Citizenship Physical Presence Calculator
You have your PR card, that wonderful piece of ID that says you are a bona fide resident of Canada. But there’re a few key steps to take to finally get your Canadian citizenship and that prized passport that means you go where you want, when you want, and how you want. And perhaps one of the most important steps – often overlooked in the final push to get whatever final documents you may need and to prepare for your citizenship test – is the residency requirement. If you get your residence requirements wrong and do not spend the minimum required time each year in your new home in Canada, you are setting yourself up for a lot of bother and frustration. And that’s the last thing you need when you’ve come this far.
It’s not just a case of using CIC’s physical presence calculator. It’s a case of being familiar with what the requirements are, so you can plan your trips ahead of time with the security of knowing that you are meeting your minimum requirements.
Make a little chart, or a note, of the following numbers and post it above your screen. This is because these rules apply to the 5 years previous to your application for Canadian citizenship. You do not want to mess things up in your last year, for example, by forgetting to meet your requirements in any given year. As of October 2017, there is now only one principal requirements:
- You must have been physically present in Canada for at least 1,095 days in the 5 years immediately preceding the date of your application for citizenship.
You must have been physically present in Canada for at least 183 days in each of 4 calendar years that are fully or partially within the 6 years immediately preceding the date of your citizenship application.This requirement has been revoked.
Keep in mind these further rules on residence requirements:
- As of October 2017, you can count your days spent in Canada as a temporary resident (visitor, work permit holder, study permit holder) within the last five years towards residence, with each day counting as .5 days up to 365 days (two years of temporary residence).
- ONLY the 5 years immediately prior to your application for citizenship count. It does not matter how long you previously were a permanent resident in Canada. And why did you wait so long to apply for citizenship anyway?
- If you became a permanent resident less than 5 years ago, the valid days start to be counted on the date you became a permanent resident unless you lived here as a temporary resident within the last 5 years.
- Time spent serving an offence in Canada will NOT count. In the following exceptions, you do not have to report time served in a sentence:
- Time serving a sentence that is not within the 5 years immediately prior to your application for citizenship does not have to be reported.
- Time spent on probation as the result of a conditional discharge does not have to be reported as long as you successfully completed your probation.
- If you have received a pardon/suspension of sentence then any time spent serving that conviction does not have to be reported.
- If you were convicted under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, or the previous Young Offenders Act, you do not have to report time served.
- The day you departed on your trip and the day you return to Canada from your trip are counted as being physically present in Canada.
(To see a bigger version, click here.)
How you fill in the information in your physical presence calculator is key. It seems a breeze, right? Remember, a single mistaken date could put your citizenship application back by months. So here are a few things you need to take care of:
- DO the obvious and keep a careful record of all your trips outside of Canada. Print out ticket receipts. Keep all visa stamps in your current passport and scan them or photocopy them to have a clear record of the exact date you left and then returned. Do it for each and every trip that takes you abroad. Remind yourself to do this obvious little bit of personal record-keeping. It will save you trouble later on.
- Even if you are a truck driver crossing the U.S. border on a weekly basis. If you don’t have an exact record of each and every trip you made as a truck driver, for example, you can attach a hand-written note to your application indicating the dates are approximate. But it is likely your application will be delayed as CIC decides how much time you were absent from Canada.
- The same is true for airline employees who travel into and out of Canada on a frequent basis. As well as any other permanent residents whose work takes them out of the country on a regular basis. Keep records for every trip.
- DON’T do the short-cut and try to shave a few days off a trip if you realize you mistakenly did not meet the days requirement. You will almost certainly receive the dreaded Residence Questionnaire from CIC. This means you will have to respond with supporting documentation to dispel any doubts CIC has regarding your resident days. It means a delay in your citizenship application of anywhere from 6 months to a year. Don’t do it. State the truth and if it means waiting a few more months, so be it.
- DO enter the dates correctly in the physical presence calculator. Make sure each date is recorded as requested. You will be printing out your calculation and attaching a copy to your application for citizenship.
- DON’T flub a key or transpose a month and day. You could delay your citizenship application.
- DO make sure that when you apply for citizenship and you have printed out the physical presence calculator result, that the following dates are all exactly THE SAME:
- The date of your citizenship application which you used in the physical presence calculator;
- The date of the signature on the citizenship application form;
- The date of the signature on the calculation printout.
Think of it as your citizenship D Day and please make sure that the 3 dates are the same!
Imagine your physical presence calculator as a school assignment spread out over 3 to 5 years. A little long-term pain that you must suffer to make sure your citizenship application goes smoothly.
|Use our Online Physical Presence Calculator||Download the official residence calculator form|