I’m a permanent resident of Canada. Should I apply to become a citizen?
Question & AnswerI’m a permanent resident of Canada. Should I apply to become a citizen?
Learn when permanent residents can be forced to leave Canada
Permanent residents can sometimes be forced to leave Canada for crimes or security reasons.
If you’re convicted of a crime
If you're a and are convicted of a “serious” crime:
- you could lose your permanent resident status,
- you could be , which means being forced to leave Canada, and
- you would not have the right to come back.
What are serious crimes
A crime is serious and can lead to you being deported if:
- the maximum sentence you could get for it is 10 or more years in prison, even if you get a shorter or no time in prison, or
- you get a sentence of more than 6 months in prison for a crime you commit in Canada.
There are many crimes that have a maximum sentence of 10 or more years in prison. Here are some examples:
- assault causing “bodily harm”, such as a knife wound caused by stabbing
- making or using a false document, like a passport or driver's licence
- stealing a credit card or using a stolen credit card
If you belong to a criminal organization
You can also lose your status as a permanent resident if you belong to a criminal organization, for example, a drug-trafficking gang.
If you're a security risk or you act against human or international rights
You can lose your status as a permanent resident for reasons related to security. These reasons include:
- trying to overthrow a government,
- spying for another country against Canada,
- taking part in terrorist activity, or
- belonging to an organization if there are reasonable grounds to believe it has or will do any of the things in this list.
You can also lose your status as a permanent resident if you commit war crimes or crimes against humanity.
Rights that Canadian citizens have
A Canadian citizen can't have their citizenship status taken away unless, when they applied for citizenship or permanent resident status, they:
- said something that was not true, or
- left out information that they were required to give.