No matter what country you’re moving too there are requirements to receive PR (Permanent Residence), and eventually your Citizenship in Canada. Even when it comes down to maintaining that Permanent Residence, which is required when preparing to apply for your citizenship, there are a number of things to consider beforehand. For an in-depth analysis of the requirements, there are blog posts like the Battista Smith Migration Law Group’s blog post about requirements for Canadian citizenship which can give you some extra information.
Difference Between PR And Citizenship
When it comes to PR and Citizenship, the differences between the two are minute and it boils down to two factors: PR must be maintained, and Citizens can partake in politics. That’s really what it boils down to, beyond these two factors these two categories aren’t treated much different than the other. Both have access to educational studies in Canada, as well as programs like health coverage.
What To Consider Before Moving
For those who are considering a move to Canada, there are a number of things to consider first, but these aren’t limited to only the following:
- Climate – Unless you’re moving from another country that has a similar climate to Canada, you’ll want to pack your winter wear because a majority of Canada is cold year-round so it’s best to be prepared.
- Multi-Cultural Environment- Canada is a multi-cultural country. There’s over 250 cultures present in this country, so regardless of where you come from, you’ll no doubt fit in just fine.
- Taxation and Benefits- While the idea of a provided healthcare plan does sound appealing, there’s a number of other things to consider, like higher taxation on property and income; but those higher tax rates go to such things as healthcare for all, education, and after school activities for the youth.
After considering these points, if you believe you can grin and bear it between the cold and higher taxation, then moving to Canada would be an adventure you’re ready for. The next step is to receive that PR.
Maintaining Your PR
While applying for your Canadian Permanent Residence does require detailed paperwork that needs to be approved by the appropriate government officials, maintaining your Residence is fairly simple. Basically, you must reside in Canada for at least 2 years of the last 5 years, but this doesn’t have to be a continuous stretch of time. You’ll want to make sure you’re keeping a record of when you leave the country, and for how long.
Other ways you can continue to maintain your Residence while residing out of the country are fairly strict, but are reasonable nonetheless. One way is by being employed by a Canadian business and they’ve sent you out of the country on behalf of the business itself. Another way is being employed with the Canadian Armed Forces, or living with a Canadian spouse. The best way to gauge whether the guidelines have changed would be to contact a Canadian official who has knowledge on Permanent Residence.
Applying For Your Citizenship
Once you’ve completed the residency requirement of 2 total years, the next step is to apply for your citizenship.
- Tests- As a part of applying for your citizenship, there are a couple tests you must complete, and pass, to be considered. The first of which is a test on your knowledge of Canada, as well as your rights and responsibilities as a Citizen. There are two main languages in Canada, French and English, the second test is your knowledge on at least one or both of these languages and your general mastery of the language.
- Taxes- It may be required when applying for your Citizenship that you present evidence that you have filed taxes during your time as a Permanent Resident
Losing Your Canadian PR
When maintaining your PR, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to keep it, there are a few ways you can lose your Residency, which should be considered.
- You Receive Your Citizenship- Naturally, if you receive your Canadian Citizenship then you must give up your Permanent Residency. There’s no need to have both, and part of the process of receiving your Citizenship is surrendering your PR.
- Voluntary Renouncement- Another way you can willingly lose your PR is voluntarily renouncing it through contact with the Canadian government.
- Removal Order- A Removal Order can be filed against you if a government official feels you’ve compromised your Residency in any way whether it’s a felony, or you haven’t met the minimum 2 out of 5 years, as an example. There are a few different stages when a Removal Order comes into play, so it’s best to work with the government to resolve the issue before it gets worse.
If you’re concerned about your Residency, or Citizenship application, there are a number of experienced immigration lawyers you could contact who can help guide you through the process.
Regardless of whether you’re an American moving to Canada to explore new avenues of life, or a refugee seeking solace because of a situation you found yourself in, Canada has proven to be more than accommodating. They only ask you to pay your taxes, and abide by their laws whether you’re a Permanent Resident or a Citizen.