Canada: Government Of Canada Amends The Citizenship Act

Last Updated: August 1 2017
Article by Henry Chang

On June 19, 2017, Bill C-6, which proposed numerous amendments to the Canadian Citizenship Act, (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-29), received Royal Assent.  Bill C-6 attempts to reverse many of the changes contained in the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act (the "2014 Act"), which was enacted by the former Conservative Government back in 2014. 

Many of the amendments described in Bill C-6 came into effect immediately on June 1, 2017.  However, some changes are expected to come into effect later this year.  Other changes are expected to come into effect in 2018. 

A summary of the key provisions contained in Bill C-6, and their effective dates, appears below.

Revocation of Canadian Citizenship for Reasons of National Security

Prior to Bill C-6, dual citizens who engaged in certain actions contrary to national security, while holding Canadian citizenship, could have their Canadian citizenship revoked.  This included convictions for treason, spying, and terrorism offences (depending on the sentence received), and being part of an armed force of a country or organized group engaged in conflict with Canada [Subsection 10(1)].  This provision has now been repealed, effective June 19, 2017. 

Intention to Reside in Canada No Longer a Requirement

Prior to Bill C-6, applicants for Canadian citizenship were required to demonstrate that they intended to reside in Canada, if their application was granted [Paragraph 5(1)(c.1)].  This provision has now been repealed, effective June 19, 2017.

Repeal of Minimum Age for Naturalization

Prior to Bill C-6, minors (persons under the age of 18) could not apply to naturalize as a Canadian citizen [Paragraph 5(1)(b)].  However, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship still had the discretion to waive the requirement, based on compassionate grounds [Paragraph 5(3)(b)].   

The age requirement for citizenship has now been repealed, as of June 19, 2017.  Minors may now apply to naturalize as Canadian citizens without requiring discretionary relief.

Reduction in the Required Period of Physical Presence

Prior to Bill C-6, in order to naturalize as Canadian citizens, applicants had to be physically present in Canada for 1,460 days (four years) during the preceding six years, be physically present in Canada at least 183 days during each of at least four calendar years, and to have filed at least four income tax returns during the preceding six years [Paragraph 5(1)(c)]

Under Bill C-6, applicants will only need to be physically present in Canada for at least 1,095 days (three years) out of the preceding five years.  They must also have filed at least three income tax returns (instead of four) during the preceding five years.  There is no longer a requirement that applicants spend at least 183 days during each eligible calendar year. 

This amendment is expected to come into effect later this year.

Limiting the Requirement to Demonstrate Knowledge of Canada and its Official Languages

Prior to Bill C-6, applicants for naturalization who were between the ages of 18 and 64 were required to demonstrate an adequate knowledge of: (1) Canada and of the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship [Subsection 5(d)], and (2) one of Canada's official languages [Subsection 5(e)]

Under Bill C-6, this requirement will only apply to applicants between the ages of 18 and 54.  This reinstates the applicable age that was in place prior to the 2014 Act. 

This amendment is expected to come into effect later this year.

Counting Time Spent in Canada Prior to Obtaining Permanent Residence

Prior to Bill C-6, time spent in Canada prior to becoming a permanent resident did not count towards the physical presence requirement for Canadian citizenship [Paragraph 5(1)(c)]

Under Bill C-6, for every day that an applicant was physically present in Canada as a temporary resident or a protected person before becoming a permanent resident of Canada will be counted as half a day of physical presence for the purposes of citizenship, up to a maximum of 365 days.  This more or less reinstates the method of calculation used prior to the 2014 Act.

This amendment is expected to come into effect later this year.

Authority to Seize Fraudulent or Improperly Obtained Documents

Prior to Bill C-6, there was no express authority for citizenship officers to seize fraudulently or improperly obtained documents provided in connection with the Citizenship Act

Under Bill C-6, citizenship officers will be able to seize any document provided in connection with the Citizenship Act, if they have reason to believe that it was fraudulently or improperly obtained or used, or if it is necessary to prevent its fraudulent or improper use.  This amendment is expected to come into effect in 2018.

Federal Court to Adjudicate All Revocation Cases

Prior to Bill C-6, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada had the authority to revoke a person's citizenship or renunciation of citizenship if they obtained, retained, renounced or resumed their citizenship by false representation or fraud or by knowingly concealing material circumstances [Subsection 10(1)].  The Federal Court had jurisdiction to adjudicate such cases only where they involved security grounds, human or international right violations, and organized criminality [Subsection 10.1(1)]

Under Bill C-6, the Federal Court will have jurisdiction to adjudicate all revocation cases, unless the individual requests that the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship make the decision.  This amendment is expected to come into effect in 2018.

Conclusion

While Bill C-6 does not represent a complete repeal of the 2014 Act, it eases many of the key eligibility requirements for citizenship, including the physical presence requirement and the requirement to demonstrate knowledge of Canada and its official languages.  Bill C-6 also eliminates some of the more controversial elements of the 2014 Act, including the ability to revoke the Canadian citizenship of dual nationals based on national security grounds. 

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.

Authors
Henry Chang
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
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).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions