Imagine the crimson leaves of autumn gently falling in a quaint Canadian neighborhood. Among the residents embracing the chill is Ahmed, a skilled carpenter from Egypt. He recently became a Permanent Resident (PR) through the help of Ansari Immigration, a leading Vancouver immigration consultant. Ahmed is intrigued by the thought of participating in the local elections, to have a say in the community that welcomed him warmly. But, does his new status afford him this privilege?
Let’s unravel this together!
Why Can’t Permanent Residents Vote in Canada?
Voting is one of the most important rights and responsibilities of citizenship. It allows you to choose who represents you and your interests in the government, and to hold them accountable for their actions. Voting also shows your commitment and loyalty to Canada, and your respect for its values and laws. Permanent residents are not citizens yet. They are still considered foreigners who have been granted permission to live and work in Canada indefinitely. They have not taken the oath of citizenship, which is a solemn promise to be faithful and loyal to Canada, and to fulfill the duties of citizenship. Permanent residents also have the option to leave Canada at any time, or to return to their country of origin. They may have ties or obligations to another country, such as paying taxes, serving in the military, or voting in their elections. These may conflict with their loyalty and allegiance to Canada. Therefore, permanent residents do not have the same stake or attachment to Canada as citizens do. They do not have the same rights or obligations either. For example, permanent residents cannot apply for a Canadian passport, serve in the Canadian Armed Forces, or work in certain government jobs that require security clearance.
Q: What's the difference between a PR and a citizen concerning voting?
A: PRs have many rights, but voting isn’t one of them. Only citizens can vote.
Q: How can I transition from PR to citizen? A: Fulfill your PR obligations, live in Canada for at least 1,095 days in a five-year period, and then you can apply for citizenship.
How Can Permanent Residents Become Citizens?
If you are a permanent resident who wants to vote in Canada, you need to become a citizen first. To do so, you need to meet certain requirements, such as:
Being physically present in Canada for at least 1,095 days (three years) out of the five years before you apply
Having filed your taxes for at least three years out of the five years before you apply
Being able to communicate in English or French (Canada’s official languages)
Having knowledge of Canada’s history, geography, culture, values, and institutions
Passing a citizenship test and interview
Taking the oath of citizenship
Becoming a citizen is not easy, but it is worth it. As a citizen, you will enjoy all the rights and freedoms that Canada has to offer, including the right to vote and run for office. You will also be able to travel with a Canadian passport, which is one of the most powerful passports in the world. You will be able to access more educational and career opportunities, as well as social benefits and programs. Most importantly, you will be part of the Canadian family, and share its identity and pride.
Seize Your Canadian Dream with Ansari Immigration
Whether you’re an international student or a professional seeking a prosperous life in Canada, the immigration consultants at Ansari Immigration are your go-to guides. Dive into our other blogs on student visas, study permits, healthcare, and work permits to fuel your Canadian dream.