Bill C-6 is rolling out its second round of amendments to the Citizenship Act on October 11, 2017. Changes include adjustments to physical presence requirements and the age range that determines which applicants need to meet language and knowledge requirements.
Bill C-6 was introduced on June 19, 2017 as an amendment to the former government’s Bill C-24 for the purpose of granting more flexibility to applicants and security for individuals with dual citizenship.
“One of the strongest pillars for successful integration into Canadian life is achieving Canadian citizenship and becoming part of the Canadian family,” says Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC). “The Government encourages all immigrants to take the path towards citizenship and take advantage of everything that being a Canadian has to offer.”
Previously, if an applicant was between 14 and 64 years, they had to meet the language (English or French) requirements and take the citizenship test. These ages have been adjusted to 18 and 54 years, allowing younger and older immigrants to disregard the language and knowledge requirements.
Physical presence requirements are also seeing a shift. Now, applicants must be physically present in Canada for 3 out of the last 5 years with no minimum number of days per year.
The previous qualifications demanded applicants to be in Canada for 4 out of 6 years, with a minimum of 183 days in each of those 4 years. The time spent in Canada before becoming a permanent resident did not count towards the physical presence requirement for citizenship, but now each day within the last 5 years counts as a half day towards a maximum of 1 year (365 days).
“One of the strongest pillars for successful integration into Canadian life is achieving Canadian citizenship and becoming part of the Canadian family,” – Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
Income tax requirements have been changed to reflect the new physical presence requirement. As opposed to filing Canadian income taxes for 4 out of 6 years, one must file them for 3 out of 5 years.
These changes do not take effect until October 11, 2017, so applicants who meet the new criteria must wait until then to apply.
For a full list of past, current and future changes from Bill C-6, read our article here.