Canada has long been considered a prime destination for people looking for a better life. Compared to other nations, the Canadian democracy tends to eschew prejudiced rhetoric and violence in favour of inclusion and mutual benefit. Even better, the recent change in government has resulted in a more welcoming attitude towards foreigners who wish to move to Canada. People escaping war zones and immigrants with desirable skills will find that moving to Canadian soil is easier than you think.
As of June 2015, applicants who wished to live in Canada had to consider the intent to reside provision, which complicated the process for those who would otherwise have an easy path to citizenship. Essentially, this provision was put into place to ensure that people moving to Canada were doing so on a permanent basis. This gave the Canadian government the ability to rescind citizenship for those who, for whatever reason, needed to move outside Canada.
According to the government of Canada website, the repealing of the intent to reside requirement ensures that all Canadians “are free to move outside Canada”, which is a “right guaranteed in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.” As the next set of parliamentary meetings commence in September, there’s a good chance that the Intent To Reside provision will be stricken, making it easier for people applying to live in Canada.
Before an applicant may be accepted as a citizen, they must currently adhere to requirements of time spent within the country before this privilege is granted. Currently, the requirements state that someone has to be in Canada for four years during the six years prior to entering an application.
The new legislation proposed will reduce that time to three years within the last five years, which reduces the wait time that applicants have to endure before they can finalize the citizenship process. A reduction of one year off the overall waiting time is hugely significant for anybody who wishes to make Canada their new home.
The Citizenship Act of Canada will expand the physical presence requirement to include time spent in the country as an authorized, non-permanent resident. Currently, the government does not count time spent as a non-permanent resident as part of the prerequisite, adding to the amount of wait time that people must face.
When the new rules are implemented, applicants will be able to count every day that they’ve been in Canada as a non-permanent resident as a half day towards the requirements, up to a maximum of two years, which equals one year under the program. This change is designed to speed the pace of families reuniting in Canada, in addition to increasing the mutual economic benefit for immigrants and the country as a whole.
Another significant reform that will make it easier for families to unite within Canadian borders is the reduction of the language and knowledge requirements for newcomers of a certain age. People arriving in Canada who are below the age of 18 and older than 54 will no longer have to pass a language test. Nor will they have to pass a test of knowledge in terms of Canadian citizenship responsibilities.
Prior to this change, the age range for exemption was 14-64, which greatly increased the difficulty for some types of families attempting to make a new life in Canada.
One of the open secrets of Canadian immigration are the many programs that encourage skilled workers and business investors within key industries. In addition to national work visa programs, provinces have their own programs that streamline applicants who meet requirements, such as the Prince Edward Island provincial nominee program. The sheer variety of programs available means that applicants have quite a few opportunities to gain a solid foothold as a citizen in Canada.
Despite the programs put into place to make moving to Canada much easier, the complexities involved in putting forth an application should be managed by a legal immigration expert.
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