The immigration laws in Canada have undergone some reforms in the recent past to make the immigration process easier for both temporary and permanent residents. This article highlights the key changes to immigration laws for people who wish to come to Canada temporarily or permanently.

June 2017

One of the bills that changed Canada’s immigration laws is the C-6 Bill passed on June 19, 2017. This bill contained the following provisions: first, the requirement that one should intend to live in Canada after receiving the citizenship was repealed. Second, citizenship revocation that only applied to people holding dual citizenship was also repealed. Lastly, minors can apply for citizenship on their own, even if they are not born of Canadian parents.

October 2017

On October 11, 2017, Canada’s immigration laws underwent further changes. The requirement that an immigrant should be physically present in Canada for 5 years before applying for citizenship was changed to 3 years. Moreover, the days an individual spends in Canada before being granted permanent residence, are counted as half days towards the 3 years physical presence requirement, if these days fall within 5 years of applying for citizenship. The half days that are counted when an individual is living in Canada as a protected person, or a temporary resident can only earn the individual a maximum credit of 365 days.

The age range at which potential citizenship applicants are required to meet the language and knowledge requirements was lowered to between 18 and 54 years from 14 to 64 years. Furthermore, the time citizenship applicants are required to pay tax before filing for citizenship was reduced from 5 years to 3 years.

The government plans to make more changes to the Citizenship Act in 2018. One of the changes will be effected on the citizenship revocation process, and the Federal Court will be the decision-maker in most disputes involving citizenship. Lastly, citizenship officers will be granted the permission to confiscate fraudulent or suspect documents.

Being a Canadian citizen is an aspiration of many people around the world because it comes with opportunities that permanent resident are not granted. For instance, citizens can vote, run for office, and leave and re-enter Canada without following strict guidelines among other benefits. If you still have a question about the new changes to Canada’s citizenship laws, contact us, we will be glad to advise accordingly.

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