2. Learn about the language requirement

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

A permanent resident who wants to become a Canadian citizen may need to show that they can speak and understand spoken English or French well enough.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) expects you to be able to:

  • have short conversations about everyday topics
  • understand simple instructions and directions
  • use basic grammar when you speak
  • know enough words to communicate about everyday things

You don't have to do this if:

  • you're younger than 18 years of age
  • you're 55 years of age or older
  • you apply for and get a waiver that says you don't have to show that you know English or French well enough

It's very difficult to get a waiver. So if you want to ask for one, it's important to get legal help.

Proving you meet the language requirement

So, if you're between 18 and 54 years of age, you usually have to show that you can speak and understand:

You prove this by sending in documents with your citizenship application. For example, this can include:

  • a diploma to show you graduated from an English or French-language high school program
  • a degree to show you graduated from an English or French-language university or college program
  • a certificate from a Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC), Cours de langue pour les immigrants au Canada (CLIC), or other course to show you reached
Reviewed: October 4, 2018

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