Are you eligible for Canadian citizenship if you live in Canada but work in the United States?

One of the main requirements for obtaining Canadian citizenship is that you must have been physically present in the country for three out of the last five years.

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According to the Citizenship Act of Canada,

for each day the person has been physically present in Canada since becoming a permanent resident, the person accumulates one day of physical presence.


for each day the person was physically present in Canada as a temporary resident or a protected person under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act before becoming a permanent resident, the person accumulates one-half day of physical presence , up to a maximum of 365 days .

But what if you work in the US and have to drive to work every day? Does this count as a “full day”?

If you work in the United States for part of the day but have a residence in Canada and spend part of your day in Canada, this time can be calculated for the physical presence requirement for your citizenship application. .

The Department of Immigration is able to verify your movement in and out of Canada through the Entry/Exit Program, which it uses to collect traveler information at the border.

IRCC recommends applying with more days than necessary, to account for any miscalculations.

To meet the physical presence requirement, you must have been a permanent resident for at least two years and have spent at least 1,095 full days in Canada prior to your application date. IRCC only considers the five years preceding the date of your application.

Each day you spend in Canada as a permanent resident counts as a full day. Any time spent in Canada on a work or study permit counts as half a day, up to 365 days.

Thus, it takes two years in Canada as a temporary resident to equal a full year towards your physical presence requirement.

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