Canadian Federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, announced significant changes regarding the effective date, done to the Citizenship Act, by adopting Bill C-6. PRs in Canada can apply for citizenship (naturalization) in an easy and quick way compared to the past, after the implementation of measures contained in the Bill C-6. Speaking in Ontario, he said that, Canada needed all the permanent residents to become its citizens because there was a great value in Canadian citizenship. The country had welcomed people from all regions of the world. There was an understanding, and the realization of the importance of the positive role, which the immigrants play in its economy, in the society, and in the cultural sphere. His comments highlight that the citizenship is a status which can be obtained after a person becomes a PR of Canada.
The changes are in place from October 11th, 2017. These include:
|Previous Citizenship Act||Citizenship Act with Bill C-6 Amendments|
|Applicants were previously required to be present physically in the country for four years out of six prior to seeking citizenship||Applicants now are required to be present physically for just three out of five years for seeking citizenship|
|In the past the Applicants had to file for income tax returns, when required, for four (out of six) years, aligning with the requirement of physical presence.||The Applicants now are required to file income tax returns, for three (out of five) years only, aligning with the requirement of physical presence.|
|The Applicants had to be present physically in the country for 183 days previously, in four (out of the six) years before their registering their application.||The provision has been repealed. The Applicants are no longer required to meet this provision.|
|Time spent in Canada before becoming a PR was disregarded for the physical presence requirement for citizenship.||Applicants now can count every day of their presence in the country as a temporary resident/protected person, before becoming a PR, as a half-day. This helps them to meet the physical-presence criteria for citizenship, stretching up to the highest benefit of 365 days.|
|In the past, the Applicants from 14 to 64 years were required to meet the language and knowledge criteria for citizenship.||Now Applicants from 18 and 54 years are required to meet the language and knowledge criteria for citizenship.|
Canadian citizens take pleasure in all the rights that result from this status, and can now leave and re-enter Canada without accumulating residency days. They also have the right to vote and stand for political office. They can apply for a Canadian passport, which is greatly valued globally. These provisions will go a long way to help the immigrants and boost immigration in the future.