Lost password

HomeGeneral Citizenship Questions

Citizenship tests, timelines, oaths, eligibility, application process, requirements

Applying for citizenship while living in US 

Posts: 1

Posted On: 11/13/2020
Posts: 1
I am a Canadian PR (my card expires Feb 2021), but I moved back to the US (my country of citizenship) last fall for work. Around the time that I moved, I became eligible for Canadian citizenship by meeting the residency requirement (I now exceed 1095 days). I have a home address in the US though, and the application asks for a Canadian home address. I do have a mailing address in Canada and it is possible for me to travel back to Canada if necessary.

1) Will the US address be a problem for my application? Will I run into trouble if I include my Canadian mailing address, since it's not my current home address? I see that it is acceptable to leave Canada *after* submitting an application (, but I want to know if having a home address outside of Canada when I submit my application will be a problem.

2) Relatedly, I am wondering if I should apply to renew my PR status, but I am pretty sure I cannot do this if I do not live in Canada (or - could I submit the application from Canada and include my Canadian mailing address)?

Thank you.
Posts: 4099

Posted On: 11/27/2020
Posts: 4099

Thank you for sharing your situation and question with us.

We hope that the information that we provide will help you in assessing your options, but we strongly suggest that you speak to a registered immigration consultant or an immigration lawyer for additional information regarding your situation before you start your citizenship application.

1) Address Issue
As you mentioned, it does specifically state on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website that the home address you provide on the citizenship application form must be in Canada. A home address is where you live and a mailing address is where you receive mail. Given that you do not have a home address in Canada, you will be unable to fill out this section according to these rules.

It should be noted that not following the rules when filling out a citizenship application could lead to your application being banned for fraud if it looks as though you were intentionally misrepresenting information. This could result in you not only being refused citizenship, but also in you losing your PR status.

The IRCC website explains what to do in cases where questions on an immigration application form do not relate to your situation in the What if some of the questions on the application form don’t apply to me section. The following is an excerpt that details what you are expected to do in such a situation:

You should fill in all spaces on immigration application forms. If a question does not apply, write “not applicable” or “N/A” in the space. That shows you have read and filled out the form fully.
If you are applying online and the form does not allow you to type “N/A,” leave the space blank.

You will be given a chance to indicate your current US address under Section 10 A of the application form where you will be asked to provide all of your addresses both inside and outside of Canada during your 5 year eligibility period. The importance of specifically filing out this section of the form is indicated on the IRCC website where it states the following:

Do not leave any gaps during this period and do not leave this section blank. If you do, your application will be returned to you as incomplete.

If you are considering putting your Canadian mailing address as your home address, you should be aware of the fact that any falsified information on an application is considered a crime that can cause your application to be rejected and potentially lead to even harsher punishment including a five-year ban on entering Canada. Claiming that your Canadian mailing address is your home address could be considered fraud and as previously mentioned, could result in you being refused citizenship and potentially losing your PR status.

As a side note, if your mailing address belongs to an immigration consultant, lawyer, friend or family member doing business with the IRCC on your behalf, you will need to complete a Representative Form. This form will have to be sent along with your citizenship application either in your application or as an electronic upload.

Finally, it should be noted that although the IRCC is still accepting citizenship applications, COVID-19 is affecting the review process and making it so that they are unable to estimate processing times at the moment.

2) Renewing your PR status
You are correct in that you cannot renew your PR card unless you are in Canada. However, it should be noted that you can apply for citizenship with an expired PR card. As explained in the Understand permanent resident status section of the IRCC website, you will still retain your PR status even if your PR card expires because PR status can only be formally removed through an official decision.

Should you need to return to Canada after your PR card expires, you would have the option to get a Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD). Any permanent resident without a valid PR card returning to Canada by either airplane, boat, train, or bus is required to show this document before boarding. The eligibility criteria are listed in the Permanent resident travel document: who can apply section. Here is an excerpt:

You can apply for a permanent resident travel document if you:
- Are a permanent resident,
- Do not have a valid PR card showing your PR status,
- Are outside Canada, and
- Will return to Canada by airplane, boat, train, or bus

If you are returning to Canada in a private vehicle, there are other documents that you can use to enter the country. You can find information regarding this option on the IRCC website, under Identification requirements for United States citizens and permanent residents, and international visitors.Once you return to Canada through either option, you can apply for a new PR card. It typically takes 125 days to receive a new PR card, but as with citizenship applications, COVID-19 is affecting the review process and making it so that they are unable to estimate processing times at the moment.

Again, we strongly suggest that you speak to a registered immigration consultant or an immigration lawyer about your options before you start any applications or make any large decisions regarding your situation.

We hope that you find this information helpful. Please let us know if you have further questions.


Your Settlement.Org Team

This response was prepared with the assistance of PBSC law student volunteers. PBSC volunteers are not lawyers and they are not authorized to provide legal advice. This document contains general discussion of certain legal and related issues only. This response does not contain legal advice. If you require legal advice, please consult with a lawyer.