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Why It’s Important to Apply for Canadian Citizenship

Canadian citizenship comes with several rights and privileges, including the right to vote and run for political office and the right to leave and enter Canada, regardless of the length of time spent outside the country. For certain jobs with federal departments and agencies, particularly where the position requires a high-level security clearance, preference will be given to Canadian citizens. More importantly, Canadian citizenship does not expire and cannot be revoked except under strict and very limited circumstances.

Permanent residents, on the other hand, can become inadmissible to Canada for several reasons. The two most common reasons for which permanent residents will lose their status are (1) a breach of their residency obligations, and (2) a conviction for a serious crime.

For example, consider the case of a person who immigrated to Canada with their spouse and children. Shortly after their arrival in Canada and becoming a permanent resident, that person was required to leave the country to care for ailing parents. What was supposed to be a trip of short duration, however, turned into a long-term absence. The person remained outside Canada for more than 3 years. When they returned to Canada to reunite with their spouse and children, a border agent determined that they had become inadmissible for failing to meet their residency requirements. Permanent residents are required to be physically present in Canada for a minimum of 730 days (2 years) for every 5-year period.

Another common example is that of a person who came to Canada at a very young age due to severe hardships in their country of origin. They lived in Canada as a permanent resident for over 20 years, having grown up in foster care and suffered from PTSD that went undiagnosed. One evening, as that person was out celebrating with some friends at a local pub, an altercation broke out. That person was charged with and later convicted of aggravated assault. As a result, they were found inadmissible to Canada for serious criminality. Under Canadian immigration law, serious criminality is defined as a conviction for an offence punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years, or of an offence for which a term of imprisonment of more than 6 months has been imposed.

By becoming a Canadian citizen, situations like the ones described above can be avoided. Don’t wait, apply for your citizenship now. Contact Azzi Law to speak to our immigration lawyers about Canadian citizenship requirements and the application process.


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