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Canadian Citizenship:  Exceptions to the "1095-Day Rule"

To qualify for Canadian Citizenship you must have been physically present in Canada for at least three years (1095 days) during the four years preceding the date of your application, unless there are exceptional circumstances. This test is sometimes referred to as the "1095-Day Rule."

In determining whether exceptional circumstances exist, Citizenship Judges examine the specific facts and circumstances of each individual case. Each case must be assessed on its own merits, and Citizenship Judges have considerable discretion in determining whether exceptional circumstances truly exist. Thus, it is extremely difficult to conclusively pronounce which circumstances will be deemed to be exceptional. The following is a list of factors which may, in some cases, lead Citizenship Judges to "bend" the 1095-Day Rule: 

  • The applicant is physically present in Canada for most of the required period other than recent absences which occurred immediately before the application for Citizenship was submitted. 
  • Even though the applicant leaves Canada on a regular basis, the applicant's immediate family and dependents continue to live in Canada. 
  • The applicant's overall pattern of physical presence in Canada indicates that he or she returns home to Canada, and does not merely "pay a visit" to Canada. 
  • Despite repeated absences, the total number of days absent from Canada are relatively few. 
  • The physical absence from Canada is caused by a clearly temporary situation such as employment or study abroad for a limited period of time. 
  • The quality of the applicant's connection with Canada is more substantial than that which exists with any other country, as reflected by the applicant's involvement in Canadian work and business ventures, community organizations, and payment of Canadian income tax.


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