Permanent residents of Canada will now have simplified and quick processing, for citizenship naturalization. Several fresh measures in Bill C-6, (Changes to the Citizenship Act), will be introduced on October 11th 2017.
Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Canada made an announcement that all these changes were long awaited by PRs. C-6 had become law, in June 2017, but certain provisions were slated to be put into effect with the passage of time.
He said that it was of great importance that PRs of the country became full-fledged citizens. Their Canadian citizenship holds much value, and the country continues to welcome people of all nationalities of the world. The immigrants have always played an important and positive role in the economy, and in the society. They have added to the cultural life of the country also. He was fully aware of his role, to make Canadian citizenship easy he added.
The changes to be introduced from October 11th cover the number of days required to be spent, as a PR by an applicant, before applying for Canadian citizenship, and the method of counting of such days.
The applicants are now only required to spend 1,095 days (a total of the number of days in three years) of residence, over a 5 year period, prior to attaining eligibility.
Further, people who worked or studied in the country, before becoming a PR, can count 365 days of this time, as a Temporary Resident, as a part of the residency days. In these cases, each day spent in a temporary status is counted as a half-day towards eligibility for citizenship.
For quite a few individuals, who visit the country to work/study, this change directly reduces the time which they have to spend as a permanent resident, before attaining eligibility for citizenship.
Moreover, being physically present, in Canada for 183 days, is not required, in a four out of the six years period, before sending the application.
All these measures have been introduced to facilitate permanent residents, to apply for citizenship quickly, valuing their time and importance and to have flexibility in doing it.
Previously, the Applicants had to file income taxes, for four out of six years, which had to match with the physical presence requirement. Now they can file income taxes, only for three out of five years, aligned to the physical presence requirement.
The age of Applicants, to meet the language and knowledge requirements, previously had to be between 14 and 64 years, but now it has been altered to be between 18 and 54 years.
The changes incorporated in June 2017, were the repeal of provision, where applicants were required to continue to live in Canada, on getting citizenship.
Additionally, dual citizens, living in Canada, when convicted of treason, terrorism, or spying offenses, will now face the justice system, similar to other fellow citizens. Previously in case of these offenses, their citizenship was revoked.
Canadian citizenship brings the benefits of applying for and obtaining the Canadian passport, which is a highly valued passport in the world. A salient feature is that the holders are free to leave and re-enter Canada, without minding the requirements of residency for maintaining the status. They can vote, stand for political office, and participate in the democratic process also.
With these measures taking effect, the dream of attaining Canadian citizenship becomes has been made easy. Everyone who becomes a naturalized citizen has to necessarily be a permanent resident first.
Today, Canada offers immigration programs, helping the individuals/families to obtain PR Status, which include the federal economic immigration programs, supervised under the Express Entry system. There are Provincial Nominee Programs, Quebec program, options for businessmen, and for sponsoring family members. Besides, there is a refugee resettlement program also. Through them all, Canada aims to bring countless people to its shores annually. Several of them will become full-fledged citizens and lead a peaceful and fulfilling life.