Canadian Immigration is always an exciting topic that always has a variety of changes to help improve the first steps that future Canadians take towards starting life in ‘The Great White North.’

Well, one of the most exciting changes just happened in October 2017 and it involves you, your IELTS exam, and your Canadian citizenship!


Firstly, what exactly is Canadian citizenship and why do so many people want to obtain it?

In many ways, a Canadian citizenship means more opportunities for you and your family.

By being a Canadian citizen, you can vote, run for office, not have to worry about visas to re-enter Canada and for many people, this passport really symbolizes their acceptance of being Canadian.


So how can you become a Canadian citizen?

There are three main ways to do this.

The first two are pretty straightforward: either be born in Canada or have Canadian parents.

The third option is to immigrate, meet your residency requirements, and then apply.

In order to understand this third option, it is important to know the difference between Canadian Permanent Residency and Canada Citizenship.

Generally, when someone immigrates to Canada, they obtain permanent residency.

Currently, there are more than 50 immigration options for people to obtain permanent residence in Canada and after arriving in Canada and starting a life here, the permanent resident can qualify for Canadian citizenship.

To make sure that your transition to becoming a permanent resident and then citizen goes as smoothly as possible, using the services of a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant is a great idea so that they can advise you on which program you are best qualified for. They are also there to make sure that your application is as strong as possible so that you can concentrate on getting ready for your ‘big move’ instead of spending months trying to navigate immigration paperwork.


Once PR is obtained, how long does a person need to be in Canada as a Permanent Resident before they can apply for citizenship?

This is the exciting part because most Permanent Residents now need to stay in Canada for a total of 3 of the last 5 years.

Prior to October, 2017, it was 4 out of 6 years, so this is definitely great news for future and current Canadians!

In addition to this, you can now claim up to a maximum of 1 year towards these 3 years if you were a temporary resident in Canada during the last 5 years!

This time spent as a temporary resident counts as half, so if you studied in Canada for 2 years, then became a Permanent Resident and remained in Canada for 2 years, well guess what?!? You might qualify for Canadian Citizenship!


So is that all? I just have to stay in Canada for the required amount of time?

No. You’ll need to have proof that you paid your income taxes and, if you are 18 to 54 years old, you will need to be able to prove your English or French language skills.
You can do this by taking either the TEF, TEFAQ, CELPIP or IELTS General and obtaining a minimum score of CLB 4.

For IELTS General, this means obtaining a Band 4 in Speaking and Band 4.5 in Listening. You won’t need the writing and reading results for citizenship.

Remember that your exam results are valid for 2 years from the exam date, so you can plan ahead.

Some people might not have to take a language exam in order to qualify for Canadian Citizenship, but most do.

Here is a list of people who are exempt from this language requirement.


What about the citizenship exam?

If you are 18 to 54 years old, you will need to take the Citizenship Test, which will assess your knowledge of Canada, including Canadian history, culture, rights, government, etc.

Much in the same way that there is a mountain of preparation materials to help you achieve your IELTS goals, there is also a large amount of support to help you pass your citizenship test!

Finally, you will attend your citizenship ceremony, which will definitely be a day you’ll remember for the rest of your life.


Let’s take the first steps today and see if you qualify for a Canadian immigration program!

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