Canada’s legislative agenda on immigration continues to undergo a tectonic shift under the Conservatives. The implementation of the latest reforms to the Citizenship Act completes a process which began last year and will substantially restrict access to Canadian citizenship. In addition, since January 2015, adult applicants must pay a higher processing fee (raised 430% since 2014) of $530 plus an additional fee of $100 for a right-of-citizenship, if granted.
It is expected the new rules and the much higher costs will result in a substantial reduction in the numbers of applications each year to less than half of Canada’s annual immigration levels. Historically, about 75% of Canada’s annual intake of immigrants would apply for citizenship.
Below is a comparative analysis of the requirements to apply for citizenship.
3 out of 4 years
(1,095/1460 days) immediately prior to filing application
4 out of 6 years
(1,460/2190 days) immediately prior to filing application
Adults aged 18–54 must meet language requirements and pass knowledge test
Applicants aged 14–64 must meet language requirements and pass knowledge test
No requirement for residents to be physically present in Canada
183 days of physical presence in Canada during each of the 4 calendar years of permanent residence
Intent to reside
No “intent to reside”
Must show “intent to reside”
Time in Canada before Permanent Residence
Time as a non-permanent resident may count towards residence for citizenship
Eliminates consideration for time spent in Canada as a non-permanent resident for most applicants
Misrepresentation on applications could only be considered by RCMP
Applicants can be refused for misrepresenting or withholding material facts with 5-year ban
No requirement to file Canadian income taxes
Requires adult applicants to file annual income tax returns
Consultants not required to be registered or regulated
Consultants required to be registered or regulated
Limited authority to define what constitutes a complete application
Defines what constitutes a complete application and what evidence applicants must provide
Citizenship is a three-step decision-making process
Citizenship is a single-step process for most applications
Bars applicants with domestic criminal charges and convictions
Expansion of criminal prohibitions to bar applicants for crimes committed abroad
Most “Lost Canadians” had citizenship restored in 2009, but small number remained ineligible for citizenship
Extends citizenship to “Lost Canadians” born before 1947 as well as their 1st generation children born abroad
Citizenship by Descent
Citizenship for those born outside of Canada, limited to first generation
No fast-track mechanism to citizenship for members of the military to honour their service to the Canadian Armed Forces
Creates fast-track mechanism to citizenship for individuals serving or on exchange with the Canadian Armed Forces to honour their service to Canada
No authority to revoke citizenship beyond fraud or misrepresentation
Minister may revoke from dual citizens convicted of terrorism, high treason and/or treason or espionage; and most other cases.
Complex cases by Federal Court
Impact of Revocation
10-years existing fraud; permanent on new grounds
No renunciation if Minister initiates process
Federal Court, No Leave
Federal Court, With Leave
Federal Court Appeal
Supreme Court Canada, Leave
Authority to Abandon
Minister may determine application abandoned for failure to comply
Authority to Suspend
Minister may suspend processing for as long as
Canada offers citizenship through naturalization and by birth in Canada.
Under current law, to qualify for citizenship through naturalization, candidates must have three years of qualifying permanent resident status during the preceding five years.
- New Canadian Citizenship Act Change Sees Update to Revocation Process
- Second Wave of Canadian Citizenship Changes Take Effect October 11, 2017
- Canada Citizenship Act: Summary of Key Bill C-6 Changes
Applicants must also:
- Meet the Citizenship Language Requirement, if between the ages of 18 and 54;
- Not be under a removal order;
- Not have a criminal prohibition;
- Pay processing fees.
Applications are submitted to the citizenship office in Sydney, Nova Scotia where they are pre-screened to ensure the application is complete and the 3-year residence rule has been met. Within about 12 months from submission, applicants will be required to attend an interview to demonstrate their knowledge of Canada in one of Canada’s official languages.
Interested employers: Kindly contact us here to receive further information.
Interested candidates: Find out whether you qualify to Canada by completing our free on-line evaluation. We will provide you with our evaluation within 1-2 business days.