February 25, 2016 – Ottawa, ON –Today, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister John McCallum introduced legislation to amend the Citizenship Act,providing greater flexibility for applicants trying to meet the requirements for citizenship and help immigrants obtain citizenship faster.
“The Government is keeping its commitment to repeal certain provisions of the Citizenship Act, including those that led to different treatment for dual citizens. Canadian citizens are equal under the law. Whether they were born in Canada or were naturalized in Canada or hold a dual citizenship,” said Minister McCallum.
Among the changes, the Bill: An Act to Amend the Citizenship Act, would repeal provisions that allow citizenship to be revoked from dual citizens who engage in certain acts against the national interest. All Canadians who commit crimes should face the consequences of their actions through the Canadian justice system.
The Bill also proposes to reduce the time permanent residents must be physically present in Canada before qualifying for citizenship by a full year. Recognizing that immigrants often build an attachment to Canada before becoming permanent residents, the proposed legislation would credit applicants for the time spent in Canada as temporary residents or protected persons.
The age range to meet French or English language requirements and pass a knowledge test to qualify for citizenship, would change to 18-54 from 14-64. The changes support our goal of removing barriers for immigrants to build successful lives in Canada.