Residence/physical presence requirements

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.

The residence/physical presence requirements for citizenship are important because they enable an applicant to become familiar with Canada and become integrated into Canadian society before making the decision to apply for citizenship.

On June 11, 2015, amendments to the Citizenship Act changed the requirements for 5(1) adult grant applicants. The amendments

  • introduced a requirement for applicants to not have any unfulfilled conditions related to their permanent resident status (applies to both new and inventory applications);
  • changed the requirement related to length of time and specified that the requirement refers to physical presence (applies to new applications; inventory applications must meet the old requirements);
  • extended an exception to the physical presence requirement to certain Crown servants (persons employed 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) and their family members residing abroad (applies to new applications only); and
  • added a requirement to meet income tax filing obligations (applies to new applications only).

Changes were also made to the requirements for 11(1) resumption applications.

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Applications received before June 11, 2015

Permanent resident status

The applicant, who is a permanent resident, must

Provision in the Citizenship Act: paragraph 5(1)(c)

Conditions relating to the permanent resident status

The applicant must not have any unfulfilled conditions relating to their permanent resident status.

Provision in the Citizenship Act: paragraph 5(1)(c)

Duration of residence

The applicant must have accumulated at least three years of residence in Canada within the four years immediately preceding application. It should be noted that

  • residence does not necessarily mean physical presence;
  • non-permanent residence time counts as a half day of residence and permanent residence time counts as one day of residence.

Refer to How residence/physical presence is calculated for more details.

Provision in the Citizenship Act: paragraph 5(1)(c)

Residence outside Canada

Residence outside Canada with a Canadian spouse or common-law partner who is employed in or with the Canadian Armed Forces, the federal public administration, or the public service of a province can count towards the residence requirement.

Provision in the Citizenship Act: subsection 5(1.1)

Requirements related to income tax

There is no citizenship requirement related to income tax.

Applications received between June 11, 2015 and October 10, 2017

Permanent resident status

The applicant, who is a permanent resident, must

Provision in the Citizenship Act: paragraph 5(1)(c)

Conditions relating to the permanent resident status

The applicant must not have any unfulfilled conditions relating to their permanent resident status .

Provision in the Citizenship Act: paragraph 5(1)(c)

Duration of physical presence

The applicant must have been physically present in Canada for at least 1460 days during the six years immediately before the date of application, and for at least 183 days during each of four calendar years that are fully or partially within the six years immediately before the date of application. It should be noted that

  • only physical presence in Canada counts;
  • non-permanent time does not count.

Refer to How residence/physical presence is calculated for more details.

Provision in the Citizenship Act: subparagraphs 5(1)(c)(i) and (ii)

Residence outside Canada

Residing outside Canada with a Canadian spouse or common-law partner, or with a permanent resident spouse, common-law partner, or parent who is employed 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, can be counted towards the physical presence requirement.

Residing outside Canada as a permanent resident employed in or with one of the government institutions referenced above can be counted towards the physical presence requirement.

Refer to How residence/physical presence is calculated and Calculating residence/physical presence for certain family members of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living abroad for more details.

Provisions in the Citizenship Act: subsections 5(1.01), (1.02), and (1.03)

Requirements related to income tax

The applicant must have met any applicable requirement under the Income Tax Act to file an income tax return for four taxation years that are fully or partially within the six years immediately before the date of application.

Provision in the Citizenship Act: subparagraph 5(1)(c)(iii)

The calculation of residence/physical presence, for all applications (received before, on, or after June 11, 2015), is subject to the provisions of section 21 of the Citizenship Act.

Applications received on or after October 11, 2017

Permanent resident status

The applicant, who is a permanent resident, must:

Provision in the Citizenship Act: paragraph 5(1)(c)

Conditions relating to the permanent resident stat us

The applicant must not have any unfulfilled conditions relating to their permanent resident status.

Provision in the Citizenship Act: paragraph 5(1)(c)

Duration of physical presence

The applicant must have been physically present in Canada for at least 1095 days during the five years immediately before the date of application. It should be noted that:

  • only physical presence in Canada counts;
  • each day of physical presence in Canada as a permanent resident counts as one day; and
  • 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 towards physical presence.

Refer to How residence/physical presence is calculated for more details.

Provision in the Citizenship Act: subparagraphs 5(1)(c)(i)

Residence outside Canada

Residing outside Canada with a Canadian spouse or common-law partner, or with a permanent resident spouse, common-law partner, or parent who is employed 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, can be counted towards the physical presence requirement.

Residing outside Canada as a permanent resident employed in or with one of the government institutions referenced above can be counted towards the physical presence requirement.

Refer to How residence/physical presence is calculated and Calculating residence/physical presence for certain family members of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living abroad for more details.

Provisions in the Citizenship Act: subsections 5(1.01), (1.02), and (1.03)

Requirements related to income tax

The applicant must have met any applicable requirement under the Income Tax Act to file an income tax return for three taxation years that are fully or partially within the five years immediately before the date of application.

Provision in the Citizenship Act: subparagraph 5(1)(c)(iii)


The calculation of residence/physical presence, for all applications (received before, on, or after June 11, 2015), is subject to the provisions of section 21 of the Citizenship Act.

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