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Who can apply

To become a Canadian citizen, most applicants must

  • be a permanent resident

  • have lived in Canada for at least 3 out of the last 5 years (1,095 days)

  • have filed your taxes, if you need to

  • pass a citizenship test

  • prove your language skills in English or French

Other requirements may apply.

Record your trip outside Canada

As a temporary or permanent resident, it’s a good idea to write down your trips outside Canada by air, land, or boat, including day trips to the United States. You’ll need this information when you apply for a new Permanent Residence card and when you apply for citizenship.

The travel journal is an easy way to record trips outside Canada. Keep it with your passport or other travel documents. This is not an official document and we don’t need to see it. It’s just to help you remember your trips. You won’t need to send it to us with your application.

What to record

  • The date you left and the date you came back to Canada, even if it’s the same day

  • Countries you visited

  • Why you left – give examples like vacation, work, family, etc.

  • Include any day trips (less than 24 hours), including to the United States

  • When the journal is full, keep it safe and print a new copy

Study Guide-Discover Canada

You can download the Study Guide- Discover Canada here:

Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship is used by newcomers to study for the citizenship test. It also contains information about the history of Canadahow our government workssymbols of Canada and its regions.

Prepare for the citizenship test and interview

Who has to take the test and go to the interview?

Whether you have to take the test or go to the interview depends on your age and application.

What’s on the test

The test shows us what you know about Canada. We’ll ask you 20 questions about the rights and responsibilities of Canadians and Canada’s: history, geography, economy, government, laws, symbols

We base the test questions on the official citizenship study guide: Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship. We don’t use the citizenship test to assess your language skills in English or French.

Study for the test

Use our official study guide, Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship, to study for your test. You can start studying for the test at any time.

Get your test and interview date

You may be invited to take the citizenship test within weeks after we send you the acknowledgment of receipt (AOR) letter.

About 1 to 2 weeks before the test, we’ll send you a notice with the date, time, and location.

Taking the test

The test is:

  • in English or French

  • 30 minutes long

  • 20 questions

  • multiple-choice and true or false questions

You need to get 15 correct answers to pass the test.

Your test is usually written but may be oral. A citizenship official may decide on test day that you will have an oral test instead of a written one. We base the type of test on a number of things. For example, if you have trouble reading and writing in English or French, you’ll have an oral test. An oral test is given by a citizenship official at a hearing.

In some cases, the hearing will take place on the original test date. In most cases, it will take place 4 to 8 weeks after the original test date. If it’s later, we’ll send you a notice with the date, time, and location.

After the test: result, interview, and next steps

After the test, you’ll meet with a citizenship official for an interview. During the interview, the citizenship official will:

  • give you the results of your test, if you had one

  • check your language skills, if you’re between 18 and 54 years of age

  • verify your application and original documents

  • ask any questions we may have about your application

  • make sure you meet all the requirements for citizenship

If you pass and meet the other requirements for citizenship, we may:

  • give you a ceremony date at the same time we give you the test results or

  • email or send you a letter with the date and time of your ceremony

What happens if you don’t pass your first test

If you don’t pass your first written test, but meet the other requirements for citizenship, we will schedule you for a second test. The second test usually takes place 4 to 8 weeks after the first test, but it may be longer.

If you don’t pass your second test, we’ll send you a notice telling you to attend a hearing with a citizenship official. The hearing:

  • will last 30 to 90 minutes

  • may be in person or by videoconference

  • may be used to assess one or more requirements for citizenship, for example:

    • knowledge of Canada

    • language

If you don’t pass the test after 3 tries, we’ll refuse your application. You can re-apply to try again.

When you apply with your family, we process all applications together. If you have to re-write the test or go to a hearing, your family may be invited to a ceremony before you. If you want us to continue processing all the applications together, ask us to pause your family’s applications. We’ll wait until you meet all the requirements so the whole family is invited to the same citizenship ceremony and can become citizens at the same time.

The Citizenship Ceremony

Who has to take the oath?

Adults and children aged 14 or over must go to the citizenship ceremony and take the oath.

Parents will get certificates of citizenship for their children under age 14. Children under age 14 don’t have to go, but are welcome to.

If you’re not available on the day of your ceremony, send us a message to explain why and get a new date. If you don’t give an explanation or your explanation isn’t reasonable, we may stop processing your application and not grant you citizenship. You can either:

  • email or write to the office that sent you the notice (within 30 days of the appointment) or

  • use the online web form

Generally, once we receive your message, we’ll schedule your ceremony on a different day. We’ll let you know by email if you gave us your email address or letter mail if we don’t have your email address.

What to bring

When you come to the ceremony, bring:

  • your ceremony notice

  • a signed copy of the Permission Release and Consent form (included with the notice)

  • permanent resident card if you have one (even if it’s expired) or Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM5292 or IMM5688)

  • Record of Landing (IMM 1000) if you become a permanent resident before June 28, 2002

  • 2 pieces of personal identification (ID)

    • one piece of ID must have your photograph and signature, for example driver’s license, health card, or permanent resident card

    • foreign ID documents must be government-issued, Canadian ones don’t need to be government-issued

    • if they’re not in English or French, you must provide a translation with an affidavit from the translator

    • minors are not required to show identification with a signature

  • all your passports and travel documents, current and expired, that you listed on the application form

  • optional: a holy book, of your choice, if you want to use one to swear the Oath of Citizenship

What happens at the ceremony

During your ceremony, you will:

  • take the Oath of Citizenship

  • get your citizenship certificate

  • sign the Oath or Affirmation of Citizenship form

  • sing the national anthem, O Canada

A citizenship judge or official will preside over the ceremony and lead the Oath of Citizenship. Many people will take the oath with you. The ceremony official will say the oath in English and in French. As a group, you’ll repeat the words to the oath after the official. You must repeat the oath in at least one of the official languages, but we encourage you to say them in both. You’ll also be invited to sing the bilingual version of the national anthem.

You can swear or affirm the oath. Swearing is for people who want to refer to their religious beliefs and affirming is for people who don’t want to refer to a religious text. If you want to swear the oath on your holy book, bring it with you.

Once you take the Oath of Citizenship, you’ll be a Canadian citizen. We’ll give you your citizenship certificate as proof that you’re a Canadian citizen. It will show the date that you became a citizen. Keep it in a safe place.

Prepare to say the oath and sing the anthem

We’ll give you the words to the oath and the anthem at the ceremony, but you can practice preparing for the ceremony.

Oath of Citizenship

I swear (or affirm)
That I will be faithful
And bear true allegiance
To Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth the Second
Queen of Canada
Her Heirs and Successors
And that I will faithfully observe
The laws of Canada
Including the Constitution
Which recognizes and affirms
The Aboriginal and treaty rights of
First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples
And fulfil my duties
As a Canadian citizen.

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