Changes to Canadian Citizenship Law: Exceptions Should Be Made

By James Metcalfe | April 17, 2014

James Metcalfe | Pace Law Firm | Director of Immigration: Changes to the Citizenship Act were announced earlier this year which may make it more difficult for some people to qualify for Canadian citizenship.

According to the government, the current formula of 1095 days of residence in a 4 year period is much abused and is subject to fraud and manipulation. The new definition of 1460 days of physical presence in 6 years, with at least 6 months per year in any one year, is a significant change.
The government obviously wants to put a greater value on citizenship. My only concern is that there are legitimate circumstances where genuine residents of Canada will not be able to qualify.
I have had a number people who worked in Canada for major corporations. Part of their job required them to travel frequently to the USA. As such, they would never have been able to accumulate the required number of days under these new proposals.
Under the current system, it is possible to claim citizenship with fewer days than required because residence was never defined as physical presence, and exceptions could be made. The government should allow similar exceptions under the new system when it comes into effect.