October 4, 2017 - New changes to the Citizenship Act come into effect as of October 11, 2017, including new residency requirement

October 4, 2017 - The government of Canada has announced today that certain changes to the Citizenship Act, which were announced earlier this year, come into effect on October 11, 2017.

The changes to take effect as of October 11, 2017 impact the residency requirement, physical presence requirement, and the requirements for the language and knowledge testing.

The changes are summarized as follows:

Residence Requirement

Under the previous Citizenship Act, Applicants had to be physically present in Canada for four out of six years before applying for citizenship. Applicants also had to be physically present in Canada for 183 days in four out of the six years preceding their application.

With the amendments coming into force on October 11, 2017, Applicants will be required to show physical presence in Canada for three out of five years before applying for citizenship. There is no more requirement for Applicants to show that they had been in Canada for 183 days in any year preceding the application. They only need to show overall physical presence in Canada for three out of five years.

Time spent in Canada before becoming a Permanent Resident

Under the previous Citizenship Act, time spent in Canada prior to becoming a permanent resident did not count towards the physical presence requirement for citizenship.

With the amendments coming into force on October 11, 2017,  Applicants can 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, within five years preceding the date of application.

Language and knowledge requirements for Citizenship

Under the previous Citizenship Act,  Applicants between 14 and 64 years had to meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship.

With the amendments coming into force on October 11, 2017, Applicants between 18 and 54 years must meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship.

Income Taxes

Under the previous Citizenship Act, 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.

With the amendments coming into force on October 11, 2017,  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.

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New Citizenship application forms and guides will also become available on October 11, 2017.

These changes are a few of a number of changes which were introduced by the Government of Canada to the Citizenship Act with the adoption of Bill C-6. 

For a complete list of changes to the requirements for Canadian citizenship, with the dates of these changes, click here.

For more information, or for assistance with the preparation of your application for Canadian Citizenship, get in touch with us by clicking here.