Apply for Canadian Citizenship Online With Representatives
Some applicants who have representatives can now apply online to become Canadian citizens. Although the representatives still cannot apply on their behalf. The Canadian citizenship online application website is now live and open to eligible permanent residents to apply to become citizens with a few clicks of a mouse.
However, the Canadian citizenship online application portal is open to applicants who have representatives, but the representatives will not be able to apply on their behalf until maybe sometime next year.
About the Canadian Citizenship Online Application
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) actually released the online application tool in late 2020 but was just testing it to determine its real-world capabilities. The final version went live on Aug. 11. However, the IRCC expanded its online portal to include applications from applicants who have representatives on November 30.
“These applicants will still need to complete, sign, date, and submit the application themselves and must not share their account access or password with anyone, including their representative,” IRCC said in an email. “Representatives cannot yet apply online on behalf of an applicant, but they can still provide advice on completing the application and they can communicate with IRCC on the applicant’s behalf after the online application is submitted.”
However, this is the latest move in modernizing the Canadian citizenship online application system. Single applicants have been able to apply for citizenship online since August. Although the IRCC will open the online application website to families (groups) and minors under 18 years of age later this year and to representatives to apply on behalf of their clients and clients who are declaring a residence outside Canada as a Crown servant or with a crown servant family member in 2022.
Moreover, recently, Canada also started accepting proof of citizenship applications online. These documents allow the foreign-born children of Canadians to prove their right to citizenship.
Eligibility Requirements for Canadian Citizenship Online Application
However, at this time, you can only apply online if you:
- are eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship
- have a valid email address
- are at least 18 years of age when you submit your online application
- are applying for yourself only (not with your family)
- If in your physical presence calculation, you do not include time spent outside Canada as a Crown servant or, a family member of a crown servant.
If you don’t meet the criteria above, you can only apply on paper at this time. However, the IRCC is working to make sure that more people can apply online in the future. Moreover, do not apply online if you’ve already applied on paper, as your paper application is still being processed.
General Eligibility Requirements for Canadian Citizenship
However, to be eligible to become a Canadian citizen, you must:
- be a permanent resident
- have lived in Canada for 3 out of the last 5 years
- have filed your taxes, if you need to
- pass a citizenship test
- prove your language skills
You can check your eligibility by trying to answer some questions to help you find out if you are ready to apply for Canadian citizenship. However, these questions are only for adults (age 18 and over) who want to apply for citizenship.
Moreover, there are additional or different requirements if you are:
- applying for a minor (under age 18)
- a Canadian applying for your adopted child born outside Canada
- a current or former Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) member applying under the fast-track process
- a past Canadian citizen who want your Canadian citizenship back (including current and former CAF members)
Furthermore, if you are a spouse of a Canadian citizen; you don’t automatically become a citizen when you marry a Canadian. However, you must meet the same requirements listed above (no exception).
The Oath of New Canadian Citizenship and Ceremony
Taking the Oath of Citizenship at a citizenship ceremony is the final step to becoming a Canadian citizen. Citizenship ceremonies take place across the country and at all times of the year.
Those permanent residents who do succeed in qualifying for Canadian citizenship will be among the first to take an oath that recognizes Canada’s indigenous peoples. “The oath of citizenship is more than words. It’s a declaration of belonging,” tweeted Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino earlier this year.
“The oath will now recognize First Nations, Inuit and Métis rights and treaties, fulfilling (the Truth and Reconciliation Commission) call to action 94 and ensuring new Canadians understand their important role in our past and present.”
However, the words to the citizenship oath were changed through Bill C-8, An Act to Amend the Citizenship Act, on June 6 and came into effect the following day.
Under the previous oath of citizenship, new Canadians stated: “I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.”
But the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), whose mandate was to inform Canadians about what had happened during the time the residential schools were in operation, came back with a recommendation six years ago to change the oath of citizenship.
Moreover, in its six-volume final report to Canada’s federal government, the TRC made 94 recommendations after spending six years hearing more than 6,500 witnesses across the country. However, Ottawa has decided to act on several of those recommendations and the change to the oath of citizenship, modified slightly from what the TRC had proposed, is one of those changes.
Who Has to Take the Oath
Adults and children aged 14 or over must go to the citizenship ceremony and take the oath. While 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.
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Canadian Citizenship Ceremony Date
About 1 to 2 weeks before the ceremony, the IRCC will send you a notice with the date, time, and location. The ceremony will usually take place within 3 months after your test.
Moreover, you should bring the following when you come to the ceremony:
- 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 became 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 care, 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 Citizenship Ceremony
Furthermore, during the 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.
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