“We want all permanent residents, if possible, to become Canadians,” said Canada’s Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen, at a recent conference in Toronto. “Canada’s identity has always been shaped by the significant economic, cultural and social contributions of immigrants. Changes to the 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.”
Bill C-6 is now in effect. On June 19, 2017, it received Royal Assent and is now law. This bill amends Canada’s Citizenship Act and will now offer a quicker path to citizenship for permanent residents. Not all measures of the law will go into effect immediately. Some of the bill’s measures will take effect later this year or early 2018.
According to cicnews.com the new law, Bill C-6 will also:
- Allow permanent residents who had spent time in Canada on temporary status, such as on a work or study permit, to count up to 365 days of this temporary status towards the residency requirement.
- Remove the ‘intent to reside’ provision, which previously required new citizens to state that they intended to reside in Canada.
- Eliminate the government’s ability to revoke citizenship from naturalized citizens who hold dual citizenship on national security grounds, which the now-governing Liberals had said created a two-tiered citizenship system when in opposition.
- Permit children under the age of 18 to apply for citizenship without the support or consent of their parents.
- Give individuals who lost their citizenship on the grounds that it was obtained fraudulently the right to appeal that decision in Federal Court.
One measure of the bill taking effect later on this fall is much anticipated. Immigrants will now be eligible to apply for citizenship when they have accumulated 1,095 days, or three years, within a five-year period, instead of the 1,460 days required within 6 years.
Citizenship offers individuals the opportunity to political rights such as the ability to stand for office or the right to vote, to name a few benefits. As a Canadian Citizen, you also have the right to obtain a Canadian Passport.