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Permanent residency status risks when applying for citizenship

Individuals with permanent resident status in Canada should become familiar with citizenship requirements before making such an application. It is usually best to seek professional advice before applying for citizenship. This is because there are particular circumstances that could cause them to lose their status as permanent residents.

Role of the Canada Border Services Agency

Those seeking citizenship must be able to document residence in Canada for three of the previous five years. It is worth noting that Refugees and Citizenship Canada can verify the information provided, and the IRCC can check the applicant’s travel history with the Canada Border Services Agency. CBSA has the following rights:

  • The CBSA may question a person with permanent resident status about his or her travels upon returning to Canada.
  • Answers to CBSA questions are made on the record.
  • If the applicant has been outside Canada for three of the previous five years, the CBSA may revoke that person’s residency status.
  • The CBSA may order the removal of the citizen-applicant from Canada.

The IRCC will require information on every trip outside Canada during the five years before the citizenship application. Remembering every detail of travels across the border could be challenging. However, the applicant can obtain a Travel History Report from the CBSA to ensure application forms contain all the relevant travel information.

The requirements of citizen applications are as follows:

  • Applicant must provide correct and valid information
  • Provide comprehensive information without leaving anything out

Potential repercussions for misrepresentation

The potential consequences of misrepresentation could involve the applicant losing his or her current permanent resident status and being deported. If the IRCC learning about a misrepresentation after awarding citizenship, the citizenship can be revoked and the person removed. Anyone with resident status in Canada will need to be familiar with the do’s and don’ts of applying for citizenship before proceeding. Even an unintentional error on the application could wipe out years of building a life in Canada. Accordingly, securing support for legal and other matters related to becoming a Canadian citizen is typically an invaluable step toward the future.

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