Frequently Asked Canada Immigration Citizenship Questions (FAQ)> Immigration Categories > FAQ > Citizenship
13.1 When do I become eligible for Canadian Citizenship?
If you were born in Canada you are automatically a Canadian citizen. Other than cases in which exceptional circumstances exist, if you have been in Canada for three years (1095 days) as a permanent resident out of four years, you can apply to become a Canadian citizen.
13.2 Must I apply for Canadian Citizenship once eligible?
No, a permanent resident of Canada is entitled to apply for citizenship, but is not obligated to do so.
13.3 What are the benefits of obtaining Canadian Citizenship?
A Canadian citizen enjoys the highest order of rights that Canada can grant a person. Unlike permanent residents, Canadian citizens can participate fully in the political process. For example in some election only Canadian citizens have the right to vote. Canadian citizens carry Canadian passports and are always readmitted to Canada. Some forms of property can only be held by Canadian citizens. As well certain professions can only be occupied by Canadian citizens.
13.4 May I count my residence in Canada prior to becoming a permanent resident toward citizenship application?
Legal residence in Canada, prior to the establishment of permanent resident status, may be counted towards the assessment of the necessary 1095 days. Such residence is counted for 50% of its actual duration, with a maximum credit of 1 year.
13.5 Will time spent abroad be counted towards my citizenship application?
Other than exceptional circumstances, the applicant for citizenship must have been physically resident in Canada for a full three years, or be eligible for sufficient credit. The assessment of time spent absent from Canada in exceptional circumstances is at the discretion of the official presiding over the application for citizenship.
13.6 Will citizenship in Canada affect my eligibility to work in the USA, Mexico, or Chile?
Citizens of Canada are eligible for the provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or the Canada Chile Free Trade Agreement. This agreement greatly facilitates the ability of a Canadian professional or business person to legally work in the USA, Mexico, or Chile.
13.7 Is a Canadian citizen always liable for taxation on worldwide income?
No, not necessarily. Canadian income tax is based on residency. It is always best to refer to a specialist in Canadian taxation to determine the specific answer to this question in any given case.
Canada has a progressive income tax system. The more income you have the higher the percentage of tax you must pay. There are three Canadian income tax levels for taxpayers. The rate for 1999 was:
17% on the first $29,590 of taxable income;
26% on the next $29,590; and
29% on income in excess of $59,180.
Canadian taxpayers must also pay provincial income tax which is determined as a percentage of Basic Federal Tax. Provincial income tax is typically approximately 50 percent of the Basic Federal Tax, although the amount
varies from province to province.
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