Permanent Residence is the goal of all Canadian immigration programs. In fact, if you want to become a Canadian citizen, you must become a Permanent Resident first. There are many benefits to being a permanent resident in Canada. However, not all the benefits of Canadian life are included with permanent residency. Canadian citizenship has its own benefits too. Here we will explain the differences between Canadian permanent residency and citizenship. Also, we will go over the citizenship application process.
Benefits of Permanent Residency
Permanent Residents get many of the same benefits as Canadian Citizens. This includes social benefits like healthcare coverage. Also, Permanent Residents have protection under Canadian law and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Additionally, you can live, work, and study anywhere in Canada. Naturally, Permanent Residency gives you the right to apply for Canadian citizenship.
Despite these benefits, Permanent Residency has certain limitations and responsibilities that are not present in citizenship. First, it is possible to lose your permanent residency. Admittedly, this is very rare, but it can happen if you live outside of Canada for 2 years as a permanent resident. Second, travel outside of Canada requires a PR card. Travel itself Is unrestricted, but the PR card must be renewed frequently. Both limits do not affect citizens.
Benefits of Canadian Citizenship
Canadian Citizenship shares all the benefits of Permanent Residency and adds a few more. First, and most notable, citizenship allows you to vote. Canadian elections take place every four years, and any citizen can participate if they are over 18. Additionally, you can run for office yourself once you are a Canadian citizen.
Citizenship also removes the limits of Permanent Residency. First, you cannot lose your citizenship status unless you choose to do so. Therefore, you can live outside of Canada for as long as you like. However, your voting rights are suspended if you live out of the country for more than 5 years. Finally, citizenship allows you to receive a Canadian passport. This makes travel simpler than with Permanent Residency
An additional benefit of Canadian citizenship is that you get to keep your current citizenship. The Canadian government has recognized multiple citizenship since 1977. This means that you can be a citizen of more than one country if you become a Canadian citizen.
Applying for Citizenship
Applying to become a Canadian citizen is relatively simple. The basic requirements are also easy to meet once you have become a Permanent Resident. First, you need to have lived in Canada for 3 years in total. Additionally, you need to have filed your taxes for 3 years. You need to meet these requirements on the day you sign as a citizen.
The process itself begins on this page of the government site. From that site you download the application packages that correspond to you and your family members. Once you fill in the application you pay the fee and mail in your application. Finally, once your application is accepted you write the citizenship test. Thankfully, steps were taken in 2017 to speed up the process.
How Can I Begin?
The first step to becoming a Canadian Citizen is becoming a Permanent Resident. However, this process can be complex and unique to each case. At Gentium Immigration, we strive to help people get their Permanent Residency. The first step you can take is to book a free pre-consultation. This process is free and only requires you to fill out this simple survey. Once complete, an agent will contact you within 48 hours. We hope to hear from you!