Bill C-6 Amendment: 5 Reasons This Law Makes It Easier for Immigrants to Be Canadian Citizens

Holding Canada passport with boarding pass

Good news for people who migrated or planning to migrate to Canada –the pathway to becoming a citizen just became smoother. Thanks to the amendments to the Citizenship Law, migrants can be Canadian citizens earlier and the process was made simpler.

Here are five practical reasons, these changes favor immigrants.

  1. Intent to Remain in Canada After Being Granted Citizenship No Longer Required

Effective immediately, anyone who applies for Canadian citizenship may reside outside the country after being granted citizenship. This allows flexibility to those who need to make their home outside the country for work or personal reasons.

  1. Shortened Length of Physical Presence Prior to Application

The old citizenship act required all applicants to be physically present in Canada in four out of six years. The previous rule requiring applicants to have been present in Canada for 183 days in the required four has also been removed.

The new amendment which will take effect on fall of 2017 will shorten the required length of stay to three out of five years.

The change to three out of five years also applies to tax declaration. To coincide with the physical presence requirement, all applicants must file Canadian income tax in the three years they stayed in the country.

  1. Length of Stay is Counted from the Time You Step Foot in Canada

Another clause which will take effect by autumn is the computation of physical presence in the country. In the old citizenship act, physical presence is counter from the time an immigrant becomes a permanent resident.

In the new law, physical presented will be counter from the time an individual arrives in Canadian soil.

Each day an applicant spent in Canada as a protected person or temporary resident can be counted as half-day. However, there is a maximum credit of 365 days.

  1. Age-related Exemption on Language Requirement

The previous citizenship law required applicants between 14 and 64 years old to meet the country’s language requirements. With the new amendment, only those whose ages fall between 18 and 54 are required to comply with the aforementioned conditions.

  1. Additional Ground for Discretionary Citizenship Grant

A new stand-alone ground for awarding citizenship has been added to the list. Now, a discretionary citizenship grant may be given to stateless individuals.

With C-6 being signed into law, there are numerous changes for those who want to apply as a Canadian citizen. To gauge if you are qualified, you can use the Citizenship calculator in Canada Immigration’s website.

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