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In this current section we will look at some current issues relating to Citizenship.


1. Residency Requirement

New rule: 4 years out of 6 (1,460 days). Must meet the residency requirement by physical presence. At least 183 days each year must be spent in Canada. Time spent prior to Permanent Residence will no longer be counted towards the citizenship residency requirement. Must prove intention to reside in Canada.

Previous rule: 3 years out of 4 (1,095 days). Time physically spent in Canada with a legal status prior to becoming a permanent resident could be applied towards the citizenship residency requirement at the rate of one half day for each day in Canada, up to a maximum of one year. There are some exceptions to the requirement of being physically present in Canada. No need to prove intention to reside in Canada.

2. Language Requirement

New rule: Applicants aged 14 to 64 must meet language requirement for citizenship. No interpreter assistance for the knowledge test.

Previous rule: Applicants aged 18 to 54 must meet language requirement for citizenship. Interpreter could assist with the knowledge test if needed.

3. Income Taxes

New rule: Must state intent to reside permanently and file Canadian income taxes.

Pevious rule: No requirement.

4. Other changes

- Citizenship will be automatically extended to additional “Lost Canadians” on June 11th, who were born before 1947, and did not become citizens on January 1, 1947 when the first Canadian Citizenship Act came into effect. This will also apply to their children born in the first generation outside Canada.

- Stronger penalties for fraud and misrepresentation (to a maximum fine of $100,000 and/or up to five years in prison).

One recent positive development has been the amendment of the Citizenship Act to allow a foreign child adopted by a Canadian citizen to receive citizenship abroad without having to first become a permanent resident. This is a major change from prior legislation wherein there is a distinction made between children born abroad to a Canadian and a foreign child adopted by a Canadian. A child born abroad to a Canadian receives automatic citizenship, and a mere application is required by the parent after the child’s birth; the process is simple and quick. It is important to note that where the child is born outside of Canada, to a Canadian parent, although the child will obtain the right to automatic Canadian citizenship, the child of that child will not obtain the right to automatic Canadian citizenship if that child of the child is also born outside of Canada.

The Need for Legal Representation for Citizenship Applications:

In many cases, the application is very straightforward and there is no need for legal advice for the applicant, such as when the applicant has not left Canada for lengthy periods during the period of permanent residence. In cases where the person has been out of Canada, for lengthy periods legal advice is important in order to maximize the chances of acceptance. Should the Citizenship Application be refused, there are three options: appeal, retry once further time in Canada is accumulated, or do nothing and continue to maintain permanent resident status.

For further information please contact Marvin Moses Law Office.

(Since the issues and matters in reality are quite complex, it is recommended that legal or other appropriate professional advice should be sought before acting upon any of the information contained therein. Although every reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this article, no individual or organization involved in either the preparation or distribution of this article accepts any contractual, tortious, or any other form of liability for its contents or for any consequences arising from its use.)