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Bill C-6 Amending Canadian Citizenship Legislation Passes Senate

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A bill to change Canada’s Citizenship Act has finally been passed by the Senate with amendments, bringing the legislation closer than ever to becoming law. As a result of this bill, immigrants to Canada would be able to apply for Canadian citizenship earlier and more easily than before.

In a vote of 45 for, 29 against, and zero abstentions, Bill C-6 passed the Senate at around 4 p.m. on May 3, 2017. Senators in Ottawa have asked their colleagues in the House of Commons to review the bill, including amendments added by the Senate after the draft bill was previously passed by the House of Commons in June of last year. The bill must receive royal assent before becoming law.

C-6 reduces the amount of time permanent residents have to live in Canada in order to become eligible to apply for citizenship, from four out of six years to three out five years. In addition, applicants who spent time in Canada on temporary status — such as on a work or study permit — would be able to count a portion of this time towards the three-year requirement.

The wide-ranging bill would repeal many parts of the former Conservative government’s citizenship legislation, including a provision that revoked citizenship from dual Canadian citizens convicted of terrorism, treason or espionage.

C-6 would also repeal the government’s authority — introduced by the previous Conservative government — 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.

The bill also removes the intent to reside provision, and an increased number of applicants would be exempt from language proficiency requirements. The bill passed by the House of Commons last year placed an age range of 18 to 54 for language testing, but this was amended to 18 to 60 in the Senate following an amendment tabled by Independent Senator Diane Griffin.

While being read in the Senate, Senators passed a number of other amendments to the bill. Among these were a provision requiring the Immigration Minister to inform individuals who have their citizenship revoked due to fraud or misrepresentation that they have the right to appeal the decision in Federal Court. Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act introduced by the previous Conservative government, removed the right to a Federal Court hearing for individuals subject to revocation of citizenship in cases where it was found that citizenship was obtained by fraud. Since C-24 came into effect, affected individuals have 60 days to respond in writing after being informed that their citizenship will be revoked.

Another amendment, tabled by Conservative Senator Victor Oh, would allow minors to apply for citizenship without assistance from their parents. Under existing laws, parents and children are treated as one unit when applying. If the parent’s citizenship application is rejected, the children or child included on the file can’t get citizenship either. In such a case, the child has to wait until the age of 18 to make another application.

“While it took almost a year to be passed by the Senate, that institution has stepped up to be one of sober second thought by giving the bill three readings and bringing in some important amendments,” says Attorney David Cohen.

“The spirit of the bill remains intact, however, and, if and when it becomes law, immigrants to Canada will have a quicker and smoother pathway to Canadian citizenship.

To find out more about applying for Canadian citizenship in light of the proposed changes to the Citizenship Act, please send an email to citizenship@canadavisa.com. Please include information about your time as a Canadian permanent resident, as well as any information about previous time spend in Canada with temporary status.
To learn more about Canadian citizenship, click here.
To find out if you are eligible to immigrate to Canada through one of the currently available programs, please fill out a free online assessment today.

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128 thoughts on “Bill C-6 Amending Canadian Citizenship Legislation Passes Senate

  1. shoaib

    Will there be new application form available online with new citizenship changes coming into effect in this fall. As the current form still has old 6 years calculations

  2. Heraldo Figueiredo

    My daughter lives in Canada and she loves the country. I don’t worry about her safety or else for Canada is a very developed country and people are polite, the police are honest, the health policy is comprehensive and the landscapes are gorgeous. I love Canada too.

  3. Rasha Jabban

    So now this is the new laws of the citizenship of Canada I mean they sign it already and I got approval to be a permanent resident of Canada (refugee) when I had been in Lebanon is the waiting time there is included and I been in Canada for 2 years and half so I can apply to be a citizen after 6 months ( notice that I haven’t go out Canada since I got here)

  4. Shapon zaman

    Canada is my dream,,,,,,

  5. Abdelaziz Satti

    I lived in Canada as a student for 2 and half years but long ago, between 1989 and 1992 does this count? I have a PR since 2015.

  6. G. Kalaria.

    I am delighted to know. Thanks.

  7. Oscar

    As an immigrant to Canada, I believe that this government wants to benefit economically from citizenship and, therefore, obtain more votes as more of us become citizens. Like always, they make it sound that they work for the people, but they are only concerned about power and publicity. White there are some aspects that should change, such as citizenship revocation or the intend to live in Canada; I do not understand why they have to shorten the time that one lives in Canada before applying. By reducing this, you promote Canadian of convenience, who only want to get citizenship in the country that offers it in the fastest way so that they can go back and use this citizenship in an emergency or for social care benefits. Also, I do not understand why they would not want everyone to have language skills before becoming a citizen; I had to learn both English and French, and I only did it because I wanted to be part of this new country I moved to. The government always talks about integration, but how can people do that if you do not encourage them to learn about their country and its official languages. I feel like the Liberals only want to reverse what other politicians have done just to make a point rather than to improve the Economy; just like a children that turns 18 and wants to contradict everything their parents told them just because they are adults now. I have seen how the love for Canada has decreased in the last 5 years, and I think it is mostly because we are being used as potential votes and that is why they make it easier for us to come here and become citizens, only so that we are never really seen as citizens in the eyes of the ones who were born here, using the excuse that we do not have Canadian experience or Canadian education, instead of of cherishing the experience that we bring with us. I know that I will become Canadian one day and I will feel Canadian; but I am sad to know that nobody else will think I am Canadian.
    I hope that one day politicians start doing what is right for us and not for them.

  8. LP

    when can we send in citizenship applications for people who now qualify? the CIC website isn’t updated yet?

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