Canada has remained a popular destination for immigrants looking for economic, political and social stability. The immigrant-friendly federal government along with its provincial governments have not shied away from inviting numerous applicants for Canada Permanent Residence (PR) visa through its express entry system, provincial nominee programs, etc. Eventually, the beneficiaries of Canada PR visa holders end up gaining Canadian citizenship which guarantees additional rights and responsibilities towards Canada.
Is Canada PR visa the same as that of Canadian citizenship?
An individual holding a Canada PR visa is not the same as that of an individual having Canadian citizenship. As simple as it may be, Canada PR status does not guarantee additional rights that Canadian citizenship grants to its holders.
There are primarily two things that an individual holding a Canada PR status cannot compete against an individual with Canadian citizenship. They cannot cast their right to vote or contest in the elections nor hold a high-level government post.
|Canada PR visa||Canadian citizenship|
|A candidate applying to immigrate to Canada through Express Entry Programs, Provincial Nominee Programs, Quebec immigration Programs gets a Canada PR status.||Canadian Citizenship is by birth or naturalisation and eligible individuals holding Canada PR status may apply.|
|An individual with Canada PR card is actually a citizen of another country but is a permanent resident of Canada.||Canadian citizenship allows its holders to become citizens of another country.|
By virtue of holding a Canada PR status, one gets the right to apply for Canadian citizenship. Also, the right to reside, work, and study anywhere in Canada is granted upon them. They can avail free education, free healthcare, unemployment insurance along with access to all other social benefits as enjoyed by the holders of Canadian citizenship.
How to get Canadian citizenship?
Once Canada is decided to the ultimate destination for oneself to settle, Canadian citizenship can be obtained by following these five easy steps: apply for Canada PR visa through federal, provincial programs, then fulfil the criteria for citizenship for naturalisation which is 1,095 days out of the 5 years on Canada PR visa. Once the foundation is laid, apply for Canadian citizenship test and get a chance to attend citizenship ceremony.
How long does it take to get Canadian citizenship?
Processing time determines how quickly an application for Canadian citizenship is accepted. It is calculated from the time authorities receive a complete application until the decision is made on a particular profile. Typically, the processing time depends upon the type of application submitted, ease of verification of submitted profile and other factors.
In order to qualify for Canadian citizenship, the applicants must fulfil the following criteria:
- Must hold a Canada PR status. Minors need not meet the residency requirement.
- Language proficiency in English or French.
- Should have stayed in for at least 1,095 days out of the 5 years on Canada PR visa before applying for Canadian citizenship
- Should have duly filled taxes for at least 3 years during the last 5 years
The applicants for Canadian citizenship with a past criminal record is outrightly rejected by IRCC.
What are the language requirements for Canadian citizenship?
English and French are the two official languages of Canada. IRCC has made proficiency in any one of the two languages mandatory in order to accept an application for Canadian citizenship. IRCC has set the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4 as the language assessment test for Canadian Citizenship.
CLB level 4 as the language assessment for Canadian citizenship would mean that the candidate is proficient in understanding day-to-day conversation, ask or answer simple questions, has a basic understanding of language grammar.
Apart from the language proficiency criteria, other tests for Canadian citizenship involves a written test in multiple-choice format. Only the applicants aged between 18-54 years are required to take the Canadian citizenship test. The questions are based on the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship. IRCC reserves the right to allow candidates to take Canadian citizenship test orally. Finally, an interview is conducted to assess the applicants’ communication skills.
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