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Bill C-6 will officially become law in Canada today, making the process simpler and quicker for permanent residents to become citizens.
Under the new law, immigrants only need to have lived in Canada for 1,095 days, within a five-year period, to be eligible for citizenship.
Previously, the Conservatives required immigrants to be in Canada for 1,460 days within a six-year time period before they could apply to be citizens.
“We want all permanent residents, if possible, to become Canadians,” said Canada’s Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen, in a statement.
Bill C-6 also makes several other amendments to the Canadian Citizenship Act, somewhat reversing the changes made in 2014 by the previous Conservative government.
One of those changes now allows permanent residents to count up to 365 days of their previous temporary status towards the residency requirement for citizenship.
New rules under Bill C-6
The changes introduced by Bill C-6 also eliminate the government’s ability to revoke citizenship on national security grounds from citizens who hold dual citizenship.
Individuals who lost their citizenship because it was allegedly obtained fraudulently will also be given the right to appeal the decision in federal court.
As well, children under the age of 18 will be allowed to apply for citizenship without the consent of their parents.
“We want newcomers to be able to build successful lives, and we know that for temporary workers, for international students who become permanent residents after, their attachment to Canada starts way before they even become permanent residents, let alone Canadian citizens, so we recognize that bringing back the residency requirement to three years out of five, as opposed to four years out of six under C-24, is the right thing to do,” said Hussen in a release.
Bill C-6 was first passed by the House of Commons a year ago, but it spent the last year winding its way through the Senate before recently being approved.
Now, those waiting to officially become Canadian citizens will be able to find out if they are eligible to apply by using the CanadaVisa Citizenship Calculator.