A person who has maintained a residence in Canada as a permanent resident for three years within 4 years preceding the date of their application, they may be eligible for Canadian citizenship.

The decision on whether the 3-year requirement has been met will be determined by a citizenship judge, who will apply several tests to determine residence. These tests differ substantially from one another, which may cause doubt for applicants who have not been physically present in Canada for three years.

Canadian Citizenship Tests

The first test is known as the “Strict Physical Presence” test. It’s a stringent residency requirement where the applicant must prove physical presence in the country for 3 years during the 4 years immediately preceding the date of application.

For the second test, residency is determined by the degree in which a person settles into living in Canada in connection to “social relations, interests, and conveniences at or in the place in question.” Physical presence in Canada is not essential, provided that the immigrant has established and maintained throughout the three years in question a “pied-à-terre” in Canada and has demonstrated the intention to live in the country. With this test, an applicant eligible to fulfill the residency requirement, despite only spending 79 days in the country during the 4-year window before petitioning for citizenship.

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