New Regulations make it Easier to Obtain Canadian Citizenship
The process of obtaining permanent residency in Canada can be quite complicated; the same could be said for obtaining Canadian citizenship. For most permanent residents in Canada, their ultimate goal is to call Canada their home forever and obtain Canadian citizenship. There are specific conditions and eligibility requirements that must be met prior to obtaining Canadian citizenship in Canada. However, there are new regulations that have been passed that may make the process much easier for permanent residents. Therefore, in this article, I will explain the new regulations for Canadian citizenship that are now in effect and how this affects the process of obtaining Canadian citizenship.
New Regulations for Canadian Citizenship
Permanent residents of Canada can now apply for Canadian citizenship, which is also referred to as naturalization, easier and much sooner compared to the past processes of citizenship. New regulations for Canadian citizenship came into effect on October 11, 2017 which implemented new key measures included in Bill C-6. This bill was previously implemented back in June of 2017.
One of the biggest changes that is coming from these new regulations is the fact that permanent residents now only have to accumulate three years of residency in Canada out of the five years prior to applying for Canadian citizenship. The previous regulation stated that permanent residents had to accumulate four years of residency in Canada out of the six years prior to applying. This can make the process of applying for Canadian citizenship much faster than ever before. Additionally, any permanent residents in Canada who were previously an international student, a foreign worker, or a protected person, may actually be able to count a portion of that time towards their residency obligation. Specifically, each day of being physically present in Canada while on temporary status would count as half a day, which can accumulate to a maximum of 365 days.
Furthermore, the Minister of Immigration, Ahmed Hussen, stated that the Canadian government truly would like all permanent residents of Canada to become Canadian citizens. He states that the government of Canada values Canadian citizenship and Canada always encourages people from all over the world to come to our country. There is an ultimate importance and a positive role that immigrants have in the Canadian economy, society and in Canadian culture.
Below is a comparison between the past regulations and the current regulations for Canadian citizenship.
|Must be physically present in Canada for four years out of the six years prior to applying for citizenship
||Must be physically present in Canada for three years out of the five years prior to applying for citizenship
|Must file Canadian income taxes, if required under the Income Tax Act, for four years out of the six years which match the residency obligation
||Must file Canadian income taxes, if required under the Income Tax Act, for three years out of the five years which match the residency obligation
|Must be physically present in Canada for 183 days in four years out of the six years prior to applying for citizenship
||This requirement no longer applies and has been repealed. Applicants do not have to meet this requirement.
|Any time of physical presence in Canada prior to obtaining permanent residency does not count towards the residency obligation for citizenship
||Time in Canada before obtaining permanent residency, as long as they were on temporary status, counts as half a day and may be used towards the residency obligation for citizenship for a maximum of 365 days
|Applicants between the ages of 14 and 64 must meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship
||Applicants between the ages of 18 and 54 must meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship
Conclusively, the new regulations have received a positive response from permanent residents currently residing in Canada. This allows for them to obtain Canadian citizenship much easier and faster compared to the past regulations. The ultimate goal of the new regulations is to improve the program integrity and also retract specific provisions of the Act that had treated dual citizens differently than other Canadian citizens.
Benefits of Canadian Citizenship
There are many benefits that come from obtaining Canadian citizenship. For instance, Canadian citizens have the authority and right to enter and leave Canada whenever they would like, without the need of accumulating residency days. This is one of the major differences between permanent residency in Canada and Canadian citizenship. Additionally, Canadian citizens have the right to vote in Canadian elections and also have the right to potentially stand for political office. Another very important aspect of Canadian citizenship is the ability to obtain a Canadian passport. Canadian passports are one of the most highly-recognized passports internationally. Therefore, it is essential that an individual obtains this passport after successfully obtaining Canadian citizenship.
Contact Akrami & Associates
It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned information into consideration before you attempt to apply for Canadian citizenship. If you would like to apply for Canadian citizenship and you are a permanent resident of Canada currently, I would highly suggest you researching beforehand if you have completed your residency obligations successfully. Additionally, it is extremely important to note that these are difficult applications to pursue on your own; therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the citizenship application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients gain Canadian citizenship in Canada and they can now call Canada their home for the rest of their lives. If you believe that you may be eligible for Canadian citizenship, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!