We would like to inform you of several significant changes in the Canadian Citizenship Act that will either come into force over the next few months or are already applicable.
Among those changes already applicable is :
- the removal of the obligation to continue to reside in Canada following the issuance of Canadian citizenship;
- the age criteria enabling a minor child to file for citizenship without having any Canadian parents has also been repealed;
- statelessness is now a ground that can be considered for a discretionary grant of citizenship;
It is important to note that the Citizenship Act will now have some reasonable measure to accommodate the needs of a citizenship applicant who is a disabled person.
Attention, the implementation of the modifications to the Citizenship Act does not only terminate some requirements, but may also add some, such as the prohibition of a person who served a conditional sentence to obtain citizenship, to take their Oath of Citizenship or account for their time in custody to satisfy the requirements of physical presence in Canada so as to obtain their citizenship.
With respect to the requirements that will be effective in Autumn 2017, a considerable modification has an impact on the time period for which the applicant must be in fact present in Canada prior to filing their application :
- the period for which one must be in Canada was initially four (4) years within the last six (6) last years preceding the date the application was filed. The new requirement is three (3) years out of the last five (5) last years preceding the date the application was filed;
- the criteria for which an applicant must in fact be present on Canadian soil for at least 183 days per year during four (4) out of the last six (6) years preceding the date the application was filed is also rescinded;
- it will equally be possible to account for a period as a temporary resident before being able to apply for citizenship (i.e. : each day as a temporary resident equates to a half day towards the physical presence requirement for a maximum of 365 days);
- the official language and knowledge requirements is only applicable to applicants of 18 to 54 years old.
Finally, the last modifications that will come into effect in the beginning of 2018 will come from the Federal Court’s competencies with respect to revocation of citizenship and citizenship agents rights to seize in case of fraudulent or presumed fraudulent documents.
In conclusion, it is important to keep in mind that the enforcement dates of these various measures will be progressive up until 2018 and it is always necessary to stay abreast of eventual modifications.
Do not hesitate to contact BB immigration with respect to your Canadian citizenship applications.