Top Five Changes to Canada’s Citizenship Act – Fall 2017
Canada’s Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen announced on October 4th, 2017 that there will be another wave of changes to Bill C-6. Part of this bill amends the Citizenship Act which helps ease the process for immigrants to become citizens. “One of the strongest pillars for successful integration into Canadian life is achieving Canadian citizenship and becoming part of the Canadian family,” says Ahmed Hussen, minister of immigration, refugees, and citizenship. “The government encourages all immigrants to take the path towards citizenship and take advantage of everything that being a Canadian has to offer.”
Individuals who wish to apply for citizenship who meet the new requirements must wait until after October 11, 2017 before applying. There are five significant changes in Bill C-6. Some of these changes have already been effective since June, but some will begin on October 11, 2017.
- “Revocation: Dual citizens convicted of terrorism, spying or treason will face the Canadian justice system like any other citizen who breaks the law. No one can strip their citizenship.
- Intent: Applicants are no longer required to express intent to continue to live in Canada after receiving citizenship. This gives many people the flexibility to work outside the country.
- Physical presence: Permanent residents will have to be physically present in Canada for three out of five years before applying. Previously it was four out of five years. Another rule, requiring applicants to be in Canada for 183 days each year, is being scrapped. Permanent residents will now be allowed to go abroad to study, work or for family reasons without losing access to citizenship eligibility.
- Prior days: Time spent in Canada before becoming a permanent resident will now count toward the physical presence requirement, up to one year.
- Knowledge and Language: Only applicants between the ages of 18-54 will be required to take and pass a citizenship knowledge and language test. The requirement previously extended to ages 14-64.”
The year 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of Canadian citizenship. So far this year over 70,000 people have become Canadian citizens.
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