The answer is no. Citizenship is not automatic when you marry a Canadian. You would have to apply for it. The requirements and process for citizenship will be the same as for everyone else. If you do not live in Canada, and you are not a permanent resident, your spouse (or common-law or conjugal partner) can sponsor you to become a permanent resident. He or she must provide proof that he/she can:
- meet basic needs (food, shelter and clothing) for himself/herself and the family
- support you financially
- make sure that you do not need financial help from the government
For details on eligibility, requirements, and process of application, you can find out more at the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) page: Sponsor your spouse, partner or children.
Prior to April 2017, it was required that sponsored partners of Canadian citizens and permanent residents (PR) live with their sponsor to keep their PR status. This was called Conditional Permanent Residence. This regulation was removed by the government of Canada and no longer applies. Read more information here: Notice- Government of Canada eliminates Conditional Permanent Residence.
To apply for citizenship, applicants must meet the following conditions:
You must be at least 18 years old to apply for citizenship. Parents, adoptive parents, or legal guardians may apply for a child below 18 years old. One parent (or adoptive parent) must be a Canadian citizen or apply to become a citizen at the same time.
- PR status
You must be a permanent resident of Canada at the time of application. You don’t need to have a PR card when you apply for citizenship.
- Time lived in Canada and intent to reside
You must have lived in Canada as a permanent resident for at least 1,460 days (4 years) during the six years immediately before your application. It is also required that you were physically present for at least 183 days during each of the four years. If you are not sure and wish to check if you have lived in Canada long enough, use the Physical Presence Calculator. You must also declare your intent to live in Canada. You will indicate this in the appropriate section of the application form.
- Income Tax filing
You must have filed and paid your income tax in the four years that you have stayed in Canada.
- Language proficiency
You will need to present a document that will prove that you have adequate knowledge of English and/or French. Adequate knowledge would mean that you can take part in everyday conversations, understand simple instructions or questions, use basic grammar, and know common words and phrases to be able to express yourself. Listed here are the types of documents that you can include in your application: Language proof for 18-64 and for children 14-17 years old.
- The citizenship test
How well you know, Canada will also be assessed as part of the process. As a good citizen, you must know and understand your rights, responsibilities, privileges of citizenship, Canada’s history, values, institutions, and symbols. All applicants, 14 to 64 years old are required to take the written exam. The study guide Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship will be sent to you when your application is received. The questions on the test will be based on this study guide.
You may not be eligible to become a Canadian citizen for a certain period of time if you are:
- a person in prison, on parole or on probation in Canada, or are serving a sentence outside Canada
- someone convicted of an indictable offence in Canada or outside Canada in the four years before applying for citizenship, or
- a person charged with (or on trial for, or involved in an appeal of) an indictable offence in Canada or outside Canada
Here is a complete list of Situations that may prevent you from becoming a Canadian citizen as reference.
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