Ottawa to make it harder to obtain Canadian citizenship

At Long Mangalji LLP, we are looking to expand our efforts to inform our clients and friends in the community of the recent changes in Canada's immigration system. If you find that these changes affect you or someone you know, get in touch with us, and we will be delighted to help you!

On Thursday, Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced plans to significantly alter the Citizenship Act. The new bill will effectively make it more difficult to become a Canadian citizen. Some of the major changes include:

  • Increasing the required number of years an applicant needs to be physically present in Canada to 4 out of 6 years (from 3 out of 4 years);
  • Requiring applicants to be in Canada for at least 365 days during the 2 years before the application is filed;
  • Requiring the applicant to file taxes in Canada for that period;
  • Increasing the application fee from $100 to $300;
  • Expanding the age bracket of applicants who are required to meet the language and knowledge requirements to those aged 14-64 (from 18-54);; No longer allowing time spent as a non-permanent resident to count towards the residency requirement;
  • No longer allowing applicants to use an interpreter for the knowledge test and;
  • Requiring applicants to show an intent to reside in Canada.

So what does this mean for you? The proposed legislation is making its way through Parliament, and will likely come into effect in a few months. If you, or someone you know, would like to apply for Canadian citizenship, you should act fast in order to be processed under the old system.