At a recent press conference in Toronto, Canada’s immigration minister Ahmed Hussen wants all permanent residents to become citizens of Canada. This process of becoming citizen has become simpler and faster for the immigrants of the country.
The Bill C-6 has made many things simpler, and among them is the reduction of the time required to become eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship. This bill has finally received the Royal assent.
This new law will benefit thousands of immigrants and their families. It should, however, be noted here that many of the measures listed in this new law will not become effective till later this year or early 2018.
Some of the measures in the act will come into force immediately.
Changes that are Immediately Effective
Changes that have come into force from June 19th are:
- Dual Citizens living in Canada who are convicted of spying, treason and terrorism offences, will face the Canadian justice system, just like any other Canadian citizen who breaks the law.
- Applicants are no longer required to intend to live in Canada once they have been granted the citizenship. This will provide flexibility to Canadian who want to live outside due to work and other requirements.
- Minors can also apply for Canadian citizenship without a parent, as the requirement for age has been removed as per subsection 5(1).
- Individuals who are serving conditional sentence will not be given citizenship or will be allowed to take oath of citizenship. This time spent by them will not be counted towards their physical presence in the country
- Statelessness has been added as a stand-alone ground that can be considered for a discretionary grant of citizenship.
- The new citizenship act now includes consideration to accommodate the requirement of disabled person who apply for citizenship.
Changes that will be effective from Early 2018:
- The Federal court will make all the decisions in case of revocations, unless a request has been made by an individual that decision be taken by a minister.
- Citizenship officers have the full authority to seize suspected fraudulent or fraudulent documents that are provided as per the citizenship act.