New Canadian Citizenship Act

Facts That You Need To Know :

In the June of 2017, the government of Canada modified its Citizenship Act when introducing Bill C6. Once the bill acclaimed royal assent, the changes were passed as amendments to the Citizenship Act. These changes are beneficial to hopeful immigrants wishing to achieve Canadian citizenship someday.

Though the bill was passed by the Parliament in June, most of the new rules could not be implemented until much later in the fall as the IRCC, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, in order to accommodate the same, had to make changes in its regulations.

The main purpose served by these changes was easing the barriers formulated by the former government. They had made it difficult for immigrants to apply for a Canadian citizenship.

Some of the changes brought about by the Bill C6 are given below.

  1. Individuals who own dual citizenships will not have their Canadian citizenship rebuked on account of treason, espionage, terrorism or any act deemed to threaten national security. Any person, holding dual citizenship, convicted of such crimes will be answerable to the Canadian justice system, just like any lawful Canadian by birth.
  2. Immigrants who are granted Canadian citizenship do not have to continue to live in Canada. They can seek employment opportunities outside of Canada and can even travel for extended periods of time for personal reasons. 
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  3. Minors without non-Canadian parents can apply for Canadian citizenship. Previously, a minor with neither parents being Canadians had to obtain permission from the Minister, as denoted by a subsection, in order to apply for citizenship.
  4. The Minister, now, has the right to grant ‘discretionary citizenship’ as a reward, in special cases, for exceptional services rendered to Canada. Also, statelessness, that is, the condition of being a non-citizen of any state, has been appended as a cause for the Minister to grant citizenship.
  5. Formerly, citizenship applicants were required to be physically present in Canada, by law, for a minimum of four years out of the six immediately preceding the application. However, the new law states the applicants need to be physically present for three out of five years in Canada before they are allowed to apply for citizenship.
  6. Citizenship applicants were formerly required to file for taxes during the four out of six years, as required by the Income Tax Act, according to their income level. Matching the new law regarding physical presence, applicants need to file Canadian income taxes for three out of five years.
  7. Candidates seeking citizenship do not need to be physically present for 183 days in Canada, during four of the six years preceding the application. 
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  8. With the new Act, citizenship applicants residing as temporary residents can count each day they were physically present before being promoted to the status of a permanent resident, as a half-day. This means, if the immigrant was physically present for 30 days, then he can add 15 days to the requirement of the physical presence of three years for gaining Canadian citizenship. However, the maximum days that can be credited as such are 365 days.
  9. Applicants falling in the range of ages 14 to 64 years were previously required to meet language and knowledge thresholds expected of a Canadian citizen. The new law requires only people between the ages of 18 to 54 to meet these expectations.

All the above stated laws have been implemented quite a while back. These are the new amendments in Bill C-6. They are known to come into effect later on this year.

  1. Right now, only two decision-makers in cases regarding citizenship revocation exist. One is the Minister, and the second is the Federal Court of Canada. The choice of the decision-maker for any case is dependent on the reasons for revocation. It is expected that the decision maker is going to be changed to just the Federal Court, unless the Minister is requested to preside over the case by the accused.
  2. This new Citizenship Act provides the citizenship granting authorities clear guidelines to seize any fraudulent documents as and when encountered.

This Act is a blessing for those aspiring to migrate to Canada.

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