There has been a lot of excitement lately, as the new Liberal
Government has begun to address the promises made during their
campaign last year. Proposed amendments to immigration
legislation and policy are currently focused on the areas of
citizenship, conditional permanent residence and the temporary
foreign worker program.
In June 2014, under the Conservative government, Bill
C-24, Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act came into force,
making it more difficult for permanent residents to obtain
citizenship in Canada. Bill C-24 increased the
required duration of physical residence in Canada from 3 out of 4
years, to 4 out of 6 years, with at least 183 days spent in Canada
per year. Bill C-24 also introduced the requirement
for yearly Canadian income tax filing, extended the age range for
language and knowledge tests from 18-54 to 14-64, and removed the
provision allowing time in Canada before becoming a permanent
resident to count towards citizenship. Most controversially,
Bill C-24 granted the Minister of Citizenship and
Immigration Canada the ability to revoke Canadian Citizenship based
on 'national interest grounds.'
On February 25, 2016, the new Liberal Government of Canada held
a press conference to announce impending changes to revoke much of
what Bill C-24 had set out to accomplish. The proposed
amendments are set out in Bill C-6:An Act to Amend
the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to another
Act, and affect both the Citizenship Act and the
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
Bill C-6 intends to reduce the residency requirement
for citizenship to 3 out of 5 years and reinstate provisions
allowing for the days spent in Canada prior to permanent residence
to count as half-days towards the residency requirement for
citizenship, up to a maximum credit of one year. Residency will
continue to be calculated as days of physical presence in Canada,
in accordance with Bill C-24, however there will no longer
be the physical residence requirement of 183 days in Canada in each
Bill C-6 also proposes to revert to the pre-Bill
C-24, the age range for language and knowledge testing of
18-54; to repeal the provision requiring that a permanent resident
have the intent to reside in Canada; and to repeal the
'national interest grounds' basis for allowing citizenship
revocation. Bill C-6 completed its second reading in the
House of Commons on March 10, 2016, and will likely be implemented
in the near future.
The Government of Canada has also indicated its commitment to
family reunification and the intention to restore the maximum age
for dependents from 19 to 22 and to re-examine the conditional
permanent residence requirements for sponsored spouses. While there
is no legislation currently in the House of Commons on these
issues, they are addressed in Citizenship, Refugees and
Immigration Canada's Report on Plans and Priorities 2016
– 2017. Changes to conditional permanent residence would
allow sponsored spouses to obtain permanent resident status upon
arrival in Canada and removing the two-year waiting period
currently imposed on some spouses.
The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour has
also announced the intention to review the entire system for
temporary foreign workers to ensure that it promotes sustainable
national economic growth and development.
More announcements are likely to come as the Government of
Canada seeks to address family reunification through simplified
procedures for permanent residence, explore opportunities for more
parents and grandparents to obtain permanent residence and repeal
other legislation that is viewed as no longer fitting with Canadian
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
October 12th, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 21st round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 44th overall, inviting 1518 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 484.
October 19th, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 22nd round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 45th overall, inviting 1804 applicants for permanent residence, the largest number ever. The lowest CRS score was 475, a decline from the previous draw.
September 21st, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 20th round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 43rd overall, inviting 1288 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 483.
A unique feature of the new Canada express entry immigration system is that candidates can improve their comprehensive ranking score while in the express entry pool, without submitting a new application. We review important strategies.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).