Changes to Canadian Citizenship

by / Wednesday, 05 July 2017 / Published in Citizenship

Changes that take effect immediately upon Royal Assent on June 19, 2017

This provision is repealed. 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.

This provision is repealed. Applicants are no longer required to intend to continue to live in Canada once granted citizenship. This provides more flexibility to Canadians who may need to live outside of Canada for work or personal reasons.

Minors can now apply for citizenship without a Canadian parent, as the age requirement for citizenship has been removed under subsection 5(1). A person having custody of the minor or empowered to act on their behalf by court order, written agreement or operation of law, can now apply for citizenship on behalf of the minor, unless that requirement is waived by the Minister.

Individuals serving a conditional sentence will not be granted citizenship, take the Oath of Citizenship, or be able to count this time towards meeting the physical presence requirements for citizenship

Statelessness has been added as a stand-alone ground that can be considered for a discretionary grant of citizenship.

The requirement to take into consideration reasonable measures to accommodate the needs of a citizenship applicant who is a disabled person is now included in the Citizenship Act.

The requirement for applicants to maintain the requirements for citizenship from the time they apply for citizenship until taking the Oath of Citizenship only applied to applications received on or after June 11, 2015. This requirement now also applies to all applications, including those received before June 11, 2015.

Changes expected to take effect in fall 2017

Applicants must be physically present in Canada for three out of five years before applying for citizenship.

Applicants must file Canadian income taxes, if required to do so under the Income Tax Act, for three out of five years, matching the new physical presence requirement.

Applicants may count each day they were physically present in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident as a half-day toward meeting the physical presence requirement for citizenship, up to a maximum credit of 365 days.

Applicants between 18 and 54 years must meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship.

Changes expected to take effect in early 2018

The Federal Court is the decision-maker in all revocation cases, unless the individual requests that the Minister make the decision.

Clear authority for Citizenship Officers to seize fraudulent or suspected fraudulent documents is provided under the Citizenship Act.