New rules to obtain Canadian citizenship kick in Oct. 11

Canadian Immigration and Citizenship

Starting Oct. 11, permanent residents will be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship if they have lived in the country for three out of the previous five years.

Canada’s Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen, made the announcement earlier this week, encouraging “all immigrants to take the path towards citizenship and take advantage of everything that being a Canadian has to offer.”

“As a country that’s committed to the settlement and integration of newcomers successfully so they can restart their lives and make contributions to our society, we have to ensure the path to citizenship for permanent residents,” Hussen said.

The new process is expected to make it easier for permanent residents to obtain Canadian citizenship with flexible citizenship rules and language requirements.

According to the CBC, the new rules include:

  • The required duration of a physical presence in Canada is reduced to three out of five years, from four out of six years.
  • A portion of time spent in Canada before permanent resident status will count toward residency requirements, which will give credit to temporary workers and students.
  • The age range for language and knowledge requirements is reduced to 18 to 54 years old, from the previous requirement of 14 to 64.

Other changes introduced in the bill include: reasonable consideration to accommodate citizenship applicants who are disabled, as well as making it possible for minors to apply for citizenship separate from their parents.

Earlier this year, Canada’s senate passed Bill C-6 to amend its Citizenship Act to allow immigrants to Canada apply for Canadian citizenship ‘earlier and more easily than before.’

With reports that Canada’s dependence on immigration for population growth — and economic development — has hit an all-time high, the Bill C-6 amendments is seen as a potential solution to Canada’s aging population problem.

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