2.C Settlement and Integration
C.1 What is the status of refugees upon arrival?
(iii) What path(s) to citizenship exist for refugees?
How Canada Does It
Refugees resettled to Canada can apply for Canadian citizenship as soon as they meet the requirements in the following areas:
- Permanent resident status;
- Time lived in Canada (physical presence);
- Income tax filing;
- Language skills;
- Knowledge of Canada; and
Specific citizenship requirements include:
- PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS: Applicants must have permanent resident status.
- TIME LIVED IN CANADA: Applicants must be physically present in Canada for four out of six years before applying for citizenship.
- INCOME TAX FILING: Applicants must have filed their personal income tax in four taxation years within the six years before they apply for citizenship.
- LANGUAGE ABILITIES: Applicants between fourteen and fifty-six years must demonstrate adequate knowledge of either French or English.
- KNOWLEDGE OF CANADA: Applicants between eighteen and fifty-four years must demonstrate understanding of the rights, responsibilities, and privileges of citizenship, as well as knowledge of Canada’s history, values, institutions, and symbols through a citizenship test.
- PROHIBITIONS: Applicants who have committed a crime in or outside of Canada may not be eligible for citizenship for a period of time.
Refugees should consult the Government of Canada’s website to verify the requirements before applying for citizenship, as sometimes the criteria may be amended by Canada.