Major changes to the Canadian Citizenship Legislation
The liberal government recently introduced a bill that would change many parts of a previous bill about the Canadian citizenship legislation. This new legislation will make it easier for international students to become permanent residences. It was developed by the Conservative government and was known as Bill C-24. If this new bill is passed it will change the “revoked citizenship of dual citizens convicted of terrorism, treason or espionage.” via The Globe and Mail
In this recent election the Liberals promised to make changes to the controversial Bill C-24. This bill gave the government the power to take away Canadian citizenship from the dual citizens who were convicted of a crime of terrorism, treason, espionage or who were engaged in any conflict with Canada. Many of these changes may be passed in the near future.
“When you say a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian, that is a blanket statement that applies to all Canadians. You don’t pick and choose the good Canadians and the bad Canadians.” Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister John McCallum. via Globe and Mail “International students are the perfect candidate to become Canadian citizens.” Go HERE to watch a short video.
There are some negatives thoughts about these new changes with the bill. The Conservatives think the Liberal legislation could be sending the wrong message to Canadians. The proposed aspects of the new bill are mainly to reduce barriers for citizens. The bill will change the age range for language requirements, along with other sections of the bill.
The proposed bill would reduce the amount of time a permanent resident would have to live in Canada in order to apply for a citizenship in Canada. This legislation would change the time frame from 4 (out of 6) years to 3 (out of 5) years. Also, this legislation would allow applications on a temporary status to use their time spent in the country towards the 3 year requirement.
“I am very pleased to announce these changes which are entirely consistent with the promises we made during the election campaign and on which we as a government were elected. The Government is keeping its commitment to repeal certain provisions of the Citizenship Act, including those that led to different treatment for dual citizens. Canadian citizens are equal under the law. Whether they were born in Canada or were naturalized in Canada or hold a dual citizenship,” said Immigration Minister, John McCallum.
The Liberal Government is also seeking to make the transition to a permanent resident in Canada easier for students through the Express Entry program. The Liberal government wants to find ways to change the Express Entry program to help out international students. You can learn more about their thoughts in our blog “Making the Transition Easier for Students“.
Current Act vs. Proposed Amendment
Below is a chart describing the old bill and the proposed changes. The following information was taken from Canada Visa, found HERE.
Current: Authority to revoke citizenship for certain acts against the national interest of Canada. These grounds include convictions of terrorism, high treason, treason or spying offences, depending on the sentence received, or for membership in an armed force or organized armed group engaged in armed conflict with Canada.
Proposed: Repeal national interest grounds for revocation.
Current: Applicants must have the intention to reside in Canada if granted citizenship.
Proposed: Repeal intent to reside provision.
Current: Physical presence for 4 out of 6 years before the date of application.
Proposed: Physical presence for 3 out of 5 years before the date of application.
Current: Time spent in Canada as a non-permanent resident may not be counted.
Proposed: 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 of one year of credited time.
Current: Minimum of 183 days physical presence in 4 of the last 6 years.
Proposed: Repeal the minimum 183 days physical presence in 4 of the last 6 years.
Current: Applicants aged 14-64 must meet language requirements and pass knowledge test.
Proposed: Applicants aged 18-54 must meet language requirements and pass knowledge test.
Current: File Canadian income taxes, if required to do so under the Income Tax Act, for four taxation years out of six years, matching physical presence requirement.
Proposed: File Canadian income taxes, if required to do so under the Income Tax Act, for three taxation years out of five years, matching proposed new physical presence requirement.
Current: Time spent serving a conditional sentence order can be counted towards meeting physical presence requirements. Convicted individuals who are serving conditional sentence orders (sentences served in the community with certain conditions) are not prohibited from being granted citizenship or taking the oath of citizenship.
Proposed: Time spent under a conditional sentence order cannot be counted towards meeting the physical presence requirements; and those serving a conditional sentence order are prohibited from being granted citizenship or taking the oath of citizenship.
Current: Provision prohibiting applicants from taking the oath of citizenship if they never met or no longer meet the requirements for the grant of citizenship, but does not apply to applications received before June 11, 2015.
Proposed: Provision prohibiting applicants from taking the oath of citizenship if they never met or no longer meet the requirements for the grant of citizenship also applies to applications still in process that were received prior to June 11, 2015.
Current: No explicit authority for citizenship officers to seize fraudulent documents related to the processing of applications.
Proposed: Authority to seize documents provided during the administration of the Citizenship Act if there are reasonable grounds to believe they are fraudulent, or being used fraudulently.
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