July 1st is Canada Day, and the Canadian government along with its Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, will be implementing changes to the Citizenship Act to make it easier and faster for those who wish to attain Canadian citizenship. This is good news for investors who are already in Canada, as well as for those who are planning for an eventual immigration to Canada. The Canadian passport is now within reach.
The major changes to the Citizenship Act are outlined below:
1. You no longer have to intend to reside in Canada to obtain citizenship
Previously, applicants had to declare their intent to reside in Canada on their citizenship applications in order to be granted citizenship. As the right to live outside Canada is a basic right guaranteed in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, this provision will be repealed.
2. The length of time you have to be physically present in Canada to qualify for Citizenship is reduced
Canadian residents can now achieve citizenship more quickly. The time required to be physically present in Canada is reduced to three years within the five years before applying for citizenship. The previous requirement was four out of six years. Applicants can therefore apply one year earlier than previous regulations.
3. The time spent in Canada before Permanent Residency can count toward your total days of physical residency
The changes are now letting non-permanent residents count their time in Canada toward the three-year physical presence requirement for citizenship for a total of up to one year. Each day that an individual is in Canada as an authorized temporary resident could be counted as half a day (½) toward the total days required. This means that people coming to Canada to study and/or work can now have those days counted in order to obtain citizenship faster.
4. You are no longer required to spend a minimum of 183 days in Canada
The requirement to be physically present in Canada for at least 183 days in each of the four years out of six years to obtain citizenship is now being repealed.
5.The age range for language and knowledge requirements is returning to 18-54
Previous changes required those aged 14-64 to meet the language and knowledge requirements for the citizenship application. The new legislation is returning to the 18-54 age range. This removes a barrier for the younger and older age groups. Adults in the 18-54 age group are still required to prove that they understand English or French as well as hold a short conversation. In addition, citizenship applicants must pass a knowledge test on Canada and the responsibilities of citizenship.
Investors all over the world are selecting Canada as their destination for a second citizenship and now the entire process has been simplified. There are several options available to high net worth individuals and entrepreneurs to obtain residence in Canada. One such route is the highly popular Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP), accepting submission of applications since May 30th, 2016. As the quota of applications is set at 1,900 and given that it can take up to a few months to collect all documents required, interested individuals are encouraged to contact us as soon as possible to get your application started.
In order to be eligible for the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program:
- You must have a minimum of two years of qualifying business experience within the five years prior to submitting the application.
- You must invest CAD 800,000 with an authorized financial intermediary. The investment is fully guaranteed by the government and will be returned in full, without interest, after the required five-year holding period.
- You must show a legitimately acquired net worth, alone or combined with your spouse, of at least CAD 1.6 million.
- You must show an intention to settle in Quebec.
Contact us today to find out how to get the process started. Happy Canada Day!
For more information on the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program, please click here.
Please fill out our Free Assessment, and find out if you qualify under any of the business immigration programs offered.