Compared to major Western countries, Canada has one of the highest percentages of immigrants who obtain citizenship.
Citizenship refers to the legal status of a person. Canadian citizenship can be obtained either by birth or through a process called “naturalization”.
Immigrants who come to Canada and meet certain criteria may be eligible for Canadian citizenship by naturalization. Obtaining Canadian citizenship is the last step in the immigration process for many immigrants. It is a key indicator of successful integration and allows immigrants to vote, enter politics, and improve employment opportunities.
Major benefits of a Canadian Citizen
By becoming Canadian citizens, people have the right to participate in Canadian politics. This right can take the form of participation in federal, provincial, and municipal elections as a voter. It can also mean running for office or participating in the management of the various levels of government that exist in Canada.
Becoming a Canadian citizen also gives access to several jobs that require a high level of security, such as jobs at the federal level.
Also, Canadian law allows dual or multiple nationalities. This means that once a person becomes a Canadian citizen, they do not have to choose between their new citizenship and that of their country of origin.
Besides, children born in Canada to parents who are Canadian citizens become Canadian citizens without having to go through an application process.
Finally, Canadian citizens hold a passport, which makes it easier for them to travel to many countries without a visa and makes it easier to obtain visas if necessary. A passport also reduces the risk of encountering problems when entering Canada.
What is the eligibility for Canadian citizenship?
A person must meet various eligibility criteria to apply for Canadian citizenship:
- They must have Canadian permanent resident status;
- They must have lived in Canada for at least three years (or at least 1,095 days) of the last five years before applying;
- They must be able to speak one or both of Canada’s official languages (English or French) well enough to communicate in Canadian society;
- They cannot have a criminal history considered to preclude the granting of Canadian citizenship; and
- They must pass a test to prove that they know the rights and responsibilities of citizens and have a basic knowledge of geography, political system, and history of Canada.
The government requests that documents be provided as evidence in support of the above eligibility criteria. After that, one of the most important steps is to take a citizenship test and pass a citizenship interview, which usually takes place after applying.
Most of the eligible immigrants apply for Canadian Citizenship
Canada recognizes the importance of immigrants and relies heavily on immigration to develop its economy and strengthen its social fabric.
It provides strong settlement services to immigrants selected for permanent residence that promote their participation in all aspects of Canadian society, which contributes to their success and transition to Canadian citizenship.
At the same time, when naturalized immigrants are compared to non-naturalized immigrants who are permanent residents, studies confirm that acquiring citizenship has a positive effect on immigrant earnings and labor market outcomes.
Although the proportion of immigrants who become Canadian citizens varies widely depending on the period of immigration considered and other factors such as education and income, for example, most immigrants who are eligible for Canadian citizenship, they eventually acquire.