The 1095 Day Rule

To qualify for Canadian Citizenship you must be physically present in Canada for at least 1,095 days (three years) during the 5 years before the date of the application and physically present in Canada for at least 183 days in each of three calendar years within the qualifying period, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

In determining whether exceptional circumstances exist, Canadian citizenship judges examine the specific facts and circumstances of each individual case. Each case must be assessed on its own merits, and Canadian citizenship judges have considerable discretion in determining whether exceptional circumstances truly exist. Thus, it is extremely difficult to pronounce conclusively which circumstances will be deemed to be exceptional.

The following is a list of factors which may, in some cases, lead Canadian citizenship judges to "bend" the 1,095-day rule:

  • The applicant is physically present in Canada for most of the required period other than recent absences that occurred immediately before the application for Canadian citizenship was submitted.

  • Even though the applicant leaves Canada on a regular basis, the applicant's immediate family and dependents continue to live in Canada.

  • The applicant's overall pattern of physical presence in Canada indicates that he or she returns home to Canada, and does not merely "pay a visit" to Canada.

  • Despite repeated absences, the total number of days absent from Canada are relatively few.

  • The physical absence from Canada is caused by a clearly temporary situation such as employment or study abroad for a limited period of time.

  • The quality of the applicant's connection with Canada is more substantial than that which exists with any other country, as reflected by the applicant's involvement in Canadian work and business ventures, community organizations, and payment of Canadian income tax.

 

In addition:

  • Applicants between the ages of 14 and 64 must meet basic knowledge and language requirements in either English or French.

  • Applicants between the ages of 14 and 64 are required to take (and pass) the Citizenship Test. The test shows what he or she knows about Canada and may include questions about:

    • the rights, freedoms and responsibilities of Canadian citizens;

    • Canada’s democracy and ways to take part in Canadian society;

    • Canadian political and military history (including the political system, monarchy and branches of government);

    • Canadian social and cultural history and symbols; and

    • Canadian physical and political geography.

  • Adult applicants must declare their intent to reside in Canada once they become citizens and meet their personal income tax obligations in order to be eligible for citizenship.

  • There are strong penalties for fraud and misrepresentation (to a maximum fine of $100,000 and/or up to five years in prison). This is aimed at deterring unscrupulous applicants who are prepared to misrepresent themselves, or advise others to do so.

 

Contact us with any question(s) concerning Canadian citizenship requirements and applications.

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