To be eligible to become a Canadian citizen, you must meet the requirements in all of the following areas:


You must be at least 18 years old to apply for Canadian citizenship.
To apply for citizenship for a child under 18, make sure the following conditions are met:
Child’s parent, adoptive parent or legal guardian should apply
Child is a permanent resident, but does not need to have lived in Canada for three years
One of the parents is already a Canadian citizen or is applying to become a citizen at the same time. This also applies to adoptive parents.

Permanent resident status:

To become a Canadian citizen, you must have permanent resident status in Canada, and that status must not be in doubt. This means you must not be the subject of an immigration investigation, an immigration inquiry or a removal order (an order from Canadian officials to leave Canada).

Time lived in Canada:

To become Canadian citizens, adults must have lived in Canada for at least three years (1,095 days) in the past four years before applying. Children do not need to meet this requirement.

You may be able to count time you spent in Canada before you became a permanent resident if that time falls within the four-year period.
Use the citizenship calculator to find out if you have lived in Canada long enough to apply for citizenship.

Language abilities:

Canada has two official languages—English and French. You need to be able to speak one of these two languages well enough to communicate with people. In other words, you must know enough English or French to understand other people and for them to understand you.

Criminal history (prohibitions):
You cannot become a citizen if you:

have been convicted of an indictable (criminal) offence or an offence under the Citizenship Act in the three years before you apply
are currently charged with an indictable offence or an offence under the Citizenship Act
are in prison, on parole or on probation
are under a removal order (have been ordered by Canadian officials to leave Canada)
are under investigation for, are charged with, or have been convicted of a war crime or a crime against humanity or
have had your Canadian citizenship taken away in the past five years.

If you are on probation or are charged with an offence and are awaiting trial, you should wait until after the probation has ended or the trial is over to apply for citizenship.

If you have spent time on probation, on parole or in prison in the last four years, you may not meet the residence requirement for citizenship.
Time in prison or on parole does not count as residence in Canada. Time on probation also does not count as residence in Canada if you were convicted of an offence. If you have spent time on probation from a conditional discharge, it may be counted toward residence. For details, contact the Call Centre (see Contact Us at the top of this page).

Knowledge of Canada:

To become a citizen, you must know the rights and responsibilities of citizens, such as the right and responsibility to vote. You must also know some things about Canada’s history and geography, and about its political system.

The information you need to know is in a free booklet A Look at Canada. The questions in the citizenship test are based on the information in this booklet.