Canada is one of the top countries for international migrants, while Canada was ranked the top country in the world for quality of life in 2020! This is due to many reasons, such as our growing economy and job market, quality educational institutions, universal healthcare, the diverse population, political stability, and many more. All of these factors contribute to a better, longer, and happier life in Canada, as a Canadian Citizen. So, why not Canada?
Canada’s economy and job market continue to grow. The three major industries in Canada are the service industry, manufacturing, and the natural resource sector. Did you know that the service industry employs ¾ of the population? Different industries flourish in different provinces and each province is known around the nation for its spectacular economy.
Also, of note, Canada is known around the globe for quality education at all levels. As an international student in Canada, you can enjoy the same freedoms that protect all Canadians, including human rights, equality, and peaceful society. Canadian education opens the doors to employment and business opportunities and successful life in Canada when you complete your studies.
Canada is known as a ‘cultural mosaic’ around the world. A cultural mosaic encourages different cultures, languages, and ethnic groups to preserve their culture and share it with Canada. Canada thrives on multiculturalism and relies on foreign nationals to preserve this ideology. Canada is a bilingual country with two official languages, English and French. Many businesses and all government institutions offer services in both languages. Canada recognizes the hardships and long history of Aboriginal Peoples. The government strives to create a better life for Aboriginal communities and reserves. The government does this by introducing policies to regulate Indigenous self-government, having a National Aboriginal Day, announcing a historical formal apology for residential schools, and regularly promotes the culture and importance of Aboriginal life in Canada.
After Permanent Residents meet their residency requirements in Canada, they can apply for Citizenship. There are several advantages to expanding your Permanent Resident status to applying for Canadian Citizenship. Here are the top reasons why Canadian Permanent Residents want to have Canadian Citizenship:
The Right to All Jobs
Canada’s diverse economy and strong job market is a reason why foreign nationals come here to work. Canadian Citizens are generally eligible for more jobs. Although foreign nationals with work permits, study permits, and permanent residency have the right to work in Canada, citizenship can guarantee the opportunity of applying for all jobs. Some jobs in Canada require citizenship and security clearances. Security clearances are only given to citizens. In addition to jobs that require high-security clearance, citizens can also work for the government. Government jobs are the most stable jobs in the country, with high-paying salaries and benefits.
Protection Under Canadian Law
Canadian Citizens are protected under all Canadian laws and have specific rights and freedoms guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (“the Charter”). The Charter sets out the rights and freedoms that are necessary for the democratic system that Canada operates in. The Charter is unique to Canada and is unlike laws in other countries. The Charter explicitly states the rights of citizens, including fundamental freedoms such as freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly, and freedom of association; democratic rights; mobility rights; language rights; and legal rights such as the right to life, liberty, and security of the person and your rights upon arrest or detention. The Charter ensures that Canadians are protected, and the democratic values of Canada are prominent in society.
Permanent residents do not have the right to vote during federal, provincial, and municipal elections. The democracy of Canada flourishes by giving citizens the right to vote who represents them in government. Citizens can play an important role in shaping politics by voting. Federal, provincial, and municipal elections are all held every four years. Canadian Citizens also have the right to hold political office. This gives citizens the ability to be involved in political activities within their city, province, or country. The right to vote and the right to run for office are protected under the Canadian Charter.
A Canadian Passport
A Canadian passport is one of the top passports in the world. When you become a Canadian Citizen, you can apply for a Canadian passport. A passport is a much easier process to renew than a PR card. A Canadian passport allows you to travel to several countries without the requirement of applying for a visitor visa (168 countries at the time of writing), and if a visa is required, a Canadian passport makes the visa process easier. A Canadian passport also grants you access to Canadian diplomatic and consular offices in several countries if you require help while you are abroad and in some cases access to consular services with other commonwealth countries as a matter of courtesy.
Canada is a country that recognizes dual citizenship. If your country of origin also recognizes dual citizenship, you may have the privilege of holding two passports. Dual citizenship can offer certain benefits in both countries. Over 60 countries currently recognize dual citizenship. If your country of origin does not recognize dual citizenship, you have to make the choice of citizenship and recognize the implications, such as tax requirements. This is a really an individualized process and there are a number of factors that need to be weighed out when looking at having multiple citizenships or giving one up.
Your Children’s Status
If you have Canadian Citizenship, so will your children. Even if they are born in Canada or another country, having at least one naturalized Canadian parent will automatically grant them citizenship. Your children do not have to go through the citizenship process as you did and have all the rights and benefits to citizenship that you hold.
Security & Mobility Protections
Canadian Citizenship provides a sense of security to naturalized citizens. Canadian Citizens cannot be deported. There are no residency requirements as a citizen like there is for permanent and temporary residents. Canadian citizens have the right to enter, remain in, and leave Canada, as protected under the Charter. Citizens also can leave the country for as long as they like, without losing the status of citizenship. You also have the freedom to live wherever you want in Canada. From the mountainous areas of Western Canada to the urban centers in Central Canada, to the Maritimes in Eastern Canada.
The residency requirements for permanent residency are limited, and you can lose your PR status if you do not stay in Canada for the required amount of time. Citizens have the security of knowing they can never lose their status. Unlike a PR who could be subject to deportation, a citizen cannot lose their status if they were to commit a crime.
Canadian Citizenship does not require any renewal of immigration documentation. PR cards have to be renewed every five years; citizens do not need to worry about this. Processing fees and timing are issues that PR’s face every five years. As citizens do not need to renew any documentation, you have the security of knowing your status will always exist, without renewal. You can only lose your Canadian Citizenship if you choose to renounce it.
Continuation of Social Benefits
As a Canadian citizen, you continue to have the social benefits that are provided as permanent residents. These benefits include basic healthcare, free education at the primary and secondary level, employment insurance, student loans, and more!
How to Apply for Canadian Citizenship
You are eligible for a Canadian citizenship if you are a permanent resident of Canada who has lived in Canada for three of the last five years. You must have also filed your taxes if you needed to. To apply for a Canadian citizenship, you must pass the citizenship test and prove your language skills.
Canada has two official languages: English and French. If you are between the ages of 18 to 54, you are required to show that you can speak and listen in one of the two official languages. There are a number of ways that your language skills are measured, which includes:
You will also need to score a Level 4 or higher on the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB).
If you are between 18 to 54 years old on the date of your citizenship application, you must undertake the Canadian citizenship test. This test will ask you questions about the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizens, and about Canada’s history, geography, economy, government, laws, and symbols. The test may be taken in either English or French. It is 30 minutes long and consists of 20 multiple choice and true or false questions. You must answer 15 of 20 questions correctly to pass the test.
After you have taken the test, you will meet with a citizenship official for an interview. During this interview, the official will give you the results of the test and check your language skills. The official will also go over your application and original documents and ask you questions about them. This is to make sure that you meet all the requirements for obtaining citizenship.
What Happens if You Don’t Pass Your Test?
Don’t worry! If you do not pass your first written test, but meet all the other requirements for citizenship, you will be scheduled for a second test. The second test usually happens four to eight weeks following the first test, which will give you plenty of time to study.
If you do not pass your second test, you will be sent a notice telling you that you have a meeting with a citizenship official. This hearing will last between 30 to 90 minutes and is conducted either in person or through teleconference. The hearing may be used to assess your knowledge of Canada and your language skills. If you do not pass your third test, your citizenship application will be refused. This is not the end, however! You can always re-apply and try again.
Should you have any questions about Canadian Citizenship, feel free to reach out to us and we will surely get you started to understand the options that are available to you!
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