Proposed Changes to Canadian Citizenship


The Liberal government has been focusing their legislative efforts on improving the existing Citizenship Act in order to allow immigrants to apply for Canadian Citizenship earlier and easier than the procedure currently in place. The goal, according to the chair of the House Immigration Committee, MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj, is for the bill known as C-6 is passed into law by Canada day of this year.

Some of the proposed amendments to the current act include the reduction of the residency obligation for a permanent resident to apply for Canadian Citizenship from four out of six years to three out of five years. It would also consider the time spent by an individual on temporary status in Canada to count towards the time required to apply for Canadian Citizenship. One of the highlights of C-6 is to remove the current provision that allows the citizenship of a dual Canadian Citizen to be revoked if they are convicted of treason, espionage or terrorism.

Here is a list of the proposed changes

  1. Repeal of revocation provision

    Current Rules – Authority to revoke Canadian citizenship for certain acts against the national interest of Canada. These grounds include convictions of terrorism, high treason, treason or spying offences.

    Proposed changes – Repeal national interest grounds for revocation.

  2. Repeal of intention to reside provision

    Current Rules – In order to be granted Canadian Citizenship, applicants must have the intent of residing in Canada.

    Proposed amendment
    Repeal intent to reside provision.

  3. Physical presence in Canada

    Current Rules – In order to apply for Canadian Citizenship, an applicant needs to physically be present in Canada for four out of six years before the date of application.

    Proposed amendment – Physical presence for three out of five years before the date of application

  4. Counting temporary status

    Current Rules- An applicant cannot count the time they spent in Canada on temporary status in the Citizenship application.

    Proposed amendment – Applicants will be able to count each day they were physically present in Canada as a protected person or temporary resident prior to becoming a permanent resident as a half-day toward meeting the physical presence requirement for citizenship, up to a maximum of one year of credited time.

  5. Less burdensome annual physical presence requirement

    Current Rules- An applicant must be physically present in Canada for a minimum of 183 days in 4 of the last 6 years.

    Proposed amendment – Repeal the minimum 183 days physical presence in 4 of the last

  6. Fewer people need to prove language proficiency

    Current Rules – Applicants aged 14-64 are required to meet the language requirements and pass a knowledge test.

    Proposed amendment – Applicants aged 18-54 must meet language requirements and pass the knowledge test.

  7. Canadian income taxes

    Current Rules An applicant is required to file Canadian income taxes, if required to do so under the Income Tax Act, for four taxation years out of six years.

    Proposed amendment – An applicant should file Canadian income taxes, if required to do so under the Income Tax Act, for three taxation years out of five years.

  8. Conditional sentence now a bar

    Current Rules – An applicant can count the time spent by them serving a conditional sentence order towards meeting physical presence requirements. Convicted applicants who are serving conditional sentence orders are not prohibited from being granted citizenship or taking the oath of citizenship.

    Proposed amendment – An applicant cannot count the time spent under a conditional sentence order towards meeting the physical presence requirements; nor can those serving a conditional sentence order be granted citizenship or allowed to take the oath of citizenship.

  9. Canadian citizenship oath

    Current Rulest – There exists a provision prohibiting applicants from taking the oath of citizenship if they never met or no longer meet the requirements for the grant of citizenship. However, this does not apply to any applications that were received before June 11, 2015.

    Proposed amendment – The existing provision will also apply to applications still in process that were received prior to June 11, 2015.

  10. New provision to counter fraud

    Current Rules – There exists no explicit authority for citizenship officers to seize fraudulent documents related to the processing of applications.

    Proposed amendment – Citizenship officers will have the authority to seize documents provided if there are reasonable grounds to believe they are fraudulent, or being used We don’t know whether any or all of these changes will be implemented. We will update you as we learn more.

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Subuhi Siddiqui is a Lead Canadian Immigration Lawyer at Niren & Associates. She has worked on all types of immigration application, and regularly attends the IAD and Federal Court to represent her clients. She currently heads the Permanent Residence Department at the firm.

Read More About Subuhi 

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

  • anna

    if someone has immigrated to cnada with a marriage, how long she/he is obliged to live with that person?

    • Immigration Lawyers

      Hi Anna,
      That period can be affected or changed due to each persons individual case. We would love to take a closer look at you and your case to help you obtain the correct answer. Please, complete this form for me it is just a quick and easy way for me to learn more details about you and your situation so that I will be able to advise you accurately and determine the best avenue for us to take to give you the best legal advice.

      The above response is for informational purposes only and does not form a lawyer-client relationship nor should it be construed to be legal advice.

    • Nabil

      you have to live 2 years under his or her sponsored

  • Muffi

    In current rule, do i need to file income tax return last 4 years, before applying for citizenship. i have filled for last 3 years (2013, 2014, 2015) and yet to file for 2016. Can i still submit the application mentioning required to file for 2016.

    • Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Muffi. We will need to know more about the details of your situation. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to plan the best strategy for you. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-416-410-7484 or online at
      Regards, Muga

  • M. Sarwar

    Pls advise if new Canadian Citizenship Act Bill C-6 implemented now can be applied citizenship under the new law.

    • Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello. The Bill has not been put into law yet. As soon as it does we will be sending out a special bulletin informing everyone of the changes.
      Regards, Muga

  • aadi

    I’m aadi from pakistan. I’m apply visit visa for canada but Canadian embassy is rejected my application. Any one can help me for Canadian visit visa.

    • Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Aadi. A visitor visa is one of the most difficult to obtain because the reviewing officer needs to make 100% certain that you will return home after your visit. Many people who attempt to apply on their own, face the same problem as you. If you need help with your application to make sure that you are not making any mistakes, and so that you will have a legal team taking care of all the matters that may arise, then please contact us to book a consultation with one of our immigration professionals. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at
      Regards, Muga

  • Mandeep Singh

    I am an Indian, working in Govt. Dept. in India.
    I want to apply for PR in Canada under Skilled Category (CRS and PNP program).
    I am unmarried.
    Age 29 (as on 26.09.1986)
    Done PG in Computer Applications
    Done Master in Language (Punjabi)
    Done Bachelor in Education
    Done Bachelor of Arts.
    Having Five years work Experience of India(from Jan 2011).

    What should I do for a better/accurate file procedure?

    • Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Mandeep. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to plan the best strategy for you after evaluating all of your criteria. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at
      Regards, Muga

  • Sikandar bashir

    What are requirements if my wife she is African and I am pakistani. So how much is chances for canada

    • Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Sikandar. We will need to know all the details of your situation and that of your wife. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to plan the best strategy for you and your wife. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at
      Regards, Muga

  • Mosa Ilhami

    I would like to know if there is any change
    Regarding sponsoring spouse,how long it will tack if all the document are subnet correctly. Please inform me, thank you and advance.
    Regards, Mosa ilhami

    • Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Mosa. The processing time differs for every county. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to look at all your details and advise you on the most effective way for you to achieve your immigration goal. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at
      Regards, Muga

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