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Immigration Law

Physical Presence Requirement for Citizenship

September 19, 2022 by FH&P Lawyers

Applying to become a Canadian citizen can be an exciting, but daunting process. To become a citizen, you must first satisfy the physical presence requirement.

What is the Physical Presence Requirement?

According to the Citizenship Act, for a permanent resident to be eligible for citizenship, they must have been physically present in Canada for at least 1,095 days during the five years immediately before the date they submit their application. In other words, you must have lived in Canada for three out of the last five years as a permanent resident before applying for citizenship.

For the calculation, every day an individual has been physically present in Canada since becoming a permanent resident, this counts as one day of physical presence.

For every day an individual who was physically present in Canada either as a temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident counts as half a day up to a maximum of 365 days.

The Canadian Government does provide a free physical presence calculator to make this calculation easier.

What if I Travelled Outside of Canada?

If you traveled outside of Canada within the five years before applying, there are only a few exceptions that allow this time to count towards your physical presence requirement.

You may count time spent outside Canada towards your physical presence requirement if you were a permanent resident, or lived with your Canadian or permanent resident spouse, common-law partner, or parent who was employed in or with the:

1) Canadian Armed Forces;

2) Federal public administration; or

3) Public service of a province or territory.

Questions about Canadian Citizenship?

If you require assistance with your physical presence calculation or are wondering whether you meet the eligibility requirements for becoming a Canadian citizen, please contact us at FH&P Lawyers LLP for a consultation.