Many have joked about moving to Canada after the 2016 election, but none expected it to come this far. If you are still entertaining the idea of moving, check out below to see if you meet the requirements for getting permanent citizenship. If you meet these requirements and are sure you want to commit to leaving the United States, check Canada’s website for further steps for becoming a citizen.
Have a visa
The obvious first step to become a citizen is to get a visa. You should apply for what you qualify while still in your home country. This processing can take a while, so the sooner the better. You’re Canadian visa lasts for six months, so you’ll need to have a work or school visa, or be married to a Canadian to stay. For every day you live in Canada prior to becoming a permanent resident, you will be granted 1/2 credit.
Make your move.
Once you’ve completed your paperwork, you’re all set to move. When you’re there, you can worry about the finer details like getting a job and signing a lease. Make sure you can prove your current legal residency status. During this time, you will want to start applying for your Permanent Residence Card (PRC), or your Maple Leaf Card.
Obtain a PRC
The PRC will allow you to stay in Canada for an indefinite amount of time. There is paperwork you’ll need to fill out, certain fees to pay and time to wait. This is also MANDATORY — meaning that you can’t go from being a tourist to becoming a citizen.
Stay a while
You’ll have to prove that you’ve been in Canada for 1,460 days to be exact. It doesn’t have to be consecutive as long as you’re there for three out of the four years. Like mentioned before, you get 1/2 a days credit for every day spent in Canada prior to permanent residency, more a reason to get to establish your residency.
Speak English or French well
This is a strict requirement listed on the Canadian government’s website. Most of the residents can speak at least one of these languages fluently, so it’s imperative you are able to communicate effectively.
Know about Canada
Part of the test to become a citizen is showing how much you know about Canada. When you apply you’ll receive a booklet with information, but you can find pretty much everything you need to know online. Beyond stereotypes, you’ll have to know Canadian history including values, institutions and symbols. On their website you can find the complete list of what you’ll need to know.