You have been a permanent resident for a few years, now you are ready to make the final move to call Canada your home. To be eligible for a grant of Canadian citizenship, you have to meet the residency requirement.
Generally speaking, you must have been physically present in Canada for at least 1095 days in the 5 years immediately before you apply. One thing that is often neglected is that you must have been a permanent resident for a minimum of 2 years. There are some additional things you also need to know about the residency requirement.
- Only the five (5) years immediately before the date of your application are taken into account;
- Each day you were physically present in Canada as an authorized temporary resident or protected person before you became a permanent resident counts as half a day (up to a maximum of 365 days);
If you were in Canada authorized during any period of time, that period of time cannot be counted towards meeting the residency requirement.
A protected person is someone who:
- was found to be in need of protection or a convention refugee by the Immigration and Refugee Board or,
- a person who received a positive decision on a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment from IRCC.
If you made a refugee claim, or were included on a family members refugee claim, you will not be credited time in Canada from the date of the refugee claim until you received a positive decision confirming that you are a protected person as described above.
- Each day you were physically present in Canada after you became a permanent resident counts as one day;
If you were outside Canada while being a permanent resident, the time you spent outside Canada will not be counted towards the physical presence calculation.
- Time spent serving a sentence for an offence in Canada (e.g. serving a term of imprisonment, probation and/or parole) cannot be counted towards your physical presence – there are some exceptions.
- You can count time spent outside Canada toward the physical presence requirement for citizenship if you:
- were a permanent resident employed in or with the: Canadian Armed Forces
federal public administration, public service of a province or territory.
- lived outside Canada with your Canadian spouse or common-law partner or permanent resident spouse, common-law partner, or parent who was employed in or with the: Canadian Armed Forces, federal public administration, public service of a province or territory
This physical residency requirement only uses time after:becoming a permanent resident, your common-law relationship began.
It is always suggested to apply for citizenship after you exceed the residency requirement, to allow any discrepancy or omission of the absence in the calculation. It is required to attach the online physical presence calculator and submit the CIT 0177 Residence Outside Canada form (if applicable) when you apply. IRCC will decide if the time you lived outside Canada can be counted towards the residency requirement.
MEHDI AU LLP has experienced immigration lawyers on staff to assist you in your case.
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