How residence/physical presence is calculated

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

How the residence/physical presence requirement is calculated depends on when the application was received by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

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Returning applications that do not meet the residence/physical presence requirement

All applicants for Canadian citizenship must meet the residence/physical presence requirements the day before signing their application. The day the applicant applies is not counted towards residence/physical presence.

Applications that are signed or submitted by applicants in error, before they have accumulated the minimum amount of residence/physical presence, are returned to the applicant by the Case Processing Centre in Sydney (CPC-S). The CPC-S returns the application with a full fee refund and a letter advising the applicant that they have not submitted satisfactory evidence of having been a permanent resident for the required amount of time.

Examples:

  1. Applications received before June 11, 2015 - The applicant self declares as having less than 1095 days of residence
  2. Applications received between June 11, 2015 and October 11, 2017 – The applicant declares less than 1460 days and/or declares less than four calendar years with each having at least 183 days of physical presence.
  3. Applications received after October 11, 2017 – The applicant declares less than 1095 days of physical presence.

In cases where an applicant insists on filing an application without evidence of meeting the residence/physical presence requirement,

  • the CPC-S accepts the application for processing, collects the fee, indicates on the File Requirements Checklist that the applicant does not meet the residence/physical presence requirement, and forwards the case to the local office;
  • the local office reviews the application and makes a decision for all other requirements but refers to a citizenship judge for a decision on the residence/physical presence requirement.

Calculating residence/physical presence for applications received before June 11, 2015

For applications received before June 11, 2015, under paragraph 5(1)(c) of the Act, the applicant must have accumulated at least three years (1095 days) of residence in Canada within the four years immediately preceding the date the applicant signed the application.

  • The calculation of residence cannot go beyond the four-year period before the date of application.
  • Each day of residence in Canada after lawful admission for permanent residence counts as one day.
  • Each day before lawful admission for permanent residence counts as one half day.
  • February 29 (leap day) is not counted in either presence or absence.
  • Either the day the applicant leaves Canada or the day they return is considered an absence, but not both. If the applicant leaves Canada and comes back the same day, it is not considered an absence.
  • Time spent serving a sentence and absences must be subtracted from the total number of days of residence during the four-year period.

Example

An applicant entered Canada as a temporary resident on March 1, 2000, was lawfully admitted to Canada as a permanent resident on April 12, 2004, and made the citizenship application on April 12, 2006.

The four-year period begins on April 12, 2002; no period before that date is applicable to the calculation of residence.

In this case, the applicant has accumulated one year before lawful admission for permanent residence (two years at half time as a temporary resident) and two years after lawful admission as a permanent resident (two years at full time). This gives the applicant three years within the four-year period before the date of application, as long as the applicant does not have absences or time spent serving a sentence.

Calculating physical presence for applications received between June 11, 2015 and October 10, 2017

Amendments to the Citizenship Act through the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act resulted in a revised calculation of time spent in Canada. The change in reference in paragraphs 5(1)(c)(i) and (ii) from years to a specific number of days spent in Canada to meet the various components of the new physical presence requirement, as well as the specification that the requirement is based upon physical presence only altered the calculation. For applications received between June 11, 2015 and October 10, 2017, the revised calculation changed in two ways:

  1. In leap years, an applicant will have the opportunity to apply all 366 days towards both the 1460-day requirement and the accumulation of 183 days of physical presence in four calendar years.
  2. Absences will be calculated only for days where an applicant spent no time at all in Canada. Dates that an applicant left Canada or returned to Canada will not be counted as an absence, since the applicant spent at least a portion of both days in Canada.

Residence requirement 1: be physically present in Canada for at least 1460 days in the six years immediately before the date of application

Under subparagraph 5(1)(c)(i) of the Act, the first part of the physical presence calculation is that the applicant must have been physically present in Canada as a permanent resident for at least 1460 days during the six years immediately before the date the applicant signed the application.

  • The calculation of physical presence cannot go beyond the six-year period before the date of application.
  • Each day of physical presence in Canada as a permanent resident counts as one day.
  • Non-permanent resident time does not count.
  • Time spent serving a sentence and absences must be subtracted from the total number of days of physical presence as a permanent resident during the six-year period.

Example 1

An applicant entered Canada as a temporary resident on March 1, 2010, was lawfully admitted to Canada as a permanent resident on April 12, 2012, and made the citizenship application on April 12, 2016.

The six-year period begins on April 12, 2010. Since the applicant became a permanent resident on April 12, 2012, no time before that date can be counted.

In this example, the applicant has accumulated 1,461 days since becoming a permanent resident. The applicant meets the requirement to be physically present as a permanent resident for at least 1460 days within the six-year period before the date of their application, as long as the applicant does not have any absences or time spent serving a sentence.

Example 2

An applicant entered Canada as a temporary resident on March 1, 2010, was lawfully admitted to Canada as a permanent resident on April 12, 2014, and made the citizenship application April 12, 2016.

The six-year period begins on April 12, 2010. Since the applicant became a permanent resident on April 12, 2014, no time before that date can be counted.

In this example, the applicant has only accumulated 731 days since becoming a permanent resident. Although the person has been in Canada for six years, physical presence only counts as a permanent resident. Therefore, the applicant does not meet the requirement to be physically present as a permanent resident for at least 1460 days within the six-year period before the date of their application.

Example 3

An applicant was lawfully admitted to Canada as a permanent resident on March 1, 1999, and made the citizenship application on April 12, 2016.

The six-year period begins on April 12, 2010. Since the applicant became a permanent resident before this date, the entire period between April 12, 2010, and April 12, 2016, can be counted.

In this example, the applicant has accumulated 2192 days after lawful admission as a permanent resident. As long as the applicant does not have more than 732 days of absences (or time spent serving a sentence), the applicant meets the requirement to be physically present as a permanent resident for at least 1460 days within the six-year period before the date of their application.

Residence requirement 2: be physically present for at least 183 days in each of four calendar years that are fully or partially within the six years immediately before the date of application

Under subparagraph 5(1)(c)(ii) of the Act, the second part of the physical presence requirement is that the applicant must have been physically present as a permanent resident in Canada for at least 183 days during each of four calendar years that are fully or partially within the six years immediately before the date the applicant signed the application.

  • The calculation of physical presence cannot go beyond the six-year period before the date of application.
  • Each day of physical presence in Canada as a permanent resident counts as one day.
  • Non-permanent resident time does not count.
  • Time spent serving a sentence and absences must be subtracted from the total number of days of physical presence as a permanent resident each year during the six-year period.
  • Up to seven calendar years could fall fully or partially within the six-year period.

Example 1

An applicant made the citizenship application on June 1, 2020. The six-year period begins June 1, 2014. The calendar years that are fully or partially within that six-year period are as follows:

  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020

Depending on when the applicant applied for citizenship and when the applicant became a permanent resident, there may not be enough eligible days in a calendar year to meet the 183-day requirement.

There are 183 days between January 1 and July 3, or July 2 in a leap year. This means that if an applicant applies before July 3 (or July 2 in a leap year), the year in which they apply cannot be used towards the 183-day requirement.

There are 183 days from July 2 to December 31, inclusive. This means that if the first year of the relevant period (i.e., six years before the date of application) or the date they became a permanent resident, whichever is most recent, begins after July 2, that year cannot be used towards the 183-day requirement.

Example 2

If an applicant became a permanent resident on August 2, 2014, they could not meet the 183-day requirement in that calendar year (only 151 days remaining in 2014).

If an applicant signed their application on June 2, 2016, they could not meet the 183-day requirement for that calendar year (application filed on day 154 of 2016).

Example 3

Which years can be considered in assessing the 183-day requirement?

Example A

Date of permanent residence: May 5, 2014

Date of application: May 6, 2020

Calendar years:

  • 2014: Yes
  • 2015: Yes
  • 2016: Yes
  • 2017: Yes
  • 2018: Yes
  • 2019: Yes
  • 2020: NoNote 3
Example B

Date of permanent residence: August 2, 2014

Date of application: August 3, 2020

Calendar years:

  • 2014: NoNote 1
  • 2015: Yes
  • 2016: Yes
  • 2017: Yes
  • 2018: Yes
  • 2019: Yes
  • 2020: Yes
Example C

Date of permanent residence: May 5, 2016

Date of application: May 6, 2020

Calendar years:

Example D

Date of permanent residence: August 2, 2016

Date of application: August 3, 2020

Calendar years:

The applicants in examples A, B, C, and D could all meet the requirement to be physically present as a permanent resident for 183 days in four calendar years that fall fully or partially within the six-year period (depending on time spent serving a sentence and absences). However, only certain years can be considered in assessing the 183-day requirement.

It is possible for an applicant to meet one component of the physical presence requirement but not the other. The applicant must meet both residence requirements in order to meet the physical presence requirement for citizenship.

Example 4

An applicant became a permanent resident on February 1, 2008, and applied for citizenship on February 1, 2016.

Number of days in Canada:

  • 2010: 331 days
  • 2011: 365 days
  • 2012: 366 days (leap year)
  • 2013: 130 days
  • 2014: 130 days
  • 2015: 130 days
  • 2016: 31 days

In this example, the applicant has been in Canada as a permanent resident for 1483 days, and therefore meets the requirement to be physically present for at least 1460 days in the six years immediately before application. However, the applicant was not present in Canada for at least 183 days during four of the calendar years that fall within the six-year period.

Time residing outside Canada as a permanent resident employed as a Crown servant can be counted as physical presence

For applications received on or after June 11, 2015, under subsection 5(1.02) of the Act, any day during which an applicant was a permanent resident and was employed outside Canada in or with the Canadian Armed Forces, the federal public administration or the public service of a province, otherwise than as a locally engaged person, is equivalent to one day of physical presence in Canada. This time can count towards meeting both the requirement for physical presence for 1460 days in the six years immediately before application and physical presence for 183 days in four of the calendar years fully or partially within the six years.

The applicant must provide a completed Residence outside Canada form [CIT 0177 (PDF, 667.46KB)] and proof of employment that confirms the applicant was not a locally engaged person.

During the relevant period, if the applicant travelled outside the country of residence for their employment with the Canadian Armed Forces, the federal public administration or the public service of a province, this time can be counted as physical presence.

If the applicant travelled outside the country of residence (other than to Canada) for any other reason (e.g., vacation) this time is counted as an absence.

Time residing with certain family members outside Canada

For all applications received before, on, or after June 11, 2015, time residing with certain family members who are employed outside Canada in or with the Canadian Armed Forces, federal public administration or public service of a province could be counted towards the residence/physical presence requirement. See Calculating residence/physical presence for certain family members of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living abroad.

Calculating physical presence for applications received on or after October 11, 2017

For applications received on or after October 11, 2017, under paragraph 5(1)(c)(i) of the Act, the applicant must have accumulated at least 1095 days of physical presence in Canada within the five years immediately preceding the date the applicant signed the application.

  • The calculation of physical presence cannot go beyond the five-year period before the date of application.
  • Each day of physical presence in Canada as a permanent resident counts as one day.
  • Each day of physical presence in Canada as an authorized temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident, counts as one half day, with a maximum of 365 days credit towards physical presence.
  • February 29 (leap day) is counted in either presence or absence.
  • Absences will be calculated only for days where an applicant spent no time at all in Canada. Dates where an applicant left Canada, or returned to Canada will not be counted as an absence since the applicant was physically present in Canada for a portion of both days.
  • Time spent serving a sentence and absences must be subtracted from the total number of days of physical presence during the five-year period.

Counting Physical presence before becoming a permanent resident of Canada

As of October 11, 2017, non-permanent resident (NPR) time spent in Canada as an authorized temporary resident or protected person may be used towards an applicant’s physical presence calculation. Each day spent in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person, before becoming a permanent resident within the five-year period before the date of application will count as one half day, with a maximum of 365 days towards the physical presence calculation.

Temporary resident status includes lawful authorization to enter or remain in Canada as a:

  • visitor;
  • student;
  • worker; or,
  • temporary resident permit holder.

A protected person is someone who:

  • was found to be in need of protection or a convention refugee by the Immigration and Refugee Board; or
  • a person who received a positive decision on a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment from IRCC.

Note: If the applicant made a refugee claim, or was included on a family member’s refugee claim, time will not be credited in Canada between the date of the claim and the date the applicant received a positive decision confirming protected person status as described above.

Example 1

An applicant entered Canada for the first time as an authorized temporary resident on April 1, 2014, was lawfully admitted to Canada as a permanent resident on April 1, 2016, and signed the citizenship application on April 1, 2018.

In this case, the applicant has accumulated the maximum 365 days of physical presence as an authorized temporary resident before becoming a permanent resident, and 730 days of physical presence after lawful admission as a permanent resident. This gives the applicant 1095 days of physical presence within the five-year period before the date of application, as long as the applicant does not have absences or time spent serving a sentence.

  • NPR = April 1, 2014
  • PR = April 1, 2016
  • Date of application = April 1, 2018
  • Calculation: Physical presence = 365 NPR days + 730 PR days = 1095 days of physical presence

Breakdown:

NPR

  • 01APR2014 to 31MAR2015 = 365
  • 01APR2015 to 31MAR2016 = 366
  • 365 + 366 = 731 x 0.5 = 365.5
  • Maximum NPR = 365

PR

  • 01APR2016 to 31MAR2017 = 365
  • 01APR2017 to 31MAR2018 = 365
  • 365 + 365 = 730

Physical Presence = 365 + 730 = 1095

Example 2

An applicant entered Canada for the first time as an authorized temporary resident on April 1, 2012, and maintained authorized temporary resident status until March 31st, 2015. The client was “out of status” for the period of April 1st, 2015 to August 15, 2015 but regained authorized temporary resident status on August 16, 2015, and then was lawfully admitted to Canada as a permanent resident on January 1, 2016. The client signed the citizenship application on April 1, 2018. In 2017, the applicant served a sentence from February 1 – March 31.

The five-year period begins on April 1, 2013; no period before that date is applicable to the calculation of physical presence.

In this case, the applicant has accumulated the maximum 365 days of physical presence as an authorized temporary resident before becoming a permanent resident, and 821 days of physical presence after lawful admission as a permanent resident. However, the applicant spent 59 days serving a sentence, which reduces the applicant’s physical presence as a permanent resident to 762 days within the five-year period, before the date of application.

  • NPR = April 1, 2013
  • PR = April 1, 2016
  • NPR Absence = March 1- 31, 2014 (29 days) + December 15-31, 2014 (15 days)
  • Unauthorized TR/NPR = April 1, 2015 to August 15, 2015 (137 days)
  • Time serving a sentence = February 1, 2017 to March 31, 2017 (59 days)
  • Date of application = April 1, 2018
  • Calculation: Physical presence = 365 NPR days + 762 PR days = 1127 days of physical presence

Breakdown:

NPR

  • 01APR2013 to 31MAR2014 = 365
  • 01APR2014 to 31MAR2015 = 365
  • 01APR2015 to 31DEC2015 = 275
  • 365 + 366 + 275 = 1005 days
  • 1005 days - 44 days absent – 137 unauthorized NPR days = 824 NPR
  • 824 NPR x 0.5 = 412

Maximum NPR = 365

PR

  • 01JAN2016 to 31MAR2016 = 91
  • 01APR2016 to 31MAR2017 = 365
  • 01APR2017 to 31MAR2018 = 365
  • 91 + 365 + 365 = 821 days
  • 821 days – 59 days serving a sentence = 762 days

Physical Presence = 365 + 762 = 1127 days physical presence

Example 3

An applicant entered Canada for the first time as an authorized temporary resident on April 1, 2014, was lawfully admitted to Canada as a permanent resident on April 1, 2017, and signed the citizenship application on April 1, 2018.

In this case, the applicant has accumulated the maximum 365 days of physical presence as an authorized temporary resident before becoming a permanent resident, and 365 days of physical presence after lawful admission as a permanent resident. This gives the applicant 730 days of physical presence within the five-year period before the date of application. In this scenario the client does not meet the physical presence requirement. An applicant will always need at least 730 days of physical presence after becoming a permanent resident, when using the maximum allowable NPR physical presence credit.

  • NPR = April 1, 2014
  • PR = April 1, 2017
  • Date of application = April 1, 2018
  • Calculation: Physical presence = 365 NPR days + 365 PR days = 730 days of physical presence

Breakdown:

NPR

  • 01APR2014 to 31MAR2015 = 365
  • 01APR2015 to 31MAR2016 = 366
  • 01APR2016 to 31MAR2017 = 365
  • 365 + 366 + 365 = 1096 x 0.5 = 548
  • Maximum NPR = 365

PR

  • 01APR2017 to 31MAR2018 = 365

Physical Presence = 365 + 365 = 730

Example 4

An applicant entered Canada for the first time as an authorized temporary resident on April 1, 2012, was lawfully admitted to Canada as a permanent resident on January 1, 2016, and signed the citizenship application on April 1, 2018.

The five-year period begins on April 1, 2013; no period before that date is applicable to the calculation of physical presence.

In this case, the applicant has accumulated the maximum 365 days of physical presence as an authorized temporary resident before becoming a permanent resident, and 821 days of physical presence after lawful admission as a permanent resident. However, the applicant spent 59 days serving a sentence and spent 44 days outside of Canada, which reduces the applicant’s physical presence as a permanent resident to 718 days within the five-year period, before the date of application. The applicant does not meet the physical presence requirement.

  • NPR = April 1, 2013
  • PR = April 1, 2016
  • NPR Absence = March 1- 31, 2014 (29 days) + December 15-31, 2014 (15 days)
  • Unauthorized TR/NPR = April 1, 2015 to August 15, 2015 (137 days)
  • Time serving a sentence = February 1, 2017 to March 31, 2017 (59 days)
  • PR Absence = December 1, 2017 to January 15, 2018 (44 days)
  • Date of application = April 1, 2018
  • Calculation: Physical presence = 365 NPR days + 718 PR days = 1083 days of physical presence

Breakdown:

NPR

  • 01APR2013 to 31MAR2014 = 365
  • 01APR2014 to 31MAR2015 = 365
  • 01APR2015 to 31DEC2015 = 275
  • 365 + 366 + 275 = 1005 days
  • 1005 days - 44 days absent – 137 unauthorized NPR days = 824 NPR
  • 824 NPR x 0.5 = 412

Maximum NPR = 365

PR

  • 01JAN2016 to 31MAR2016 = 91
  • 01APR2016 to 31MAR2017 = 365
  • 01APR2017 to 31MAR2018 = 365
  • 91 + 365 + 365 = 821 days
  • 821 days – 59 days serving a sentence – 44 days absent = 718 days

Physical Presence = 365 + 718 = 1083 days physical presence

Example 5

An applicant entered Canada for the first time and was lawfully admitted as a permanent resident on April 1, 2014, and signed the citizenship application on April 1, 2018.

In this case, the applicant has accumulated 1461 days of physical presence after lawful admission as a permanent resident. This gives the applicant 1461 days of physical presence within the five-year period before the date of application, as long as the applicant does not have absences or time spent serving a sentence.

  • PR = April 1, 2014
  • Date of application = April 1, 2018
  • Calculation: Physical presence = 1461 PR days = 1461 days of physical presence

Breakdown:

PR

  • 01APR2014 to 31MAR2015 = 365
  • 01APR2015 to 31MAR2016 = 366
  • 01APR2016 to 31MAR2017 = 365
  • 01APR2017 to 31MAR2018 = 365
  • 365 + 366 + 365 + 365 = 1461

Physical Presence = 365 + 366 + 365 + 365 = 1461

Example 6

An applicant entered Canada for the first time as an authorized temporary resident on April 1, 2012, and maintained authorized temporary resident status until March 31st, 2015. The client made a refugee claim on April 1st, 2015 and was granted protected person status on August 16, 2015, and then was lawfully admitted to Canada as a permanent resident on January 1, 2016. The client signed the citizenship application on April 1, 2018.

The five-year period begins on April 1, 2013; no period before that date is applicable to the calculation of physical presence.

In this case, the applicant has accumulated the maximum 365 days of physical presence as an authorized temporary resident and protected person before becoming a permanent resident. The applicant has also accumulated 821 days of physical presence after lawful admission as a permanent resident.

  • NPR = April 1, 2013
  • PR = April 1, 2016
  • NPR Absence = March 1- 31, 2014 (29 days) + December 15-31, 2014 (15 days)
  • Ineligible NPR time = April 1, 2015 to August 15, 2015 (137 days)
  • Date of application = April 1, 2018
  • Calculation: Physical presence = 365 NPR days + 821 PR days = 1186 days of physical presence

Breakdown:

NPR

  • 01APR2013 to 31MAR2014 = 365
  • 01APR2014 to 31MAR2015 = 365
  • 01APR2015 to 31DEC2015 = 275
  • 365 + 366 + 275 = 1005 days
  • 1005 days - 44 days absent – 137 ineligible NPR days = 824 NPR
  • 824 NPR x 0.5 = 412

Maximum NPR = 365

PR

  • 01JAN2016 to 31MAR2016 = 91
  • 01APR2016 to 31MAR2017 = 365
  • 01APR2017 to 31MAR2018 = 365
  • 91 + 365 + 365 = 821 days

Physical Presence = 365 + 821 = 1186 days physical presence

Periods that cannot be counted as residence/physical presence

For all applications, section 21 of the Act stipulates that no period may be counted as residence/physical presence where the applicant has

  • been under a probation order;
  • been a paroled inmate; or
  • served a term of imprisonment.
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