Advantages and Responsibilities of Being a Citizen (17:IV)

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This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by the Law Students' Legal Advice Program on July 29, 2022.

There is no requirement that a permanent resident becomes a Canadian citizen. However, permanent residents may wish to apply to become citizens because:

  • Citizens have the right to vote
  • Citizens have the right to apply for a Canadian Passport
  • Citizens may receive preference over non-citizens for certain jobs within the government
  • Citizens cannot be deported from Canada
  • Citizens are able to run in elections
  • Citizens are not subject to the same residency requirements as a permanent resident

In all cases, individuals should find out prior to applying for Canadian citizenship whether the countries of which they are citizens permit dual citizenship. As Canada allows dual citizenship, an individual is able to acquire Canadian citizenship regardless of his or her possession of another citizenship. However, if the country of which the individual is presently a citizen does not permit dual citizenship, the individual’s citizenship of that country may be extinguished if the individual acquires Canadian citizenship.

NOTE: Non-citizens may be subject to deportation from Canada if they are convicted of an offence in Canada. Non-citizens who have already been subject to the Canadian criminal justice system for minor offences may benefit from applying for citizenship as soon as they become eligible in order to be free from the risk of being deported.

© Copyright 2021, The Greater Vancouver Law Students' Legal Advice Society.