19 July 2017

CANADA: Citizenship Act changes

Bill C-6 has been approved which will result in fundamental changes to the Citizenship Act.

The objective of the Bill C-6 is to reduce potential differential treatment of dual citizens as well as reduce previous barriers to citizenship. The changes will be implemented in two phases, phase one is effective immediately whereas the second phase is expected to take effect in autumn 2017.

The changes in the Citizenship Act will affect dual citizens in Canada as well as individuals applying for Canadian citizenship. 

Highlights of the immediate changes include:

  • Intention to continue to live in Canada once granted citizenship is no longer required, thereby allowing citizens flexibility and movement for personal reasons.
  • Age requirement for citizenship has been removed. 

Highlights of expected changes to be implemented in Fall 2017:

  • Applicants must be physically present in Canada for 3 out of 5 years before applying for citizenship.
  • Applicants must file Canadian income taxes for 3 out of 5 years.
  • Applicants between 14 and 54 must meet the language and knowledge requirement for citizenship.
  • Abolishment of the requirement that applicants are required to be physically present in Canada for 183 days. 
  • Applicants may count each day they were physically present in Canada prior to becoming a permanent resident as a half-day toward meeting the physical presence requirement for citizenship, up to a maximum credit of 365 days.




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