What is the Difference Between Being a Canadian Citizen and Landed Immigrant?

Canadian Citizens and Landed Immigrant

Understanding Canadian citizenship isn’t always easy. There’s a difference between a Canadian citizen and a landed immigrant, and knowing the difference will help you understand your rights and privileges under Canadian laws.

Canadian Citizenship

A Canadian citizen is one who was born within the country’s borders or has received citizenship through naturalization.  To become naturalized, permanent residents who qualify must first make an application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada to receive their certificate of citizenship.

You can also be a citizen of Canada if you were born to Canadian parents outside of the country, but this doesn’t apply to all cases. Individuals born outside of the country after April 17, 2009 can receive citizenship with at least one Canadian parent if they are the first generation born outside Canada.

In addition, if a parent was not born in Canada, but did become naturalized before a child’s birth, then citizenship can be granted to a child born outside Canada.

Minors can also receive citizenship by being naturalized by a parent through the application process.

Landed Immigrant

A landed immigrant is an individual who has been granted permanent residence but is not Canadian. The term “permanent resident” is also used, although “landed immigrant” is still included in many forms issued by the government.

To receive landed immigrant status, you must qualify for then make an application under one of the existing immigration categories.  You then enter the country through one a port of entry and are “landed” as an immigrant. The IMM 1000 form is used to create a record of your status. This is also known as a Confirmation of Permanent Residence or Record of Landing.

The landed immigrant status helps distinguish between the different classifications within the country. This includes non-permanent residents such as students and family members, as well as those who are citizens by birth.

Considerations on Citizenship

There are instances where citizenship is granted automatically. For example, adoptions involving a Canadian parent will provide citizenship to the child. Children can apply for a Canadian passport upon receiving their citizenship by applying for a certificate. However, if a certificate has not been granted, parents can still apply for a passport while giving consent to provide confirmation to the government from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

An individual who has had permanent residency for a number of years can also be granted citizenship after making an application to the immigration authorities.

Knowing the difference between being a Canadian citizen and a landed immigrant can help you understand your rights. If you are applying for citizenship, you need to know the circumstances under which you can receive it to ensure a quick process without any delay.


  1. https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2006/ref/dict/pop058a-eng.cfm
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permanent_residency_in_Canada
  3. https://canadaonline.about.com/od/citizenship/g/cdncitizen.htm