On February 25, 2016 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Minister John McCallum introduced legislation to amend the Citizenship Act, providing greater flexibility for applicants trying to meet the requirements for citizenship and help immigrants obtain citizenship faster.
The Bill proposes to reduce the time permanent residents must be physically present in Canada before qualifying for citizenship by a full year. Recognizing that immigrants often build an attachment to Canada before becoming permanent residents, the proposed legislation would credit applicants for the time spent in Canada as temporary residents or protected persons.
The age range to meet French or English language requirements and pass a knowledge test to qualify for citizenship, would change to 18-54 from 14-64. The changes support the goal of removing barriers for immigrants to build successful lives in Canada.
KEY PROPOSED CHANGES
Repealing the national interest grounds for citizenship revocation
Repealing the intent to reside provision
Reducing the length of time someone must be physically present in Canada to qualify for Citizenship
Allowing time in Canada before Permanent Residency to count toward the physical presence requirement
Eliminating the 183 days of physical presence requirement
Amending the age range for language and knowledge requirements
COMPARATIVE VIEW OF PROPOSED CHANGES
TO VIEW A FULL COMPARISON BETWEEN THE CURRENT AND NEW PROPOSED CITIZENSHIP ACT
Quote – John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
“The Government is keeping its commitment to repeal certain provisions of the Citizenship Act, including those that led to different treatment for dual citizens. Canadian citizens are equal under the law. Whether they were born in Canada or were naturalized in Canada or hold a dual citizenship.”