Recent amendments to the Citizenship Act will make it easier and faster for Canadian permanent residents to become citizens of Canada.
Bill C-6 became law on June 19, 2017, reversing several amendments to the Citizenship Act that were passed by Canada's previous Conservative government in 2014. Some of the new provisions will come into force immediately while others will take effect in the coming months.
The most significant change to the Citizenship Act is the reduction of the residency requirement for citizenship applicants. The current law requires permanent residents to live in Canada for 4 years before they can apply for citizenship. Soon permanent residents will be eligible for citizenship after having lived in Canada for just 3 years during 5 year-period prior to application.
Other important changes include:
- Allowing minors to apply for citizenship without parental consent;
- Allowing some of the time spent in Canada as a foreign worker or international student to be counted towards the residency requirement for citizenship;
- Eliminating the ability of the Canadian government to revoke the citizenship of dual citizens convicted of certain serious crimes; and
- Eliminating language and knowledge requirements for minors and persons over age 55.
For a chart of all the changes to the Citizenship Act, please consult Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's comparative table of amendments.
Canada's Minister of Immigration, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, was quoted recently at an immigration law conference in Toronto, saying, "We want all permanent residents, if possible, to become Canadians."
Are you interested in becoming a Canadian citizen? Please contact me to discuss your options.