How to Get Your Canadian Citizenship FAST

The rules have changed! In 2017 there are now more ways you can get your citizenship fast

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There are relatively slow ways of getting your Canadian citizenship. For example:

  • Make a lot of unnecessary mistakes on your applications for temporary work or study permits, despite being very qualified. This means having to apply again and losing months of wasted time. THEN
  • Miss important deadlines for applying for permanent residence, which means you have to re-apply, despite having relevant Canadian work and/or study experience. Again you will lose valuable time, months’ worth, before finally getting your application on time, the second time around. THEN
  • Always apply on paper rather than online. Applying on paper greatly increases your processing time at any stage of your process. THEN
  • Wait the full 5 years before applying for citizenship, despite having 3 straight years of near-continuous or continuous physical presence in Canada. THEN
  • Re-schedule your citizenship test several times because of poor planning, and not meeting deadlines. THEN
  • Miss your oath-swearing ceremony because of your kid’s birthday party and because you forgot.

The point is that obtaining your Canadian citizenship is a multi-year process that you must stay on top of at every step of the game. There are no magic short-cuts, with a possible exception that involves a lot of tough work that we will outline for you below. It’s basically about getting things right the first time around. A complete application and the right forms and supporting documents is not just key, it’s a necessary requirement to avoid being sent back to the end of the line. Or even invalidating yourself for years as a candidate for:

You might consider it unfair and far too demanding, but Canada’s immigration laws must be followed. That includes IRCC’s rules and regulations on how to apply for each of the stages that lead towards your final goal of Canadian citizenship. In other words:

 

Do it online

Your application at each stage will be processed faster. Express Entry is the standard for gaining permanent residence in Canada. Express Entry is an online application management platform for choosing the best and brightest under the following immigration programs:

 

Do it right

Complete all your forms fully and provide all necessary documentation in the correct formats.

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Do yourself a favour

Always be looking to upgrade your skills in your home country BEFORE applying:

  • Your English and/or French language skills: you must have minimum language skills in either official language. There is no way around this minimum requirement for immigration purposes. For citizenship, the language requirement is only waived for the very young and older people.
  • Your education: high school is pretty much never good enough unless you are certified in a trade. Even better, a post-secondary diploma, degree, or certificate from a recognized institution will help your chances.
  • Your work experience: check out the Canadian job bank and any private career sites to gain understanding into what type of jobs are in-demand in the Canadian economy. Try to upgrade your experience and your qualifications with any specialized training/programs related to your work experience. 

 

Do it often

Always be aware of any deadlines. It helps to frequently check IRCC’s website to see if IRCC’s requirements have changed under the immigration program you plan to apply for. Or if you have already applied, to check if there any changes that might affect your application. IRCC rules and requirements can and do change on a regular basis. For example, did you know that citizenship application forms were updated in October 2017? If you apply since that date using older forms, your application will be considered incomplete and returned to you. 

Practice for the Citizenship Test

 

Becoming a Canadian Citizen the Tough way

Canadian soldiers in a joint US-Canadian exercise By U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Seth Johnson [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

[Public Domain]

See if you already qualify

There is a shortcut if you wish to call it that. In March, 2014 the government announced that it was planning to fast-track citizenship applications for members of the Canadian Armed Forces, CAF. Bill C-24 became law on June 19, 2014. This means that there is now a kind of fast-track process for non-Canadian members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to become citizens of Canada without meeting the residence requirement.

The general requirements for citizenship for a non-Canadian member of the CAF are essentially the same as anyone else applying to be a Canadian citizen with 2 important exceptions:

  • Your years of service in the CAF replace your residence requirements in a normal application.
  • Your requirements to file income taxes are less than a normal application.

 

Service Requirements

  • You must have completed 1095 days (3 years) service with or in the CAF in the 6 years immediately preceding the date of your application. Service means:
    • Any time spent serving as a Regular or Reserve Force member of the CAF, whether full-time or part-time.
    • Any time spent serving as a foreign military member attached or seconded to the CAF.

If you are no longer a member of the CAF, you must have been released honourably.

 

Income Tax Filing Requirements

Income tax filings for 3 of the last 6 years immediately preceding the date of application must be shown. This only applies to applications dated June 11, 2015 or later. If you applied between June 19, 2014 and before June 11, 2015; then the income tax requirement does not apply to you.

Requirements Normal Application CAF Member On or after June 11, 2015
Residency or Service 3 years of 5 preceding years residency  NO RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT - 3 years service in CAF
Income Tax  File taxes in 3 of 5 preceding years File taxes in 3 of 6 preceding years
Total Time to Citizenship (from time you become PR) 3 years (assuming you meet all remaining requirements) 3 years (assuming you meet all remaining requirements)

Do you have what it takes to join the CAF? If you do, then joining the CAF is one tough short-cut towards Canadian citizenship. Just remember, getting through 3 years of military service is not an easy task, although you might try a part-time service with the Reserve Forces. Either way you will be serving Canada, and you will gain the benefit of a shortened residence/service period. As well, your application will processed on a priority basis at your local office. All in all, it may be good deal for those tough enough to qualify for and endure military training.

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Do You meet the Residence Requirements?


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