How to Become a Canadian Citizen From a United States Citizen

By Jackie Whalen
We Stand On Guard For Thee

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There are certain requirements a United States citizen must meet in order to become a Canadian citizen. The Canadian Citizenship Act mandates that you must be 18 or older and be a permanent resident of Canada. You must live in Canada for at least three out of the last four years before applying to become a Canadian citizen. In addition, you must be able to communicate in English and/or French and have basic knowledge of Canadian history and customs.

Fill out the Application for Canadian Citizenship. You can get the application from the Citizenship and Immigration website. There is a link to the website under Resources. An Application for Canadian Citizenship is also listed under Resources.

Take photos. You will need two citizenship photos for your application. Photo specifications are listed under Resources. Write your name on the back of each photo. Sign the front of the photo in black or blue ink in the white area.

Gather documents. You will need copies of certain documents to apply for citizenship. You will need a copy of your permanent resident card or Record of Landing document and two forms of identification, one of which must have your photo.

Pay the $100 filing fee. There are two ways to pay the fee. You can pay online, which is the preferred method, or you can pay at a local Canadian bank. A link to pay online is located on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. If you pay online, be sure to print your payment receipt. You will need to include this with your application. You will need to order Receipt Form IMM 5401 to be mailed to you before paying at a bank. You will need to take this receipt with you to the bank when you pay. You can order a receipt form from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

Mail your application, copies of all documents, citizenship photos and payment receipt to:

Citizenship and Immigration Canada Case Processing Centre - Sydney P.O. Box 7000 Sydney, Nova Scotia B1P 6V6.

Be sure not to staple or attach the photos in any way to the application.

Take the Canadian Citizenship test. You will receive a notice in the mail to report for the test. The test will examine your basic knowledge of Canada and your language skills. If you pass the test, the citizenship judge will determine if you meet all the other requirements to become a citizen. If you meet all the other requirements, you will attend a citizenship ceremony.

Attend the Citizenship Ceremony. You will receive a notice on when and where to report for the ceremony. You must bring your original permanent resident card or original Record of Landing document with you to the ceremony. At the ceremony, you will take the oath of citizenship and officially become a Canadian citizen. You will be given a certificate of citizenship at the end of the ceremony.

About the Author

Based in Buffalo, N.Y., Jackie Whalen has been writing since 2007. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in religious studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is currently a third-year law student.

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