Canadian citizenship is obtained automatically by being born in Canada, or by descent where a parent is a first-generation Canadian citizen. In the case of permanent residents, citizenship may be applied for after living in Canada for a specified residency period.

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Interviews with Citizenship Judges

In instances where a Residency Questionnaire has been issued but after considering the additional information the citizenship authorities are still uncertain as to whether the applicant is meeting the residency requirement, they will then convoke the applicant for an interview with a Citizenship Judge. The Judge will interview the applicant about any concerns related to his or her absences from Canada and the documentation used as evidence, and based on this will make a final decision as to whether citizenship should be granted.

Citizenship Applications on Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has the discretion to grant citizenship to alleviate cases of special and unusual hardship, or to reward services of exceptional value to Canada. Statelessness has been added as a stand-alone ground that can be a basis for a discretionary grant of citizenship. The revised Act also requires that the citizenship authorities take into consideration reasonable measures to accommodate a person who is disabled. These provisions can be invoked in situations where a citizenship application is unable to meet all of the requirements for citizenship due to special circumstances where it would result in a hardship to the applicant if citizenship is not granted, or where an applicant is stateless or disabled.

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