Bill C-6 to Become Law on June 19, Changing Canada’s Citizenship Act

Posted on 19 June 2017 by admin

Bill C-6an Act to amend the Citizenship Act and make consequential amendments to another Act, received Royal Assent on June 19, 2017.

Some changes to the Citizenship Act take effect immediately upon Royal Assent, while others take effect at later dates. As of June 19, 2017 applicants are no longer required to intend to continue to live in Canada once granted citizenship. Another immediate change includes repealing the ability to revoke citizenship from dual citizens convicted of crimes against the national interest. Dual citizens living in Canada who are convicted of these crimes will face the Canadian justice system.

The New Canadian Citizenship Bill C-6 is otherwise known now as “An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act.” The Bill C-6 aims to roll back much of the previous Conservative government’s Bill C-24, including the power to strip citizenship away from dual citizens.

The upcoming changes that are expected to take effect later this fall include reducing the time permanent residents must be physically present in Canada to three out of five years (instead of four out of six years), before applying for citizenship; amending the age range for people to meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship from 14-64 years to 18-54 years; and counting some of the time applicants spend in Canada as temporary residents or protected persons toward their physical presence requirements for citizenship.

Citizenship Act with Bill C-6 Amendments:

PreviousCitizenship Act Citizenship act with C-6 Amendments
Citizenship could be revoked from dual citizens convicted of treason, spying and terrorism offences, depending on the sentence received, or who were a part of an armed force of a country or organized group engaged in conflict with Canada. This provision is repealed. Dual citizens living in Canada who are convicted of these crimes will face the Canadian justice system, like other Canadian citizens who break the law.
Applicants were required to intend to continue to live in Canada if granted citizenship This provision is repealed. Applicants are no longer required to intend to continue to live in Canada once granted citizenship. This provides more flexibility to Canadians who may need to live outside of Canada for work or personal reasons.
The Minister had the discretion to waive certain requirements under subsection 5(1) of the Citizenship Act so a minor could obtain citizenship without a Canadian parent. Minors can now apply for citizenship without a Canadian parent, as the age requirement for citizenship has been removed under subsection 5(1). A person having custody of the minor or empowered to act on their behalf by court order, written agreement or operation of law, can now apply for citizenship on behalf of the minor, unless that requirement is waived by the Minister.
No provision existed to prevent individuals serving a sentence in the community (a conditional sentence order) from being granted citizenship, taking the Oath of Citizenship or counting this time towards meeting the physical presence requirements for citizenship. Individuals serving a conditional sentence will not be granted citizenship, take the Oath of Citizenship, or be able to count this time towards meeting the physical presence requirements for citizenship.

 

 

 

Changes expected to take effect in fall 2017

Previous Citizenship Act Citizenship Act with Bill C-6 Amendments
Applicants had to be physically present in Canada for four out of six years before applying for citizenship. Applicants must be physically present in Canada for three out of five years before applying for citizenship.
Applicants had to file Canadian income taxes, if required to do so under the Income Tax Act, for four out of six years, matching the physical presence requirement. Applicants must file Canadian income taxes, if required to do so under the Income Tax Act, for three out of five years, matching the new physical presence requirement.
Applicants had to be physically present in Canada for 183 days in four out of the six years preceding their application. This provision is repealed. Applicants no longer have to meet this requirement.
Time spent in Canada prior to becoming a permanent resident did not count towards the physical presence requirement for citizenship. Applicants may count each day they were physically present in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident as a half-day toward meeting the physical presence requirement for citizenship, up to a maximum credit of 365 days.
Applicants between 14 and 64 years had to meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship. Applicants between 18 and 54 years must meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship.

 

Changes expected to take effect in early 2018

Previous Citizenship Act Citizenship Act with Bill C-6 Amendments
The Minister was the decision-maker for most cases of citizenship revocation on the grounds of false representation, fraud, or knowingly concealing material circumstances. The Federal Court was the decision-maker for citizenship revocation cases involving false representation, fraud, or knowingly concealing material circumstances related to security, human or international right violations, and organized criminality. The Federal Court is the decision-maker in all revocation cases, unless the individual requests that the Minister make the decision.
There was no clear authority for Citizenship Officers to seize fraudulent or suspected fraudulent documents provided under the Citizenship Act. Clear authority for Citizenship Officers to seize fraudulent or suspected fraudulent documents is provided under the Citizenship Act.

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