I am a Permanent Resident of Canada since 2010 and I want to apply for Canadian Citizenship. However, I have been traveling a lot for my work under past 4 years. Can I still apply?
Since October 11, 2017, in order to be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship, you need to have been in Canada physically at least 1095 days in the five (5) past years before you apply for a citizenship. This five years’ period is calculated from the date you sign the application forms. If you have traveled a lot, it is recommended to make a calculation of all your travels outside Canada on a separate excel sheet in order to see if you are eligible to apply. You need to collect all evidence for the travel dates (passport stamps, airline tickets, etc.) to be able to calculate the time you have spent in Canada and get an exact number of days you have been outside of Canada.
However, there are some exemptions for calculating the time spent outside Canada for the physical presence requirement. If you have been a permanent resident employed for Canadian Armed Forces, Federal public or provincial (or territorial) administrations, this time is not count as absence days from Canada. This applies also if your Canadian citizen or permanent resident spouse has been employed by those instances and you have accompanied him/her on the mission. Nevertheless, note that these exemptions apply only after you have become a permanent resident of Canada or your common-law relationship begun.
Also keep in mind that there are other requirements for obtaining a Canadian citizenship, as to have filed income taxes for three (3) years within five (5) years before you apply for a citizenship; to be able to communicate in English or in French; and to show knowledge about Canada and responsibilities and privileges of citizenship. If you need assistance in the preparation of your application, especially if you are not sure if the physical presence requirement is met, we recommend retaining a lawyer to represent you with your application.