I’m a senior. Can I get Old Age Security?

Learn about the residency requirements

How long you have to “reside” in Canada to get depends on whether you're living inside or outside Canada when you apply. These are called the residency requirements.

What residing in Canada means

Residing in Canada is the period of time you ordinarily live and make your home in Canada. Simply being present in Canada for a period of time, such as being here on a visit, does not count. 

Canadian citizens working for a Canadian employer outside Canada may be able to count the time they work outside Canada as if they were residing here.

Living in Canada when you apply

If you live inside Canada when you apply for OAS, you must have resided in Canada with legal status for at least 10 years:

  • since you were 18 years old, and
  • at the time of your application.

Living outside Canada when you apply

If you live outside Canada when you apply, you must have resided in Canada with legal status for at least 20 years since you were 18 years old.

Having legal status

To get OAS, you must be a Canadian citizen or have legal status in Canada. For example, you have legal status if you're a or , or if you have a .

If you're living in Canada when you apply and are not a Canadian citizen, you must have legal status at the time OAS approves your application.

If you're living outside Canada when you apply and are not a Canadian citizen, you must have had legal status on the day before you left Canada.

Countries that Canada has an agreement with

Even if you do not meet the residency requirements, you may be eligible to get OAS if you lived or worked in a country that Canada has a social security agreement with. Read more in the step called Learn about social security agreements and the countries Canada has them with.

Getting legal help

The residency rules are complicated. You may need to get legal help to find out if you meet the requirements. You can contact a community legal clinic for help.

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