5 benefits of becoming a Canadian citizen

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Thinking about applying for citizenship? If you are still weighing the pros and cons, we’ll help you decide.

Here are the five major benefits of becoming a Canadian citizen:

  1. Participation in nation-building

    Citizenship allows you to participate in shaping Canada’s future.

    First, you get voting rights. As a citizen, you are allowed to vote in federal, provincial, and municipal elections. Second, you can run for public office. You can enter politics if you want to have a direct impact on how the country/province/city is run. Third, you can be called to serve jury duty. This is a great way to serve your country and help maintain order and the rule of law.

  2. Security

    You can sleep soundly at night without the thought of having to meet residency requirements or the fear of being deported. As a citizen, you won’t have a limit on the duration of your stay should you need to live abroad for some time.

    You also won’t have to renew your citizenship or worry about losing your status. Not having to renew your PR card saves you the $50 (every five years) processing fee. Processing time is another issue. The current waiting time for the processing of PR cards is around 99 days. This can be inconvenient if you are a frequent traveller. Don’t forget to factor in additional costs and time if you need to renew your passport from your home country. Meanwhile, getting a Canadian passport costs $120 (as of 2024) and it is processed within 10-20 days (depending on the type of service you chose). It’s valid for five years. You can also choose a validity of 10 years but it will cost a little bit more.

  3. Easy travel and consular support

    The Canadian passport is among the top 10 passports in the world. As a citizen, your passport is the key to more than 189 countries with no visa required upon arrival (as of 2024).

    Canada also has more than 270 diplomatic and consular offices in more than 180 countries all over the world. These offices can readily assist you while you are abroad. Here’s a list: Embassies and Consulates.

  4. More job options

    As a citizen, you will now be allowed to compete in federal jobs as well as those that require high-level security clearance. Government jobs are among the most stable and well-paying jobs in Canada. Read: Top 10 reasons to join Canada’s public service.

  5. Your children will be Canadians

    Whether born in Canada or abroad, your kids will become Canadian citizens. They will be the next generation of Canadians who will benefit from the limitless opportunities this great country has to offer.

In addition to all these, you will retain most of the benefits that you were enjoying as a permanent resident. Examples are free basic healthcare and public school education, as well as social services like employment insurance and student government loans.

So what’s not to like? If deciding on citizenship is an emotional choice for you (and you don’t want to renounce your original citizenship), check with your home country’s policies. You may have options for dual citizenship.

If you are interested in applying for citizenship but don’t know how to start, read: Applying for citizenship: A step-by-step guide.
 
Article updated March 6, 2024.
 
Sources: Benefits of Canadian citizenship, CitizenshipCounts.ca; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Retrieved May 8, 2018.

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