Changes made to Canadian citizenship laws

As of yesterday, Canadian citizenship applicants are no longer required to intend to continue to live in Canada once they are granted citizenship.

The announcement is designed to provide more flexibility to Canadians who may need to live outside of Canada for work or personal reasons.

Other immediate changes announced yesterday also include repealing the ability to revoke citizenship from dual citizens convicted of crimes against the national interest. Dual citizens living in Canada who are convicted of these crimes will face the Canadian justice system, like other Canadian citizens who break the law.

“Canada’s identity has always been shaped by the significant economic, cultural and social contributions of immigrants,” said Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. “Changes to the Canadian Citizenship Act will enhance program integrity, while giving more flexibility to eligible applicants to meet the requirements for citizenship so that they can continue building successful lives in Canada.”

Some of the changes that are expected to take effect this autumn will also aim to give more flexibility to both younger and older eligible immigrants to obtain citizenship.

These changes include:

– Reducing the time permanent residents must be physically present in Canada to three out of five years, instead of four out of six years, before applying for Canadian citizenship;

– Amending the age range for people to meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship from 14-64 years to 18-54 years; and

– Counting some of the time applicants spend in Canada as temporary residents or protected persons toward their physical presence requirements for citizenship.

Other changes that are expected to take effect next year include strengthening the Canadian citizenship revocation process by having the Federal Court as the decision-maker on most cases, thereby enhancing the procedural fairness of the process.

Article published 20th June 2017