Even if you meet the requirements, including knowing English or French and having been in Canada for enough time, you still might not qualify to become a citizen.
You won't qualify for citizenship if:
- there's a removal order that says you must leave Canada
- there are criminal or security reasons that stop you from being eligible
- you give Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) information that's not true and correct or you leave out required information, which is called misrepresentation
If you've been ordered to leave Canada, you don't qualify to become a Canadian citizen.
To find out what you can do to try to stay in Canada, you need to get legal help.
Criminal or security reasons
You might not qualify to become a Canadian citizen because of criminal or security reasons, including:
- being in jail or prison serving a sentence
- serving what's called a conditional sentence
- being on or parole
- being investigated or charged for reasons related to war crimes or crimes against humanity
You also will not qualify if you're charged with a crime that's:
If you're convicted of such a crime, you have to wait 4 years before you can apply for citizenship.
But for certain crimes, you still won't qualify, even if you wait. For example, you don't qualify if:
- you're convicted of a crime that relates to terrorism in Canada's Criminal Code, and
- you get a sentence of at least 5 years in prison.
You don't qualify for citizenship if:
- you gave false information to IRCC, or
- you didn't give IRCC information that you should have.
Doing this is called misrepresentation.
Sometimes IRCC finds out about misrepresentation when you apply for citizenship. For example, this could happen if the information in your citizenship application is different than information in your application for permanent resident status.
If you misrepresent
Misrepresentation can have serious consequences. What happens can depend on things like:
- how serious the misrepresentation was
- the reasons why you misrepresented
- how long you've been in Canada
- what would happen to you if you were forced to leave Canada
The worst thing that could happen would be that:
- you lose your permanent resident status, and
- you're forced to leave Canada.
So if you left out information or gave wrong information in any application you've made to IRCC, get legal advice before you apply for citizenship.
Even if IRCC does not take any other action against you, if they decide that you misrepresented in your application for citizenship, you can't become a citizen. And you'll have to wait 5 years before you can apply again.