Canada’s New Citizenship Act: Better Process For PRs

citizenship; immigration; working; canada; alberta


On October 11, 2017, changes to the Citizenship Act (the Act) came into effect. Changes which allows permanent residents of Canada to apply for citizenship even earlier than before. It is now easier for permanent residents to meet the requirements and apply for Citizenship.

Do you have question about how these changes impact your status? We can help! The immigration lawyers at Kahane Law office are able help permanent residents become Canadian Citizens.  Contact us today for a consultation, or to handle your complete citizenship application from start to finish to make sure your application is done correctly the first time. Canadian Citizenship always happens faster when the application is done right.

Tired of being a permanent resident? Learn About The Advantages Of Becoming A Canadian Citizen here.

The following are ways that the Citizenship Act helps permanent residents become Canadian citizens faster:

Shortened Residency Requirement

Previously, permanent residents were expected to live in Canada for a minimum of four (4) out of six (6) years to be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship. Under the Citizenship Act of Canada, permanent residents are only required to live in Canada three (3) out of five (5) years to be eligible to apply for citizenship. This means they can submit their application to be a citizen of Canada sooner.

Time Spent Living In Canada With Temporary Status Counts

Time spent in Canada as a temporary resident can now be counted towards the residency days required to be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship. In other words, time spend in Canada as a student, worker, or visitor (prior to becoming a permanent resident) will now be considered for the purposes of your citizenship eligibility, up to a maximum of one year. This changes how early you can submit your application for Canadian Citizenship. It makes it shorter and faster by up to one year.

Citizenship Act Knowledge And Language Tests

Prior to 2017, Canadian citizenship applicants between the ages of 14 and 64 had to pass a knowledge and language skills test. Under the 2017 Citizenship Act, only applicants between the ages of 18 and 54 are required to take the language and knowledge tests. These tests are required to demonstrate an applicant’s knowledge of one of Canada’s official languages (English or French), as well as a basic understanding of Canada’s history.

Applicants Do Not Need An Intention To Reside In Canada

Applicants to become Canadian Citizens were once required to show intention to continually reside in Canada if they were granted Canadian citizenship. This is no longer a requirement. This means that applicants who want to become Canadians are allowed increased flexibility with their long-term plans. This means that these plans may include residing outside of Canada.

Minors Do Not Need Assistance To Apply For Canadian Citizenship

Canada’s traditional process for citizenship meant that parents and children were treated as a unit when applying for citizenship. This meant that if a parent’s citizenship application was rejected, the child would likewise be unable to obtain citizenship. The minor would then have to wait until turning 18 to make a separate citizenship application.

Under the 2017 Citizenship Act, the minimum age requirement to apply for citizenship has been removed. Individuals who have custody of a minor or are legally allowed to act for the child are able to apply for citizenship on their behalf. This means that even if a parent is not able to move to Canada, their child will have the opportunity for the amazing life opportunities that Canada allows.

New Special Grounds Under Citizenship Act

The Act gave the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (the Minister) discretion to grant citizenship to individuals if an individual endured special and unusual hardship, or has performed services of tremendous value to Canada. Now, statelessness (where no state considers you a citizen) is added as a new additional ground that can be used by the Minister to exercise discretion in granting a citizenship application.

Disabled Persons Must Now Be Accommodated

The Canadian government always had to exercise reasonable measures to accommodate disabled applicants. Despite the fact this was not explicitly stated in the Citizenship Act. A disability cannot be a bar from attaining Citizenship in Canada. The 2017 Citizenship Act specifically requires the government to accommodate disabled persons to ensure that they are able to apply to be a Canadian Citizen.

Need Help With Your Citizenship Or Immigration Application?

Our immigration lawyers are here to help. Do you experience issues filing your immigration or citizenship application? Contact the  immigration law firm of Kahane Law Office in Calgary, Alberta.  Our experienced personnel, including a prior Canadian Citizenship Officer to help determine the most effective way for you to achieve your citizenship goals!

You can reach us in Calgary, Alberta at 403-225-8810 (toll-free at 1-877-225-8817), or email us here directly.