Please note that this legislation was repealed in 2017. To see current Canadian citizenship regulations, go here.
Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act
Bill C-24, known as the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, received Royal Assent June 19, 2014 Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander has announced.
The reforms outlined in the bill will take effect in mid 2015.
Changes to the citizenship rules
Most importantly, the length of time you must be physically present in Canada before you are eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship is increasing from three out of the last four years to four out of the last six years. You must also be physically present inside Canada for at least 183 days per year.
The Canadian citizenship test and language requirements will also now be required from citizenship applicants up to 64 years old, increasing from 55 years old. Applicants will continue to demonstrate their knowledge of Canadian society by passing a multiple choice citizenship test. They will also still need to include proof that they can communicate in English or French with their citizenship application, and then demonstrate this ability orally at the time of their citizenship test.
Naturalized Canadian citizens who are convicted of terrorism or taking up arms against Canada may also have their citizenship revoked if they are also nationals of another country.
Purpose of the Act
The intentions of this act include
- Bolstering the value of Canadian citizenship: Making Canadian citizenship more difficult to obtain, and possible to lose, will lessen the number of people who become Canadian citizens, then return permanently or semi-permanently to their country of origin immediately after becoming Canadian citizens.
- Promoting Canada’s values: Permanent residents serving in Canada’s armed forces will have quicker access to Canadian citizenship. “Lost Canadians” born before 1947 and their children born outside Canada will also receive Canadian citizenship.
- Strengthening Canada’s stance against citizenship fraud: The penalties for obtaining Canadian citizenship through misrepresentation and fraud will be increased to a maximum fine of $100,000 and up to five years in prison. The grounds to bar an individual from obtaining Canadian citizenship permanently will now include crimes committed outside Canada as well as those committed inside Canada.