Changes in Citizenship Act Simplifies the Process of Canadian Permanent Residents Becoming Citizens
Over the years, there have been changes to the Citizenship Act that was enacted in 1977, making it easier for permanent residents to apply for citizenship in Canada. Previously, the law required that permanent residents must reside in Canada for 3 years out of a 4-year period. However, in 2014, amendments were made and the residency requirement was changed from 3 years to 4 years out of a 6-year period. Other requirements such as passing the language proficiency and knowledge of Canada test were also amended making it more difficult for people to qualify for Canadian citizenship.
The 2014 Amendments
The amendments made by the conservative government in 2014 also required applicants to be paying income taxes. For the citizenship application to be approved, the applicants were required to display an intention to reside in Canada. The other challenge that made it more difficult for permanent residents to become Canadian citizens was the high application fees which discouraged many people from applying.
The 2017 Bill – What Changes?
The liberal government has since made adjustments to the Citizenship Act making it a lot easier for more permanent residents to apply and be granted citizenship status. Effective Oct, 11th 2017, the residency requirement is now 3 years out of a 5-year period. Permanent residents will still be required to fill income tax returns and applicants who are a18 and 54 years old have less strict language proficiency requirements to fulfill.
The amendments have also made it possible for individuals who are stateless to be granted citizenship as a stand-alone ground. These revisions allow the immigration authorities to take reasonable measures in order to accommodate special groups such as the disabled. Changes have also been made that involve the ability of the government to revoke Canadian citizenship from those dual citizens convicted of treason.