Rachel Brown – Pace Immigration: Canadian citizenship changes have arrived. The recent announcement by the Government of Canada regarding the long-awaited Bill C-6 is the best immigration news in 2017.
Becoming a Canadian Citizen is the ultimate achievement for a foreign national in Canada. Their path has been made far smoother now that the long-awaited Royal Assent has been granted. The Citizenship Bill, an Act to amend the Citizenship Act and make consequential amendments to another Act, is now law.
With the past government, certain provisions of the Citizenship Act were revised. Among them:
- it took a little longer time for permanent residents to become Canadian citizens
- dual citizens convicted of a crime could have their Canadian citizenship revoked
- the age range for people to meet the language and knowledge requirements for applications was also changed.
These and other changes will be compared below, but it is worth mentioning that some of these changes have already taken effect, while others will take effect at the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018. The reason for the delay is to ensure the smooth transition of the necessary regulatory changes, as well as departmental preparation.
Here is a before and after view of the rules:
In the words of The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship: “Canada’s identity has always been shaped by the significant economic, cultural and social contributions of immigrants. Changes to the Citizenship Act will enhance program integrity, while giving more flexibility to eligible applicants to meet the requirements for citizenship so that they can continue building successful lives in Canada.”
This simply is a win to both sides. The government wins, Canadians win, permanent residents win, and foreign nationals eventually win. In summary, Bill C-6 receiving royal assent means WE ALL WIN. This is who we are, this is Canada.
“A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian” – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.