Can I lose my permanent resident status if I spend time outside Canada?

3. Consider becoming a Canadian citizen

If you're a Canadian citizen, it does not matter how much time you spend outside Canada. You don't lose your citizenship just because you're away. And you have the right to return to Canada.

Many permanent residents apply for citizenship as soon as they can show that they qualify. For example, you need to show that you've spent enough time in Canada.

The general rule is that in the 5 years before you apply to be a citizen, you've been in Canada for at least 3 years. This is the same as 1,095 days. These days don't have to be all in a row. There are rules about how to calculate the number of days.

Waiting to apply

For some people, there are reasons to wait or to not apply at all. For example, applying for citizenship could lead to you losing your status if:

  • you're a , and
  • within the past 5 years you've been to the country that you were afraid to return to.

So it's important to get legal help if you're not sure if you should apply for citizenship.

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