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  • Writer's pictureCalver Immigration Consulting Inc.

Can I Leave Canada During the Citizenship Application Process?

Applying for Canadian citizenship is a significant step in an individual's immigration journey. However, life doesn't stop during this process, and you may need to travel outside of Canada for personal or work commitments. A common question many applicants have is, "Can I leave Canada during the citizenship application process?" I will address this question and provide some key points to consider when planning your travels.


Travel During the Citizenship Application Process

The short answer is yes; you can leave Canada during the citizenship application process. However, there are important factors to consider to ensure your application isn't negatively impacted.


Residency Obligation


To qualify for Canadian citizenship, one of the primary requirements is the physical presence in Canada. As an applicant, you must have been physically present in Canada for at least 1,095 days during the five years immediately before the date of your application. If you plan to travel, ensure you have met this requirement before your departure.


Processing Time and Communication

The processing time for a citizenship application can vary. While your application is in process, it is crucial to monitor your mail or online account for any communication from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This can include requests for additional documents, updates on your application status, or notification of your citizenship test, interview, or ceremony.


If you are out of the country and miss these communications, it could potentially delay your application or lead to a refusal if deadlines for responses are missed. Ensure you have a system in place and an internet connection to check your mail or online account regularly while you're away.


Citizenship Test, Interview, and Ceremony


Certain stages of the citizenship application process, such as the citizenship test, interview, and oath-taking ceremony, typically require your presence in Canada. IRCC will provide advance notice for these events. However, if you are unable to attend due to travel, it's important to inform IRCC promptly and request for a reschedule. You can typically attend the exam while outside of Canada, however the interview and ceremony need to be done in person. IRCC will often not accommodate any requests to reschedule.


Maintaining Your PR Status


Until you officially become a Canadian citizen, you remain a permanent resident (PR) of Canada. As a PR, you must carry and present your valid PR card or PR Travel Document (PRTD) when traveling to Canada. Without these documents, you may face challenges boarding your flight back to Canada. You also need to ensure that you maintain your residency obligation as a Permanent Resident which requires you to be present for 2 years out of every 5 year period.


While it is permissible to travel outside of Canada during the citizenship application process, it requires careful planning and continuous communication with IRCC to ensure your application is unaffected. As a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, I can provide guidance and advice tailored to your situation. If you have any questions or need further clarification, don't hesitate to reach out. book an online consultation with us here.


Our Services

Calver Immigration Consulting Inc. is rated Canada's number one boutique immigration consultancy. We serve clients across Canada and internationally. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law serving those in Canada and abroad.

We can assist with applications for both temporary and permanent residency in Canada. We handle applications for study permits, permanent residency, family class sponsorship, visitor visas, work permits, and Canadian citizenship. We also handle criminal inadmissibility cases by developing remedies for refusal.

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