As of June 19, 2017, minors can qualify on for citizenship their own without the need to have a Canadian parent. Also on this date, the following provisions were repealed:
• Requirement to intend to live in Canada once granted citizenship
• Citizenship revocation provisions only applying to dual citizens
On October 11, 2017, other changes came into effect regarding Canada’s citizenship application process. The first two changes involved the physical presence requirement. You can now apply for citizenship once you have been physically present in Canada for three years (1095 days) out of the past five. Moreover, every day that you were present in Canada before becoming a permanent resident, within 5 years of applying for citizenship, counts as a half day (up to 365 days) towards physical presence requirements.
The third change is time required for applicants to file income taxes before applying for citizenship is reduced to 3 out of 5 years.
The fourth change is that only applicants between the ages of 18 and 54 are required to demonstrate adequate knowledge of Canada by taking the citizenship test, and knowledge of one of Canada’s official languages by taking a language test.
These changes not only make it easier for an individual to obtain Canadian citizenship, but they also make it more difficult for citizenship to be stripped away. As of June 19, 2017, citizenship may no longer be taken away from a dual citizen who has committed an act against the national security of Canada. The purpose of this amendment is to honour equality among Canadians as promised in the 2015 election campaign and required by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
We can help you determine when best to apply for citizenship. For a detailed assessment of your immigration options, contact us for a consultation by emailing us at [email protected] or by calling 416-847-3347.