In Citizenship
Mary Keyork
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Can I travel while my citizenship application is being processed?

I came to Canada as the dependent of my parents over five years ago. I started my citizenship application last year, and I heard that it would take at least another year or more to complete my citizenship application. I have been offered admission to Harvard and plan to commence studies there in September. Will this affect my citizenship application or my permanent residence status?

If you met the requirements for citizenship, including the residence requirement, at the time you submitted your application for citizenship, then your current departure from Canada will not affect your application. Under citizenship law, the relevant period is the four years immediately preceding your application. However, during the processing period, you are still a permanent resident, and you must ensure you continue to meet the residence requirement for permanent residence, which is two years in every five years. It is highly unlikely that your citizenship application would take so long as to cause a concern regarding your PR status. However, it would be wise always to keep track of your absences and seek advice if you become concerned.