  • You must have sufficient knowledge of Canadian history, culture, values and your rights and responsibilities as a Canadian citizen.

In certain cases where the applicant is below 18 years old, the applicant must be a permanent resident. His/her parents, single parent, adoptive parent(s) or the legal guardian must be a Canadian citizen. The child does not need to have lived in Canada for 1095 days. If an applicant is found to be involved in criminal offences including terrorism, human rights violation, war crimes, organized crime, drug use, human trafficking, money laundering, or any such activities perceived as a cognizable offense, he/she will be declared inadmissible in Canada and will automatically. If they are already citizens of Canada, they have every chance of losing their citizenship.

About Canadian Citizenship

Canadian permanent residents can apply for Canadian Citizenship through a process called Citizenship by Naturalization. Anyone who meets with the set requirements of Canadian permanent residency are eligible for Canadian Citizenship by Naturalization. The requirements including having lived in Canada for the required by number of days, regular filing of income tax return, language ability and sufficient knowledge of Canadian history and culture. However, there are other ways to apply for Canadian Citizenship such as given below.

Citizenship by Birth: If you do not have a Canadian passport, citizenship card or certificate but were born in Canada, you have the right to Canadian Citizenship. You simply need verifiable documents to prove that you were born in Canada such as provincial or territorial birth certificate to establish the place of birth. If you have these required documents, the process for applying for Canadian citizenship becomes a smooth sailing. However, in case you do not have a birth certificate, there are a few other documents that can establish your right to citizenship. Anyone who is born in Canada even to foreign parents, barring foreign diplomats, has the right to Canadian Citizenship as per the Canadian immigration law.

Citizenship by Descent: You can apply for Canadian citizenship without first becoming a permanent resident in Canada even if you are born outside Canada to Canadian parent(s). According to the new law, citizenship by descent will be permitted to only one generation born outside Canada. This provision applies to anyone who was born in Canada, or given a citizenship status, before 1 January 1947 but stopped being a British subject and did not yet become a citizen on that date. This rule would differ for different provinces and territories. For instance, for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians the applicable date is 1 April 1949 as this was when the two provinces joined Canadian territories. This would also apply to British subjects who are living in Canada on 1 January 1947 but for some reason could not acquire their citizenship at that time. The dates again differ for provinces like Newfoundland and Labrador. The right of Citizenship also extends to adopted children under the above-mentioned situation, though the procedure could get more complicated and lengthier. Children born outside Canada and adopted by Canadian parent(s) are not eligible-

  1. If their adoptive parent(s) was born outside Canada to Canadian parents.
  2. Their adoptive parent(s) obtained citizenship on the basis of adoption from a Canadian.

Quite evidently, there are some limitations for rights of citizenship granted to adopted children but adopted children can still become naturalized citizens. Even when the adopted children do not meet the requirements of Canadian citizenship, they can still be sponsored by their adoptive parents so that they may first become permanent citizens and later obtain for citizenship by naturalization. Children who are born to Canadian parent, or parents who were naturalized citizens, also automatically have the right to Canadian citizenship.

Circumstances when You do not Automatically become a Canadian Citizen –

You do not become a naturalized Canadian citizen if you marry a Canadian, have a lived in Canada for a long time.

Although, in these circumstances you can always apply for citizenship after once becoming a permanent resident and fulfilling the eligibility criteria.

In cases where a person has renounced citizenship earlier, the applicant must become a permanent resident first and can apply for Canadian citizenship of they meet the eligibility criteria.

What to do after Receiving Permanent Residency Approval Letter

After receiving your approval letter for permanent residency in Canada, it can take another 1-2 months for your PR Card to arrive. This is the normal time taken for the PR card processing. A few formalities one should take into account –

  • On landing in Canada, it is advisable to first visit the Service Canada office and get your Social Insurance Number (SIN), a number that one needs to become permissible to work in Canada, and also pay ones taxes.
  • The next step requires you to contact the department of motor vehicles in the province that you are immigrating into and obtain a Canadian Driver’s Licence.
  • Apply for your health care coverage at a designated office. Do inquire about the province-based requirements in getting a health care coverage. Each province or territory might have different requirements and conditions. It is advisable to have a travel health insurance when you arrive in Canada till the time your health coverage application gets Processed in Canada. This is to be sure that you have yourself covered in case of a health emergency.
  • Your Permanent Residency Card is valid for up to 5 years from the date of authorization. For renewal of the PR card after the expiration of five years, you must demonstrate that you stayed in Canada for at least 2 years out of 5. This time period of two years can be sporadically spread across the five-year time period.

Hiring Foreign Workers Under Temporary Foreign Worker Program

If you want to hire foreign based workers for your company in Canada, it is best to go for the Foreign Workers Under Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Under this program, the employer must be able to prove that no other Canadian or a permanent resident in Canada could suffice for the job requisites. This rule is made under the consideration that Canadian nationals must be given a fair and equal opportunity for employment. In order to ensure that sufficient efforts were made, the employer is also required documents to demonstrate that the job was advertised, and enough recruitment efforts were made.

The recruitment efforts made vary from job type to job type. While employers in management and professional occupations need to follow the industry-set norms, employers in trades and technical positions must establish that they advertised on the National Job Bank. Further to this, some job types like those given to software engineers and post-graduate work permit holders do not require advertising at all.

The foreign-based candidate selected must have valid educational credentials, training and work experience in the specified skill along with authentic license, certificates and accreditation.

The foreign-based candidate must be paid in accordance with the industry pay standards. The employee must be given an equal and non-discriminatory treatment in the workspace.

International Mobility Program and Possibilities of Opening a Real Estate Business in Canada

We were once consulted by the owner of Estate Company in India who wanted to pursue Real Estate Development in various provinces of Canada. His primary query was to know if it was possible for him to obtain a work permit in Canada.

In cases like these, business approval is decided on the following factors –

The Indian Company can pursue its business in Canada if it affiliates with or assimilates a Canadian subsidiary and send a foreign employee to Canada. The company is supposed to meet certain set requirements

The company must then provide a business plan which gives proper details of the business operations in Canada. These details must include particulars of capital investment, the business model, prospective contracts, human resources plan, and details on location of the business and estimated profits targeted. Everything has to be submitted along with supporting evidence and documentation.

The employee that the parent company send into Canada must either be a senior member or have specialized knowledge on product, services or operations of the company.

In case, one decides to expand business from a foreign nation into Canada, it is highly advisable to consult an immigration lawyer. Business investments or expansions related to real estate demand extensive documentation and many approvals at every step. Files and paperwork can get entangled at any stage. Only an experienced immigration lawyer will be able to navigate you through such complicated procedures, otherwise it can take years for such a files to get processed.

Applying for International Experience Canada Work Permit

The application process of International Experience Canada Work Permit program was recently changed. The application process has been made available online. Different parameters set will determine who is eligible to apply online and who will make paper applications. In some cases, both methods will be used.

There are two parts to the new online application. An applicant will have to take an online eligibility assessment to determine if he/she qualifies under the program, and then the applicant will also take an online work permit assessment by using tools like MyCIC account and IEC-Kompass account.

The program, at this point, is accepting limited applications and will be filled on first-come-first- served basis.

If you are interested in applying for the International Experience Canada Work Permit, you are advised to consult an experienced immigration lawyer who can help you in compiling a persuasive application. We, at LexLords, are known for our high level of competence and experience in immigration cases and would be glad to assist you in making a compelling case for you.

Start Up Visa Program Canada

Canada announced the details of its federal budget on February 28, 2018 in which it assigned nearly $5 million for the Start-Up Visa Program. This program is specially designed in a way that it facilitates aspiring entrepreneurial applicants to find the right platform for guidance, support, and assistance for establishing their business in Canada. The Entrepreneur Start up Visa category under Business Immigration to Canada Program allows you immigration to Canada as a permanent resident.

History: Initially, Canada floated the Start-Up Visa Program as a five-year plan to analyse the success of the program among the entrepreneurs looking for new opportunities for business expansion and re-settlement in Canada. This program targeted skilled foreign entrepreneurs who had the potential to foster Canadian economy and contribute to the growing global reputation of Canada. It also aimed at giving boost to those businesses that would train Canadian nationals in acquiring new skills and provide them with employment opportunities. Starting with a slow start, the program soon gained attention of the foreign investors wanting to settle in Canada permanently, and was therefore, established in 2017 as a permanent program.

Eligibility Criteria for an Entrepreneur: There are four parameters to assess the eligibility of an entrepreneur wanting to settle in Canada –

  1. Business Supported by a Designated Organization: Designated organizations are government-approved bodies that have been authorised by the Canadian government to invest in and support new businesses and start-ups. There are 3 broad categories of these organizations – venture capital funds, angel investor groups and business incubators. It is required for the applicant to procure a letter of support from a designated organization in Canada that guarantees continuous interest and investment in the applicant’s business. This will require the applicant to first co-ordinate with a business group which shows interest in the proposed business idea and is ready to take it further in a formal manner. Once that is done, the designated organization will also have to provide a Certificate of Commitment to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) with a summary of the commitment and its terms and conditions. An application without a letter of support will be rejected.
  2. Meet the Requirements of Business Ownership: The applicant must show a minimum investment – as mentioned in the latest guidelines issued by the Canadian immigration office – solicited from a designated organization capital fund or from a designated angel investor group.

As per the program, there can be up to five owners of one business. Each owner applying under the program must have at least 10% voting rights. All clients applying together must hold at least 50% of the voting rights.

  1. Language Proficiency in either English or French: The applicant must meet the minimum level of language proficiency in either English or French as determined as per the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) in all four skills including reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Applicant can take the language test any number of times as required in order to get the desired result, which is 5 in either language. The test is also to be taken from an authorised agency like the IELTS or the CELPIP.
  2. Be Financially Stable: The applicant must be able to demonstrate that he/she is in the financial position to settle in Canada as a permanent resident. The minimum settlement fund requirement is subject to change from the Canadian government and must be checked when making settlement plans. The minimum settlement funds are also based on the number of accompanying family members of the principle applicant.

You would need to ensure that the funds in your name are transferable, in liquid form, and that there is no outstanding debt in your name disabling you from using the funds.

Apart from these qualifications, the applicant should be able to furnish a full authorized record that validates that he is medically fit and without any criminal record. A thorough investigation of an applicant’s background record is made to ensure the safety and security of Canadian nationals.

Considering that the Start-Up Visa Program has a lot of minute details to be taken care of, it is best of you consult an immigration lawyer who would help you to review your case and make it persuasive by his/her years of experience and expertise in immigration laws.