Criminal charges, or a criminal record, may impact your ability to become a Canadian citizen. You will not be eligible for Canadian citizenship if you have been convicted of a “serious crime,” meaning an offence where the maximum sentence is 10 years or more in prison, or if the actual sentence received is greater than six months in prison. You may also be ineligible for Canadian citizenship if you have been convicted of two minor criminal offences stemming from separate incidents. If you receive a record suspension for a conviction, or if your conviction is overturned and an acquittal is entered on appeal, you may be eligible for Canadian citizenship.
You cannot obtain Canadian citizenship while you are facing outstanding charges for an indictable offence. You also cannot obtain Canadian citizenship if you have been convicted of an indictable offence within four years prior to your application.
If you are concerned about how criminal charges or a criminal record will affect your citizenship application, it is recommended that you speak with a criminal defence lawyer to assist you in defending against the allegations. It is further advisable for you to consult with an immigration lawyer regarding the impact any potential outcome to your charges may have on your immigration application.