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I'm a permanent resident of Canada. Should I apply to become a citizen?

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I'm a permanent resident of Canada. Should I apply to become a citizen?
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I'm a permanent resident of Canada. Should I apply to become a citizen?
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Reviewed: 
October 4, 2018
Answer

For many permanent residents, it's a good idea to apply for Canadian citizenship.

As a permanent resident, you have many of the same rights as a Canadian citizen. But Canadian citizens have rights that permanent residents don't have.

For example, permanent residents can lose their status in Canada for a number of reasons. This means they could be forced to leave, no matter how long they've lived here.

Rights that Canadian citizens have

As a Canadian citizen, you can't be forced to leave Canada unless, when you applied for citizenship or permanent resident status, you:

  • said something that was not true, or
  • left out information you were required to give.

When you become a Canadian citizen, you can vote in elections.

And you can apply for a Canadian passport.

As a Canadian citizen, you always have the right to return to Canada if you leave. You don't lose your status only because of time you spend outside Canada.

Applying for citizenship

Many permanent residents apply for citizenship as soon as they can show that they qualify.

But for some people, there are reasons to wait or to not apply at all. There's more information about this in the Next Steps.

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