Physical Presence Calculator

Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

A. RULES OF CALCULATION

Q1: How long do I have to live in Canada before I am eligible for Canadian citizenship?

A1: You must be physically present in Canada as a permanent resident for 1,460 days within the six (6) years immediately before applying for citizenship. You must also be physically present in Canada as a permanent resident for 183 days in each of four calendar years that are partially or fully in the six (6) years immediately before applying for citizenship.

For example:

You entered Canada March 1, 2005 and became a permanent resident on June 5, 2011. You indicated you would be signing your citizenship application on April 12, 2016.

The six (6) year period begins April 12, 2010. As you became a permanent resident on April 12, 2012, no time before that date can be counted. You must be physically present for at least 1,460 days between June 5, 2011 (as no time before that date can be counted) and April 12, 2016.

You must also be physically present for at least 183 days between January 1 and December 31 for any four of these years: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, or 2016. Even though calendar year 2010 is partially in the six-year period immediately before you apply for citizenship, it cannot count because you did not become a permanent resident until June 5, 2011.


Q2: How is the physical presence requirement for citizenship calculated?

A2: Only the six (6) years preceding the date of your application are taken into account. Within that six-year period:

  • Every day you spent in Canada as a permanent resident counts as a full day.
  • Every day you spent in Canada before you become a permanent resident does not count.
  • If you became a permanent resident less than six (6) years ago, your calculation period starts on the date you became a permanent resident.
  • Time spent serving a sentence in Canada does not count towards the physical presence requirement (i.e. you cannot count time spent in a prison, penitentiary, jail, reformatory, probation and/or on parole as physical presence). See Question 9 for exceptions to this rule.

Q4: When I try to calculate my absences, I get different numbers than the physical presence calculator. How does the physical presence calculator determine the number of days for each absence?

A3: The calculator uses the following rules to determine the number of days absent for each absence declared:

  • When calculating an absence, neither the day you leave Canada nor the day you return is considered an absence. Both are counted as days of physical presence. For example, an absence between July 1, 2013 and July 15, 2013 equals 13 days of absence. As another example, if you leave Canada on July 1, 2013 and return on July 2, 2013, this equals 0 days of absence. You must still declare this as an absence.
  • An absence on February 29 (leap day) is counted as an absence or is credited as a presence.
  • The total number of days absent includes all absences from Canada within the six-year period immediately preceding the date of your application, or since you became a permanent resident, whichever is most recent.

Q4: I think the physical presence calculator is making a mistake on my eligibility date. Looking at the number of days of physical presence I have, I think I should be eligible sooner than indicated.

A4: In general, if you are missing a number of days to reach one of the physical presence requirements, you have to wait that same number of missing days before you are eligible.

However, in some situations, you may have to wait longer to apply than simply the number of missing days, given that your overall relevant period shifts. You may have to wait longer in order to have been physically present in Canada for at least 183 days in each of four calendar years.

For example, you became a permanent resident on February 1, 2008. You indicated that you would apply for citizenship on November 1, 2017. This means the relevant six-year period starts November 1, 2011.

Number of days physically present in Canada during the relevant period:

  • 2011: 61 (November 1 to December 31)
  • 2012: 180
  • 2013: 365
  • 2014: 180
  • 2015: 365
  • 2016: 180
  • 2017: 304 (January 1 to November 1)

You have been physically present 1,635 days, so you meet the requirement to be physically present as a permanent resident for at least 1,460 days in the six (6) years before application. However, you would need to be physically present for at least 183 days in 2018 in order to meet the requirement to be physically present as a permanent resident for 183 days in each of four calendar years that are fully or partially in the six-year period. This means that your eligibility date would become July 3, 2018.

Number of days physically present in Canada during the relevant period would become:

  • 2012: 180
  • 2013: 365
  • 2014: 180
  • 2015: 365
  • 2016: 180
  • 2017: 365 (assuming you remained in Canada for the rest of this year)
  • 2018: 183 (January 1 to July 3)

B. WHAT ABSENCES TO DECLARE

Q5: Do I have to declare day trips to the United States?

A5: Yes. List all absences, even if you come back the same day.


Q6: I travel often to the United States and don't remember the exact dates. What do I do?

A6: To use the physical presence calculator, you must enter exact dates. If you do not know the exact number of days you were absent, try to calculate an estimated number and after you have printed your absence sheet, attach a hand written note to it indicating that the dates are approximate.

Q7: I travel often because of my work (truck driver, employee for an airline company, etc.). Do I have to declare those absences?

A7: Yes. All absences from Canada, regardless of the reason, must be declared.


C. TIME SPENT SERVING A SENTENCE FOR AN OFFENCE

Q8: I have heard that some time spent imprisoned, on parole or on probation can still be counted as physical presence. Is this true?

A8: In general, time spent serving a sentence for an offence in Canada cannot count towards physical presence for the purposes of becoming a Canadian citizen (i.e. you cannot count time spent in a prison, penitentiary, jail, reformatory, on probation, and/or parole as physical presence). There are, however, the following exceptions:

  • Only the six (6) years preceding the date of your application are considered for calculating physical presence eligibility. Time spent serving a sentence outside of that six-year period does not have to be declared.
  • Time on probation as a result of a conditional discharge can count towards physical presence if the probation was completed successfully (i.e. you were not charged with a breach of probation or a failure to comply during that probation). This time does not have to be declared for the purposes of the physical presence calculator.
  • If you received a pardon/record suspension for the conviction in question, time spent imprisoned, on parole or on probation because of that conviction does not have to be declared.
  • Time spent imprisoned or on probation does not have to be declared if:
    • you were convicted under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, received a youth sentence, and successfully completed that sentence; or
    • you were convicted under the previous Young Offenders Act and successfully completed that sentence.

Q9. When I try to calculate the number of days spent serving a sentence, I get different numbers than the physical presence calculator. How does the physical presence calculator determine the number of days for each sentence?

A9. The calculator uses the following rules to determine the number of days spent for each sentence:

  • When calculating a sentence, all days are included. For example, a sentence between July 1, 2013, and July 15, 2013, equals 15 days.
  • Time spent serving a sentence on February 29 (leap day) is counted as part of the sentence.
  • The total number of days spent serving a sentence includes all sentences served within the six-year period immediately preceding the date of your application.

Q10. My probation order does not state the exact dates I am under probation. Instead it states a period of time (e.g. 6 months, 1 year, etc.). What do I enter?

A10. When entering time spent serving a sentence, the start date is generally the date of the probation order unless otherwise specified. To calculate the end date, use the following example as a guide:

For example, if the probation order starts on June 15, 2013, a 3 three-month probation will end September 14, 2013, a six-month probation will end December 14, 2013, and a one-year probation will end June 14, 2014.


D. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Q11: What do I do if I want to apply now?

A11: Print the calculation and attach a copy to your Application for Canadian Citizenship - Adults. If you attach a copy, you do not need to complete the How to Calculate Physical Presence form (CIT 0407). Make sure that the date of application used in this calculation and the date of signature on the application form and on the calculation printout are the same. The date you sign cannot be in the future, and it cannot be more than 90 days before CIC receives it.

Please note that if you apply with fewer than 1,460 days of physical presence as a permanent resident in the six (6) years immediately before you apply, or fewer than 183 days of physical presence in each of four years that are fully or partially in those six (6) years, your application will be returned to you by the Case Processing Centre in Sydney, Nova Scotia (CPC-Sydney).

If you miscalculated your time spent serving a sentence or absences and submitted your application without having the required physical presence, and it is later determined while your application is in process (e.g., after examination of your court documents) that you have fewer than the required number of days of physical presence, your application will be refused. Your citizenship processing fee will not be refunded.


Q12: What do I do if I want to apply later?

A12: The calculator will give you a date when you should be eligible to apply, assuming nothing changes and you remain in Canada. You can print the results for your records. When you are eligible to apply, you should redo the calculation before sending in your application. Your circumstances might have changed. For example, you might have more absences and this could impact your eligibility.

If you want to save this calculation, you will need to register with an e-mail address. Don't forget to review all dates including the application date when you retrieve a saved calculation.


Q13: I did not apply when I first did my calculation and my situation has not changed (no new absences or time spent serving a sentence). Why should I redo the calculation before applying?

A13: If you decide to apply at a later date, you must redo the calculation to confirm that you are eligible before applying. You might have made a mistake the first time you used the calculator or you could have forgotten an absence. The law might have changed and the requirements could be different.

Also, when you attach the results of the physical presence calculator to your application, the application date used in the calculation must reflect the true date you are applying.


Q14: I have used the physical presence calculator to determine if I am eligible to apply for citizenship. I am completing the application form and the form refers to a How to Calculate Physical Presence Form (CIT 0407). Do I have to complete the form?

A14:The online physical presence calculator is the preferred method to calculate your physical presence in Canada. Print the results of the physical presence calculator, and attach a copy to your Application for Canadian Citizenship - Adults. If you attach a copy, you do not need to fill out the How to Calculate Physical Presence Form (CIT 0407). Make sure that the date of application used in this calculation and the date of signature on the application form and on the calculation printout are the same. The date you sign cannot be in the future, and it cannot be more than 90 days before CIC receives it.


Q15: Why is it important that the application date used in the calculation and the date of signature on the application form and the calculation printout be the same?

A15: This is important so that there is no confusion on your application date because your eligibility for citizenship is based on that date. If there is confusion, there could be delays in processing your application while we try to clarify the situation, especially if one of the dates makes you ineligible for citizenship. If the confusion cannot be resolved, the information appearing in your application form will be taken as the correct information and used to determine eligibility.


E. ERROR MESSAGES

Q16: When I try to list my absences from Canada or time spent serving a sentence, I get an error message. What am I doing wrong?

A16: The following mistakes when listing absences or time spent serving a sentence will generate error messages:

  • Missing information: from, to, destination or reason for absence, type of sentence served; or
  • Absences that overlap.

Please remember:

  • The following months have 31 days: January, March, May, July, August, October and December;
  • The following months have 30 days: April, June, September and November; and
  • February normally has 28 calendar days. February 29 counts in leap years.

F. TECHNICAL AND SECURITY QUESTIONS

Q17: Why doesn't the 'Print' button work when I try to print the final result?

A17: If the 'Print' button doesn't work, you either don't have access to a printer or you don't have a printer set up with your browser. If you do not have access to a printer, select 'File -> Save as' and save the html file to your hard drive or floppy. You can open the html file from there to view your final result. If you have access to a printer and still wish to print, select 'File -> Print' and follow the browser's instructions.


Q18: Why do I need to clear my browser cache?

A18: When you visit a Web site, information, such as the location of the page, or the URL, is retained in your browser's memory. In order to protect the privacy of your information, you should empty your browser's memory by clearing your cache. This will ensure that your information remains private.


Q19: What does it mean when my session times out?

A19: The On-line services keeps track of periods of inactivity. If you leave your computer for a long period of time while using this service, you may be asked to log in again. This is a security feature to verify your identity and to protect your information.


Q20: What does encryption mean?

A20: Encryption is a way of covering important information with a code before it is sent over the Internet so that other machines and people cannot read it. Your encrypted application information will be uncovered or decoded on our protected server once it reaches us.

This on-line service uses encryption to make sure that no illegal person or group will see your personal information. Information from your computer is encrypted before being sent. This changes your information into a format that can be safely sent to us over the Internet. Once the information is encrypted, it cannot be read until it reaches its destination and is decoded, using an encryption key.


Q21: What is Hypertext Transfer Protocol over Secure Socket Layer (HTTPS)?

A21: HTTPS is a Web protocol built into browsers. It encrypts and decrypts user page requests. It also encrypts and decrypts information that is returned by Web servers.


Q22: How do I logout?

A22: When using this on-line service, you will see a link to logout on the top of the page that you must select to end your session. After selecting the logout link, you will see a screen that tells you about other steps to take to make sure that your information stays private.