If you have been living in Canada as a Permanent Resident (PR) you may not feel that you need to take the next step and obtain Canadian Citizenship. As a Canadian Citizen, you will be able to call yourself a Canadian, and have pride in your new country… but what other benefits are there to becoming a citizen? In fact, there are many tangible benefits and advantages for Canadian Citizens that are not available for Permanent Residents. Join us to learn about 5 benefits of becoming a Canadian Citizen.
1. No Need to Renew Your Status
In Canada, most PR cards are only valid for 5 years, at which point you will need to renew. You will need to go through this renewal process regularly if you remain a Permanent Resident no matter how long you live in Canada. During the 5-year period, you will need to meet residency requirements; 730 days must be spent in Canada to retain your PR status. This can be limiting if you hope to travel or live abroad for lengths of time while maintaining your status in Canada.
If you are a Canadian Citizen, however, there is no need to renew your status. While you may still see some residence requirements as a citizen—to retain healthcare coverage, for example—you will have much more flexibility in the length of time you spend in Canada vs. abroad.
To apply for Canadian Citizenship, you must have lived in Canada for 1095 days in a 5-year period. You may even be able to reach this number in your first term as a Permanent Resident!
2. Protection Against Losing Status
Similarly, if you are a Canadian Citizen you will benefit from additional protections to your status, as there are very few circumstances in which a Canadian Citizenship can be revoked. As a Permanent Resident, you can still be deported no matter how long you have lived in Canada.
If you are convicted of a crime, for instance, depending on the seriousness, you may have your PR status revoked and be deported to your home country. However, if you are a Citizen, you will not face such consequences.
There are some situations in which a citizenship could be revoked. If you have obtained your citizenship through false means or fraud, pose a threat to national security, have committed human or international rights violations, or are involved in organized crime, you could be at risk of having your citizenship revoked.
3. Increased Job Opportunities
If you become a Canadian citizen, you will also have access to an increased job pool. Canadian Citizens can apply for jobs that are not available to Permanent Residents, including some government jobs. Some jobs also require security clearances that are only available to citizens. If you are on the hunt for employment, or would like to break into previously unattainable industries, you should work on becoming a Canadian Citizen.
4. Right to Vote
Another benefit to becoming a Canadian Citizen is that citizenship gives you the right to vote in all elections. Voting will allow you to play an important role in influencing Canadian policies by voting for representation based on your own views. You will also be able to run for elected political office—where you will be able to further represent your community, influence policy, and play a crucial role in the Canadian political system.
5. Canadian Passport
Finally, gaining Canadian Citizenship will give you access to the Canadian passport. The Canadian passport is very valuable internationally, since many countries worldwide allow Canadians to enter without a visa for approved purposes, such as tourism travel.
Additionally, Canada recognizes dual citizenship, so you may be able to hold two passports—your Canadian passport, and that of your home country. If your home country does not allow dual citizenship, it is important to weigh the strengths and weaknesses of the two passports against each other so you can determine which is the better choice.
Applying for Canadian Citizenship as a Permanent Resident has many benefits—both to you and to the country at large! Not only will you be able to proudly call yourself a Canadian, but you will be able to experience the benefits of citizenship for yourself. If you are a Permanent Resident who is interested in learning more about becoming a Canadian Citizen, or who needs help with the application process, contact the Immigration Lawyers at Brace Law. Our team of lawyers will assist you through the process, ensuring you submit the best possible application.
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