Ottawa: 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 on Wednesday 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Further to changes introduced upon Royal Assent which repealed certain provisions of the former government’s Bill C-24, important changes to physical presence and the age required to meet language and knowledge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.
“One of the strongest pillars for successful integration into Canadian life is achieving Canadian citizenship and becoming part of the Canadian family. The Government encourages all immigrants to take the path towards citizenship and take advantage of everything that being a Canadian has to offer,” said the honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
- Bill C-6, an Act to amend the Citizenship Act and make consequential amendments to another Act, received Royal Assent on June 19, 2017.
- The latest set of amendments to the Act taking effect October 11, 2017, will also include aligning the number of years applicants need to file Canadian income taxes (if required to do so under the Income Tax Act) to three out of five years, to match the changes to the physical presence requirements.
- Some changes to the Citizenship Act took effect immediately upon Royal Assent on June 19, 2017. They include: repealing of the ability to revoke citizenship from dual citizens convicted of crimes against the national interest; no longer requiring applicants to intend to continue to reside in Canada once granted citizenship; and making it easier for minors to apply for citizenship without a Canadian or permanent resident parent.
- More changes expected to take place later in 2017 and 2018 include strengthening the citizenship revocation process so that the Federal Court is the decision-maker on most cases, and giving clear authority under the Citizenship Act for citizenship officers to seize fraudulent or suspected fraudulent documents.