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Physical presence requirements for PR holders to apply for Canadian Citizenship



In order to receive a Canadian citizenship, it is conditional that you must have lived in Canada for three of the past 5 years. But many wonder whether driving to the United States for business every day count as a “full-day” and whether its presence can be marked?

If you are a permanent resident of Canada working in the United States, your work days do not count against your physical presence requirement for Canadian citizenship as long as you live in Canada and return after the working hours to stay in Canada for the remaining part of the day. To put it in simpler terms, as long as you are a permanent resident and living in Canada, the part of a day where you return after working hours in Canada counts as a full day towards getting your citizenship.


According to Canada’s Citizenship Act:

(a) for every day during which the person was physically present in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act before becoming a permanent resident, the person accumulates half of a day of physical presence, up to a maximum of 365 days; and

(b) for every day during which the person has been physically present in Canada since becoming a permanent resident, the person accumulates one day of physical presence.

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What are the eligibility requirements for Canadian citizenship?

  • To be able to adapt the Canadian society, you must be able to communicate in either English or French. You should be able to demonstrate language proficiency if you are between the ages of 18 and 54.
  • As determined by IRCC, you cannot have a criminal record that prevents you from becoming a citizen.
  • Citizens’ rights and obligations must be known by the candidate, as well as a fundamental understanding of Canada’s geography, political structure, and history.
  • During the five years preceding the day you apply, you may be required to submit taxes in Canada for at least three years.
  • You must also file a formal application to IRCC and pay an application cost as well as a right of citizenship fee.

What are the physical presence requirements for Canadian citizenship?

You must have been a permanent resident for at least two years and spent at least 1,095 full days in Canada prior to the date of your application to meet the physical presence requirement. Only the five years preceding the date of your application are considered by IRCC.

As a permanent resident, every day you spend in Canada counts as one full day. Up to 365 days, each time you spent in Canada on a work or study permit counts as half a day. As a result, two years as a temporary resident in Canada will count as one full year toward your physical presence requirement.

However, to cover any miscalculations, the IRCC suggests applying with more days in your count than you need. The Entry/Exit program, which collects passenger information at the border, allows the immigration service to verify your passage in and out of Canada.



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