Canada is a country that welcomes immigrants from all over the world, offering them opportunities to live, work, study, and contribute to its society. Many immigrants choose to become permanent residents of Canada, which grants them many rights and privileges, such as access to public health care, education, social services, and protection under Canadian law. However, some immigrants may want to take their immigration journey to the next level and become Canadian citizens.
Becoming a Canadian citizen is not an easy process. It requires meeting certain eligibility criteria, such as living in Canada for at least three years out of the five years before applying, passing a citizenship test, and taking an oath of allegiance. However, the benefits of becoming a Canadian citizen and obtaining a Canadian passport are worth the effort. Here are some of the main benefits of being a Canadian passport holder:
Freedom of Travel and Increased Visa-Free Travel
One of the most obvious benefits of having a Canadian passport is the freedom to travel in and out of Canada without any restrictions or obligations. Unlike permanent residents, who need to meet certain residency requirements and renew their permanent resident cards every five years, Canadian citizens can leave and enter Canada as they please, without having to worry about losing their status or applying for a travel document.
Moreover, Canadian passport holders enjoy one of the most powerful passports in the world, according to the Henley Passport Index, which ranks passports based on the number of countries they can access without a visa. As of 2023, Canadian passport holders can travel to over 180 countries without a visa, including the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, and many more. This means that Canadian passport holders can explore the world with ease and convenience, as well as take advantage of business, education, and cultural opportunities in different countries.
Right to Vote and Run for Office
Another benefit of being a Canadian passport holder is the right to participate in the democratic process of Canada. Canadian citizens have the right to vote in federal, provincial, and municipal elections, as well as referendums and plebiscites. This means that Canadian citizens can have a say in the policies and decisions that affect their lives and communities, as well as elect the representatives who will govern them.
Furthermore, Canadian citizens have the right to run for office and seek election at any level of government, as long as they meet the other eligibility criteria, such as age, residency, and nomination. This means that Canadian citizens can aspire to become leaders and influencers in their society, and contribute to the development and prosperity of Canada.
Security of Status and Inheritance of Citizenship
Another benefit of being a Canadian passport holder is the security of status and the inheritance of citizenship. Canadian citizenship is permanent and irrevocable, unless the person voluntarily renounces it or obtains it fraudulently. This means that Canadian citizens do not have to worry about losing their status or being deported from Canada, even if they commit a crime or live outside of Canada for a long time.
Additionally, Canadian citizens can pass on their citizenship to their children, regardless of where they are born. This means that Canadian citizens can ensure that their children will have the same rights and privileges as they do, and that they will be able to maintain their connection and identity with Canada.
Other Benefits of Being a Canadian Passport Holder
Besides the benefits mentioned above, there are many other benefits of being a Canadian passport holder, such as:
• Access to more job opportunities, especially in the public sector and fields that require security clearance or a Canadian passport.
• Eligibility for certain scholarships, grants, and awards that are reserved for Canadian citizens.
• Ability to apply for a Canadian passport, which is a widely recognized and respected travel document that can facilitate international travel and prove identity and citizenship.
• Ability to apply for a NEXUS card, which is a trusted traveler program that allows expedited entry into Canada and the United States at designated ports of entry.
• Ability to join the Canadian Armed Forces and serve the country in various roles and missions.
• Ability to receive consular assistance and protection from the Canadian government when traveling abroad, in case of emergency, crisis, or distress.
• Ability to enjoy the benefits of dual citizenship, if the person’s country of origin allows it, which means that the person can retain their original citizenship and passport, and benefit from both countries.
Being a Canadian passport holder is a privilege and an honor that comes with many benefits. It is also a responsibility and a commitment to uphold the values and principles of Canada, and to contribute to its society and culture. If you are a permanent resident of Canada and you are interested in becoming a Canadian citizen, you can find out more about the eligibility requirements, the application process, and the citizenship test on the official website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.