Citizenship

New Citizenship Rules to be In Force

The wait is almost over!

Many of the integral changes to the Citizenship Act brought by Bill C6 will be coming into force on Wednesday, 11 October 2017. The main changes include:

1. The requirement for physical residency in Canada will now be changed to 3 out of the 5 years preceding the application date.

2. Time spent in Canada prior to becoming a permanent resident will count towards the 3-year residency requirement. Applicants may count each day spent in Canada as a temporary resident as a half-day, up to a maximum of 1 year, and;

3. Language and citizenship knowledge tests will only be required for those applicants who are between 18 and 54 years of age.

For more information or to book a consultation to determine whether you or someone you know can apply for citizenship, contact us at (416) 548-9101 or at inquiries@lmlawgroup.com

C-6 Citizenship Bill is now Law

The long awaited Citizenship bill has finally received Royal Assent and became law this week.  Here are the main changes that may affect you or someone you know: 

  • To qualify for citizenship a permanent resident is required to be physically in Canada for 3 out of 5 years (the old law is 4 out of 6 years).
  • The 3 year residency period can have up to one year of credit for the time the applicant resided in Canada prior to receiving permanent residence.  The one year credit for residence prior to permanent residence is calculated on a 2:1 basis.  Eg. to obtain 1 year of credit, you'll need to have resided in Canada for 2 years prior to receiving permanent residence.
  • The requirement for an applicant to intend to reside in Canada after obtaining citizenship has been removed.
  • Language ability and citizenship tests will only be required for those applicants who are 18 to 54 years of age.

The removal of the intention to reside clause is already in place.  The other clauses are set to be in effect in this fall of this year.

For more information or to book a consultation to determine how you or someone you know may qualify for citizenship, contact us at (416) 548-9101 or at inquiries@lmlawgroup.com.

Major Changes Coming to Citizenship Act

Last week, the government introduced a bill to make significant changes to the Citizenship Act. This bill is currently being discussed in Parliament and may come into force later in the year.

Here are some of the main points of the proposed changes:  

  • The amount of time required to be physically present in Canada will be reduced to 3 out of the 5 years preceding the date of the application and until the Oath is taken. Currently, this requirement is 4 out of 6 years. 
  • Applicants will be able to get a half-day credit for each day spent in Canada before obtaining Permanent Residence for up to a maximum of one year towards their residency requirement.
  • Applicants will no longer be required to show an intent to continue to reside in Canada after they obtain Citizenship.
  • The age range for applicants that need to fulfill language and knowledge requirements will be brought back to 18-54. 
  • Under last year's amendments, dual citizens could have their Canadian citizenship revoked for certain acts against Canada's national interest. This part of the law will be repealed.

To find out more about what the amended Citizenship Act would mean for you, or someone you know, contact us at (416) 548-9101, or at inquiries@lmlawgroup.com.

Sincerely,

Long Mangalji LLP

New Citizenship Rules come into effect on June 11

 

The government has just announced that the new citizenship rules will come into effect on June 11.  This means that anyone whose citizenship application does not reach the CIC office by June 10 will be subject to the new rules.  Some of the main rules that could affect your ability to obtain citizenship are: 

  • You must reside in Canada 4 out of 6 years prior to your application.  You must have also resided for at least half a year out of each of the four qualifying years.
  • The time that you've spent in Canada prior to obtaining permanent residence will no longer count.
  • If you are between the age of 14-64 you must now meet language requirements and pass the citizenship exam.
  • You must file your income tax for each of the years that you wish to count towards your residency.
  • Your intention to continue to reside in Canada after you obtain citizenship will now be scrutinized.  If it is determine that you will not likely reside in Canada after obtaining citizenship, your application could be denied.
  • Any misrepresentation or withholding of material facts on your application could mean that you would be banned from applying for citizenship for five years (in place on May 28).

To find out how these changes apply to you and what you need to do to obtain citizenship, contact us at (416) 548-9101, or at inquiries@lmlawgroup.com.

 

Navigating the New Citizenship Act Rules

Although the new Citizenship Act amendments were passed on June 20, 2014, most of the provisions are not yet in force.  This means that if you submit your application before the government enforces the new changes, you will likely be assessed under the old rules.   

If you want to submit an application for Canadian citizenship, you will probably benefit from submitting your application under the old rules.  Here are some of the upcoming changes you should know about:

1. Under the old rules if you have been in Canada for at least 3 out of 4 years, you can qualify for citizenship.  At least two of these years must be after you became a permanent resident.  One of these years can be from before you became a permanent resident (see number 2 below).

Under the new rules you will have to:

  • be in Canada for at least 4 out of 6 years in order to qualify for citizenship;

  • be in Canada for at least 183 days for each of the four years before your application; and

  • file your income tax for each of the four years before your application.

2. Under the old rules if you have lived in Canada before becoming a permanent resident, you may be able to get up to one year credit of residence towards qualifying for citizenship.

Under the new rules you will no longer be able to get credit for being in Canada before you were a permanent resident.

3. Under the old rules if you're over the of 55 or under the age of 18, you are currently exempt from having to take the Citizenship exam or English exam.

Under the new rules anyone between the ages of 14-65 will be required to write the English exam and take the Citizenship exam.

4. Under the old rules you do not have to show intent to remain in Canada after you apply for citizenship.

Under the new rules you have to show that you intend to remain in Canada after you become a citizen.

Please note: New provisions came into effect on August 1 which only allow complete applications to be accepted for processing.  If your application is incomplete it will be returned to you and will be assessed based on the rules that are in place when you resubmit your application.  

So far, the government has given little warning as to when the new rules will be in effect.  For example, on August 1 the provisions regarding citizenship judge powers, completion of files, and requirements for judicial review came into force on the same day this was announced.  There have been rumors that the new provisions regarding residency will come into force next spring or summer but these are unconfirmed.

It is very important, therefore, if you qualify under the old rules, to submit a complete application as soon as possible.

If you have any questions you can contact us at (416) 548-9101, or at

inquiries@lmlawgroup.com.