The physical presence requirement changed in 2017.
Physical presence requirements for Canadian citizenship:
- Minimum 3 years as a permanent resident
- 1,095 days physically present in Canada within the five years
Physical Presence Requirement for Canadian Citizenship
In order to be eligible for Canadian Citizenship, you must have lived in Canada as a Permanent Resident for three of the five years prior to the date you submit your application.
Physical Presence for 3 of the last 5 years
In order to be eligible for Canadian citizenship, you must have resided in Canada as a permanent resident for at least 3 of the last 5 years. It isn’t enough to have property or a residence in Canada, however. You must have been physically present in Canada for every one of those 1,095 days. This means that you can’t have been outside of Canada for more than 730 days in the last 5 years.
If you have been here every day for the last 3 years, you can apply! If you’ve taken vacations outside of Canada, you’ll have to make sure those vacations do not take you below the 1,095-day mark within the last 5 years.
However, if you were a temporary resident (in Canada as a visitor, a work permit-holder or a study permit-holder) sometime within the last five years, you can count your days holding temporary residence towards your total as well. Your temporary residence days are counted as half days (.5) up to a total of 365. For example, if you were a temporary resident for two years and then a permanent resident for three years, within the last five years, you could count the two years and that would give you 365 days before you counted your permanent residence days.
To find out whether or not you meet the residence requirement, use this calculator.
Exemptions to the Physical Presence Requirement
You may be eligible to count days outside of Canada as a permanent resident as days inside of Canada if
- you were employed by the Government of Canada or one of the provincial or territorial governments, or a Canadian company; OR
- your spouse or parent was employed by the Government of Canada or one of the provincial or territorial governments, or a Canadian company and you were accompanying them.
If either of the above situations is true for you, you will have to prove it by demonstrating the citizenship of your spouse (or parent) and your relationship, and by providing the employment contract. If the latter situation applies to you, you need to complete the CIT0177 and submit it with your application.
How to Complete Form CIT0177
You only need to complete the CIT0177 Residence Outside Canada form if you believe some or all of your days outside of Canada as a permanent resident can be counted as days in Canada because you, your spouse/partner or parent worked for either the Government of Canada or a provincial or territorial government.
Complete only Section A or Section B, not both.
CIT0177 Section A – Crown Servant Family Member
Complete this section of the CIT0177 if your spouse/partner or parent works or worked for the Government of Canada or a provincial or territorial government, was stationed overseas, and you lived with them.
- Name of spouse, common-law partner, or parent you were living with during the relevant period immediately before the date of your application for citizenship: Your spouse’s or partner’s name as stated on the IDs you will be providing copies of; for your spouse’s identity, provide
- if your spouse/partner/parent is a Citizen: a copy of their Canadian birth certificate or citizenship certificate or card
- if your spouse/partner/parent is a Permanent Resident a copy of their PR Card, Record of Landing, Confirmation of Permanent Residence of Verification of Status
- Relationship to you:
- Spouse – Provide a copy of your marriage certificate
- Common-Law Partner – Provide this original form, duly witnessed
- Parent – Provide a copy of your long-form birth certificate, with your parent’s name on it, or another official document stating your parent-child relationship (NOTE: you can only claim these days in this case if you are a dependent child)
- With whom was your spouse, common-law partner, or parent employed and in what capacity? Specify the duration of the posting and the department or agency, whether federal or provincial/territorial, and the title of the position. If the employment was with the Canadian Armed Forces, indicate the unit and location – You will have to provide proof, such as an employment contract that covers the dates listed
- Provide details of your residence outside Canada during the relevant period immediately before the date of your application. Include trips outside of the country (or countries) of residence and if the purpose was to accompany your family member for their work (e.g., business trip, official leave/rest and relaxation) or for purposes other than for their work (e.g., vacation) – If you were not living with your family member, these days will be counted as days outside of Canada
- Was the marriage or common-law union valid at all times during this period (i.e., you did not divorce, both common-law partners intended to continue the relationship)? – Look at the date of your marriage or the first date of your common-law relationship
- When did the common-law relationship begin (YYYY/MM/DD)? Note: This must be at least one year after you began living together in a conjugal relationship – If applicable.
CIT0177 Section B – Crown Servant Applicant
If this is your situation, list the dates you were overseas and provide proof (an employment contract for example.
The last step is to sign the form.
How to Complete Form CIT0407
The CIT0407 was the old way IRCC (formerly CIC) accepted proof of meeting the residence requirement. IRCC prefers you use their new online calculator now and that you submit the results from this calculator.
However, if you are unable to use their online calculator or print off the results of that calculator, you need to submit the CIT0407 as part of your Canadian citizenship application.
CIT0404 Form Page 1
Page 1 of the CIT0407 contains instructions only. You do not have to enter any information on this page.
CIT0407 Page 2
If you have not left Canada since you became a permanent resident, all you have to do is answer “No” to this question “Have you left Canada in the last 5 years or if you became a Permanent Resident of Canada during the last 5 years, have you left Canada since that date?” and sign the last page.
If you have left Canada since you became a permanent resident (or any time in the last 5 years, whichever is more recent), then you indicate “Yes” and you must complete the entire form.
Next you must complete the table on page 2. You must list every single trip you have taken outside of Canada, even if it was just overnight within the last 5 years or when you landed in Canada, whichever is sooner. (Do not include trips that fall outside of this time period.) CBSA has a record of your entries. If, as part of the main application form, you agree for CBSA to share your entries with IRCC, IRCC will have a record of your trips. If the record here does not match the CBSA record, your application could be refused. (If you do not give permission for CBSA to share your entries, you will be requested to do so at a future date or your application will be refused.)
What if I can’t remember all my trips?
You need to make your entries in this table as complete as possible. If you cannot remember exact dates, check your passport and your credit card and bank statements to verify where you were on given days. If you still cannot be exact, indicate to IRCC that you are not 100% sure by attaching a letter to the form stating that you are not sure about the dates. Make sure to list every date you are unsure of, why you are unsure (for example “It was six years ago, and I know it was in May, but I am not sure which date) and try to indicate the length of each trip even if you do not know the exact dates.
CIT0407 Pages 3-4
Step 1 – 3 out of 5 years physically present in Canada
- Enter the date you will sign your application form in Box A – For example, let’s say you apply on June 1, 2016
- Enter the date you became a permanent resident of Canada in Box B. If you became a permanent resident more than 5 years before the date in Box A, enter in Box B the date in Box A minus 5 years (A – 5 years = B) – The 6-year relevant for calculating your physical presence in Canada is June 1, 2010 to May 31, 2016, provided you have been a permanent resident the whole time.
- Any time spent in Canada before June 1, 2010, should not be counted in your calculation in this step;
- Any time from June 1, 2010 up to and including May 31, 2016 where you didn’t have Permanent Residence status should not be counted in your calculation in this step (for example, if you became a Permanent Resident on July 1, 2010, you would not count any time in Canada before July 1, 2010);
- Any time from June 1, 2010 up to and including May 31, 2016 that you were not physically present in Canada should not be counted (i.e. everything in the table on the page above);
- June 1, 2010, can count towards your days in Canada if you were physically present but June 1, 2016, the day you submit, is not counted towards this calculation;
- February 29th is not some special day when the rules don’t apply, include any February 29ths (such as February 29th, 2016 and February 29th, 2012) that you were physically present in Canada (or, in the above table, that you were outside of Canada);
- Calculate the total number of days between the date in Box B and the date in Box A. Enter this number in Box C. The maximum number of days you can enter in Box C is 2192. If the number in Box C is less than 1460, you are not eligible to apply for citizenship yet. – Do not believe for a second that you can fudge this and not get caught. You will be asked to document your time in Canada. If IRCC is unsure about your dates, you will be issued the Residence Questionnaire and your application will be greatly delayed.
- Enter the total number of days absent from Canada in Box D (as declared on page 2) – Enter the number you calculated in the table on page 2 in Box D
- Subtract the number of days in Box D from the number of days in Box C and enter that number in Box E (C – D = E) – If the number you get in Box E is less than 1,460 days, you are not eligible to apply for citizenship unless you qualify for one of the exemptions.
Step 2 – Physically present for half a year for 3 out of 5 years
- Current Year
- Enter the date you will sign your application form (YYYY-MM-DD)
- Calculate the number of days from January 1 of the year you will sign your application form to the date Immediately before you will sign your application form – In our example, this would be from January 1, 2016 to May 31, 2016
- Enter the number of days you have been absent in the year you are applying for citizenship – If you were outside of Canada in 2016 and listed those trips on the table on page 2, you can just add up the days from there (for 2016 only)
- Calculate the number of days you have been physically present in Canada in the year you are applying for citizenship:
- Days from calculation B MINUS
- Minus days from calculation C EQUALS
- Number of days physically present in Canada in 2016.
- Previous Years
Do the same thing for each of the previous six years or each year since you became a permanent resident, which ever is more recent.
The form provides six lines where you make the same calculation, for example:
- 365 MINUS
- Days outside of Canada in 2015 (see your table on Page 2) EQUALS
- Number of days physically present in Canada in 2015
The last step is to sign the form.
What if I apply for citizenship and it’s discovered that I do not even meet the PR residence obligation?
Applying for citizenship alone will not cause you to lose your status if the officer discovers you have not met the permanent residence obligation. (If a discovery is made that you have misrepresented yourself, that is a problem.)
If you cannot become a citizen because you have not even met the PR residence obligation, you should wait until you meet it before applying for a new PR Card or before leaving Canada. It’s these two situations that could cause a problem, not an application for citizenship.