On October 4th , 2017 , The Government of Canada announced that its changes to Canadian citizenship requirements ( Bill C-6 Amendments ) will take effect on Wednesday October 11th , 2017.
Below are the changes to the Canadian citizenship requirements Act as of Wednesday October 11th , 2017 :
(1) Physical presence
(A) The time that a permanent resident should spend in Canada before being eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship.
i. Presently, permanent residents must physically live in Canada for four out of six years before applying for Canadian citizenship. As of October 11th , 2017 applicants must be physically present in Canada for three out of five years before applying for citizenship.
ii. Permanent residents will no longer be required to be live in Canada for 183 days in four out of the six years preceding their application.
(B) Physical presence is a must for meeting the citizenship residency requirement.
It was possible for permanent residents who were not physically in Canada but who had substantial ties to Canada to meet the citizenship residency requirement before 2014.
In 2014, Canada’s citizenship law was modified so that only the time that a permanent resident was physically present in Canada counted towards the residency requirement. This will continue to be the requirement after Wednesday October 11th , 2017.
(2) Time spent in Canada as a temporary resident : Part of the time that a permanent resident may spend in Canada can now count towards the citizenship residency requirement.
preceding Wednesday October 11th , 2017, time spent in Canada prior to becoming a permanent resident does not count towards the physical presence requirement for citizenship.
As of October 11th , 2017, applicants may count each day they were physically present in Canada as a temporary resident (such as a student , worker, or even visitor ) 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, within five years preceding the date of application.
(3) Language and knowledge: The age exemptions to knowing English / French and writing a language test are increasing.
Prior October 11th , 2017, applicants between 14 years and 64 years must meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship.
As of Wednesday October 11th , 2017, applicants between 18 yearsand 54 years must meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship.
(4) Income tax : Canadian income taxes.
Under previous Citizenship Act , applicants had to file Canadian income taxes, if required to do so under the Income Tax Act, for four out of six years, matching the physical presence requirement.
As of Wednesday October 11th , 2017 , 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.
To find out more about applying for Canadian citizenship in light of the proposed changes to the Citizenship Act, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include information about your time as a Canadian permanent resident, as well as any information about previous time spent in Canada with temporary status.
To view a complete list of immediate and future amendments to Canada’s Citizenship Act, please refer to the Government of Canada’s official website.
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