CHANGES TO THE CITIZENSHIP ACT


Recent changes were made to the Canadian Citizenship Act. There are significant changes which reduce residency requirements to apply for citizenship.

The Permanent Residents are now eligible to apply for citizenship in precedingthree out of five years.Another significant change is for temporary foreign workers and international students. Temporary Foreign Workers and International Students can now count a portion of their time spent in Canada towards theresidency requirement.

In response to these changes, theMinister of Citizenship and Immigration stated the following:

“We want newcomers to be able to build successful lives, and we know that for temporary workers, for international students who become permanent residents after, their attachment to Canada starts way before they even become permanent residents, let alone Canadian citizens, so we recognize that bringing back the residency requirement to three years out of five, as opposed to four years out of six under C-24, is the right thing to do”.

The intent to reside provision, which required that an applicant intend to reside in Canada after they obtain citizenship has been removed from the act.

The so called “two-tier citizenship” enacted by the Conservative government has been denounced. The government can no longer revoke citizenship of dual citizens on the basis of national security. When the citizenship-stripping law was enacted, several legal advocate groups launched a constitutional challenge arguing that the bill created discriminatory two-tier citizenship regime. It is about time that the current government changed this provision in the Citizenship Act.

Date of Article : June 20, 2017
Prepared By : Sadaf Raja, Barrister & Solicitor