You must meet the physical presence requirements to be eligible for Canadian citizenship.

You can become a Canadian citizen if you meet certain eligibility requirements, including physical presence. Before applying for Canadian citizenship, you must have lived in the country for at least three years or 1,095 days in the previous five years. The calculation period begins on the day you were granted permanent residency.

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If you were a temporary resident or Protected Person in Canada before becoming a permanent resident, you can count some of that time toward your physical presence requirement. Each half-day spent in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person in the previous five years counts as one day. As a temporary resident or protected person, you can count up to one year or 365 days toward the physical presence requirement.

It is important to note that if you are claiming time as a Protected Person, the only days you are allowed to claim towards your physical presence requirement are those between both the time you received a positive Protected Person decision on your refugee claim or PRRA Application and the day you arrived in the country.

Time spent outside of Canada will not be counted toward the 1,095 days required for Canadian citizenship unless there are exceptional circumstances. Canadian citizenship judges will consider the specific facts and individual circumstances of each case when determining whether exceptional circumstances exist. The following are some of the factors that may lead to the 1,095-day rule being broken in some cases:

  • Except for recent absences that occurred immediately first before application for Canadian citizenship was submitted, the applicant is physically present in Canada for the majority of the required period.
  • Even if the applicant frequently leaves Canada, the applicant’s immediate family and dependents remain in Canada.
  • The applicant’s overall pattern of physical presence in Canada suggests that he or she does not simply “pay a visit” to Canada.
  • Despite frequent absences, the total number of days spent away from Canada is relatively low.
  • The physical absence from Canada is due to a clearly temporary situation, such as temporary employment or study abroad.
  • The applicant’s connection to Canada is stronger than any other country, as evidenced by the applicant’s involvement in Canadian work and business ventures, community organizations, and payment of Canadian income tax.

Eligibility for Canadian Citizenship

To be eligible for Canadian citizenship, you must meet a number of requirements. You must, in addition to meeting Canada’s physical presence requirements,:

  • Becoming a resident permanently
  • Submit your taxes (if necessary)
  • Pass a citizenship test in Canada (if you are between the ages of 18 and 54)
  • Demonstrate your language skills (if you are between the ages of 18 and 54)

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