Canadian Citizenship Act Received Final Passage And Royal Assent
On June 19, 2014, the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Minister Alexander announced that reforms to the Citizenship Act received final passage and Royal Assent. As the first major changes since 1977, the bill C-24 was announced in February 2014, and has created controversy ever since.
According to Canadian Government, the changes “will strengthen the rules around access to citizenship to ensure that new citizens are better prepared for full participation and integration into Canadian Society, with the goal of fostering the new Canadians a stronger attachment to Canadian values and traditions.”
Changes to Citizenship Act including:
- Reduce the processing system from 3 steps to 1 step
- Increase the application fee from $100 to $300
- Require applicants to show intention for a physical presence in Canada during the residence period
- Require applicants to meet more strict language requirements and pass a knowledge test
- Increase Residency Requirements from 3 out of 4 years to 4 out of 6 years.
- Increase penalties for fraud and misrepresentation to a maximum fine of $100,000 and/or five years in prison;
- Include foreign criminality as part of the ground to bar the application;
- Make it an offence to use unauthorized individuals to knowingly represent or advise in Citizenship matters for a fee.
According to the government, the current backlog will be reduced by more than 80% by the year of 2015-2016.
QuotesOur government expects new Canadians to take part in the democratic life, economic potential and the rich cultural traditions of Canada. Our Government remains committed to the successful integration of new citizens into our labour market and our communities, ensuring that they are better prepared to assume the responsibilities of Citizenship, and fostering in new Canadians a strong attachment to Canada.
— Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister
Contact us for more information about the New Citizenship Act and the Application Process.