1. Learn about the residency requirement

Do I qualify to become a Canadian citizen?
This question has an answer and 5 steps
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1. Learn about the residency requirement

A permanent resident who wants to become a Canadian citizen must show that they they've spent enough time in Canada. This is called meeting the residency requirement.

This means that in the 5 years before you apply to be a citizen, you must have been in Canada for at least 3 years. This is the same as 1,095 days.

The residency requirement to become a citizen is not the same as the residency obligation to keep your permanent resident status.

The best way to figure out how much time you've spent in Canada is to use the government's Physical Presence Calculator.

You can also print and fill out the form called How to Calculate Physical Presence.

Time spent in Canada before becoming a permanent resident

You can include days that you were in Canada before you became a permanent resident only if you were a temporary resident or a protected person. So, for example, you can't include any days when you were a refugee claimant or did not have any status.

Each day you were here as a temporary resident or protected person counts as only half a day towards the 3 years you need before you can apply to be a citizen.

And the 3 years can't include more than 365 days that are based on those half days. So to add up to 3 years, you need at least 2 years as a permanent resident.

Time spent serving a sentence

Usually, you can't include days when you were serving a sentence for a crime that you committed in Canada. This includes a sentence of imprisonment or probation, and time on parole.

And if you were ordered to pay a fine, your sentence does not end until you pay it.

But you can include those days if you successfully completed your sentence and:

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Reviewed: October 4, 2018

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