New citizenship rules have been announced by the Canadian government:
As part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to provide greater flexibility in meeting requirements for those who wish to obtain Canadian citizenship, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced today a significant milestone in implementing changes to the Citizenship Act through the adoption of Bill C-6.
Further to changes introduced upon Royal Assent which repealed certain provisions of the former government’s Bill C-24, important changes to physical presence and the age required to meet language and knowledge requirements for permanent residents who are applying for citizenship will come into effect on October 11, 2017. The new requirements will give more flexibility to both younger and older eligible immigrants to obtain citizenship. They will also help individuals who have already begun building lives in Canada achieve citizenship faster.
Citizenship applicants who meet the new requirements must wait until October 11, 2017, before applying for citizenship. This is the date when the changes come into effect, and when the new citizenship application forms and guides will be available.
More changes to the Citizenship Act are expected to take effect later this year and in early 2018. For a complete list of past, current and future changes to the Citizenship Act and their effective dates, please read the Bill C-6 Backgrounder.
Key changes include the following:
- Physical presence in Canada for 3 out of 5 years, instead of 4 out of 6 years
- Applicants must file income taxes for the 3 years out of 5 years, matching the new physical presence requirement
- The requirement of 183 days of physical presence in each calendar year has been eliminated
- Days spent in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident may be counted as half days to a maximum credit of 365 days. Example: If you spent all of 2013 and 2014 in Canada, but weren’t a permanent resident, these would count as one full year.
- Applicants under 18 and over 54 are not required to meet the language and knowledge requirements.
If you have any questions, please contact us.