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Citizenship

July 2017 – Updates on Bill C-6

Bill C-6 has passed Royal Assessment, good news for many, this means as of June 19, 2017, the provision is repealed.  Applicants are no longer required to intend to continue to live in Canada once granted citizenship.  This provides more flexibility to Canadians who may need to live outside of Canada for work or personal reasons.

This provision is repealed.  Dual citizens living in Canada who are convicted of these crimes will face the Canadian justice system like other Canadian citizens who break the law.

Changes expected to take effect in fall 2017

To apply for Citizenship, applicants must be physically present in Canada for three out of five years before applying for citizenship.

Applicants must file Canadian income taxes, if required to do so under the Income Tax Act for three out of five years, matching the new physical presence requirement.

Applicants may count each day they were physically present in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident as a half-day toward meeting the physical presence requirement for citizenship up to a maximum credit of 365 days.

Applicants between 18 and 54 must meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship

Apr 2017 – Bill C-6 (Citizenship Act) UPDATE:

Bill C-6 is one step away to be fully approved at the Senate.  Senator Omidvar believes it is realistic to expect royal assent by mid April 2017 at the latest and back to the House of Commons for the final vote. So if you are in Canada for at least 3 years in the last 4 years as a permanent resident, it`s time to get ready to apply to become a Canadian Citizen before the summer.  (Hopefully).

Sep 2016 – Bill C-6 the act to amend the Citizenship act and to make consequential amendments to Another Act.

This enactment amends the Citizenship Act, among other things.

To remove the requirement that an applicant intend, if granted citizenship, to continue to reside in Canada. Meaning that an applicant who is granted Citizenship is not mandatory to reside in Canada ones obtained Citizenship.

To remove the grounds for the revocation of Canadian Citizenship that relate to National Security. Meaning that an applicant who was granted Citizenship and then found a security risk of criminal activities, can now continue to reside in Canada as a Canadian Citizen.

To reduce the number of days during which a person must have been physically present in Canada before applying for citizenship and provide that, in the calculation of the length of physical presence, the number of days during which the person was physically present in Canada before becoming a permanent resident may be taken into account.

This means that a person who has been in Canada as a visitor, yes you are reading right even as a visitor you can count those days as half days in Canada, foreign student, or foreign worker may count their days before becoming a permanent resident as half day, with a maximum of 1 year, if you exceed 1 year of being in Canada before becoming a permanent resident you cannot add more than 1 year to your citizenship application.

To be in Canada 3 years out of the 5 years and for those who have any stay in Canada before becoming a permanent resident can add a maximum of 1 year if applicable.

To also limit the requirement to demonstrate knowledge of Canada and of the one of its official languages to applicants between the ages of 18 to 54.

To also authorize the Minister to seize any document that he or she has reasonable grounds to believe was fraudulently or improperly obtained or used or could be fraudulently or improperly used.

The Bill was passed in the House of Commons and is currently at the stage of Second Reading in the Senate of Canada (after having undergone a First Reading on June 17, 2016).  In order for a Bill to become law, it must pass in the Senate and receive Royal Assent.

We are predicting the new amendment to the Citizenship Act should be in force by October, or November 2016.

آبی پر رنگ Determine your eligibility – Citizenship

To be eligible to become a Canadian citizen, you must meet the conditions in all these areas:

  • age,

  • permanent resident status,

  • time you have lived in Canada (residence),

  • income tax filing,

  • intent to reside,

  • language skills,

  • how well you know Canada, and

As a result of 2014 changes to the Citizenship Act, if you have served in or with the Canadian Armed Forces, you might be able to apply through a fast-track process. This is based on how long you have served our country, instead of how long you have lived in Canada. Foreign military members do not need to be a permanent resident of Canada.

Age: You must be at least 18 years old to apply.

To apply for citizenship for a child under 18:

  • you must be the child’s parent, adoptive parent or legal guardian,

  • the child must be a permanent resident, and

  • one parent must be a Canadian citizen or apply to become a citizen at the same time (this also applies to adoptive parents).

Permanent resident status

You must have permanent resident (PR) status in Canada, have no unfulfilled conditions related to that status, and your PR status must not be in question. This means you must not:

  • be under review for immigration or fraud reasons, or

  • be under a removal order (an order from Canadian officials to leave Canada), or

  • have certain unfulfilled conditions related to your PR status.

You do not need to have a PR card to apply for citizenship. If you have a PR card, but it is expired, you can still apply for citizenship.

Time you have lived in Canada

You must have been physically present in Canada as a permanent resident for at least 1,460 days during the six years immediately before the date of your application. You must also be physically present for at least 183 days during each of four calendar years that are fully or partially within the six years immediately before the date of application. These requirements do not apply to children under 18.

Exceptions to these requirements apply for certain Crown servants and certain family members of Crown servants.

When calculating how long you have lived in Canada, you can only count time spent after you became a permanent resident of Canada.

Find out if you have lived in Canada long enough to apply to become a citizen.

Income tax filing

You must have met your personal income tax filing obligations in four taxation years that are fully or partially within the six years immediately before the date you apply.

Intent to reside

You must declare your intent to reside during the citizenship application process.

To become a citizen, you must indicate your intention to:

  • live in Canada,

  • work outside Canada as a Crown servant, or

  • live abroad with certain family members who are Crown servants.

Once you become a Canadian citizen, you have the right to enter, remain in, or leave Canada, one of the basic rights of citizenship.

Language abilities

Canada has two official languages—English and French. To become a citizen, you must show that you have adequate knowledge of one of these languages. In general, this means you can:

  • take part in short, everyday conversations about common topics;

  • understand simple instructions, questions and directions;

  • use basic grammar, including simple structures and tenses; and

  • show that you know enough common words and phrases to answer questions and express yourself.

If you are 14 to 64 years of age, you must send documents with your citizenship application that prove you can speak and listen in English or French at this level. Use our wizard to see if you have the proof we will accept. The citizenship application guide also contains the type of proof we will accept.

Second, we will note how well you communicate to staff or a citizenship officer during your interview.

A citizenship officer will make the final decision on your application, including how well you can communicate in English or French.

How well you know Canada

To become a citizen, you must understand the rights, responsibilities and privileges of citizenship, such as voting in elections and obeying the law. You must also show, in English or French, that you understand Canada’s:

If you are 14 to 64 years of age, when you apply for citizenship, you will need to take a citizenship test to show you have adequate knowledge of Canada and the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship.

It is usually a written test, but it is sometimes taken orally with a citizenship officer. All you need to know for the test is in our free study guide Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship. We will send you a copy of it once we get your application. The questions in the citizenship test are based on this study guide.

Prohibitions

If you have committed a crime in or outside Canada you may not be eligible to become a Canadian citizen for a period of time. For example if you:

  • are in prison, on parole or on probation in Canada, or are serving a sentence outside Canada,

  • have been convicted of an indictable offence in Canada or an offence outside Canada in the four years before applying for citizenship, or

  • are charged with, on trial for, or involved in an appeal of an indictable offence in Canada, or an offence outside Canada.

Time in prison or on parole does not count as time you have lived in Canada. Time on probation also does not count if you were convicted of a crime.

After you apply: get next steps – Citizenship

Once we start processing your application, we will send you a notice confirming we have received it.

We will send a second notice inviting you for an interview. You must bring several documents to the interview, including your Permanent Resident card (even if it has expired). The notice will list all the documents you must bring.

We will also send a copy of the study guide Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship to applicants who are between 14-64 years of age (at the time they applied). If you applied as a family with several applications in one envelope, we will send you only one copy of Discover Canada.

You can check the status of your application online or contact the Call Centre.

You may withdraw your application. If you do, you may be eligible for a refund.

Preparing for the citizenship test

If you are between 14 and 64 years of age when you apply for citizenship, you must take the citizenship test. All the test questions are based on what’s in the Discover Canada Guide. Study it carefully so you are ready to pass the test.

If we receive the required forms, documents and fees and you meet the requirements to apply for citizenship, we will send you a notice giving you the time and date for your test.

After the test, we may ask you to attend a hearing with a citizenship officer. If this happens and you and your family sent your applications in the same envelope, we may process your application separately. However, you can ask to have them processed together.

Closing or rejecting your application

We will close your application if you do not:

  • submit documentation;

  • appear for your citizenship test or interview;

  • appear for a hearing with a citizenship officer or a citizenship judge; or

  • attend the citizenship ceremony (14 years of age and over only);

  • and have not contacted us to explain why. We will assume you have given up on applying for citizenship. The notices we will send you will explain how to contact us.

If your application for Canadian citizenship is not approved, you will receive a letter explaining why and the options available to you.

Asking questions about your application

While we process your application, you should only contact us if:

  • you change your address,

  • you plan to leave Canada for more than two weeks in a row,

  • you are charged with a crime or

  • we do not contact you about your file within the posted processing times.

  • Before you ask about your application status:

  • make sure you have allowed enough time for each step and

  • make sure you have your receipt or file number when you access our online services.

We will contact you if we need more information or documents.

We will write to you to let you know the date and time of any interviews. Under Canadian privacy law, we cannot give information about your application to anyone but you unless you give your consent in writing.

Maintaining eligibility requirements until the taking of the Oath

You cannot take the Oath of Citizenship if you never met or you no longer meet the requirements of the Citizenship Act for the grant of citizenship.

You must meet all of the eligibility requirements for a grant of citizenship until the time you take the Oath of Citizenship.

After your application is approved, you could be prevented from taking the Oath and becoming a citizen if you:

  • lose permanent resident status, or

  • have been asked by Canadian officials to leave Canada (removal order).

Apply for citizenship (grant of citizenship) urgently

We can only process applications for citizenship urgently in special cases. Every urgent request will be checked to see if it meets the conditions for urgent processing. If an application does not meet the conditions, it will be processed normally.

To apply for urgent processing, you must meet all three conditions:

You must be eligible to apply for citizenship.

You must have been a permanent resident living in Canada and have been in Canada for the required number of days (meet the residence requirement) before you submit your application.

There must be some emergency that requires you to become a citizen quickly.

Examples of when we may process an application for citizenship urgently:

You can’t apply for a job or could lose your job because you are not a Canadian citizen.

You cannot go to a Canadian school, college or university because you are not a Canadian citizen.

You need to travel because of death or serious illness in the family and cannot get a passport in your current nationality.

You received a decision on a previous application for citizenship that you successfully appealed to the Federal Court.

See the Application Processing Times to find out how long it takes to process an application for Canadian citizenship. If you think you have an emergency and will not receive your citizenship in time, you may apply for urgent processing.

Even if these conditions apply to you, we may not be able to process your request urgently. If we do process your request urgently, we may not be able to do it in time to help your situation.

Prepare for the citizenship ceremony

The citizenship ceremony is the final step to becoming a Canadian citizen. You will take the Oath of Citizenshipand get your citizenship certificate there.

We will send you a notice telling you to attend a ceremony and take the oath, if you meet all of the conditions to:

  • become a Canadian citizen, or

  • get your Canadian citizenship back.

The notice will tell you when and where the ceremony will be held.

Community groups often host the ceremonies, which take place all across the country and at all times of the year.

There are special ceremonies on Canada Day, during Citizenship Week and at other times.

Who must go: Adults and children aged 14 or over must go to the citizenship ceremony and take the oath.

Parents will get certificates of citizenship for their children under age 14. Children under age 14 do not have to go, but they are welcome to do so.

What to bring: You must bring all of your original immigration documents.

  • If you have a permanent resident card, you must also bring it even if it has expired.

  • If you became a permanent resident before June 28, 2002, you must bring your Record of Landing (IMM 1000).

If you have both of those documents, bring both of them to the ceremony.

Prepare for the citizenship ceremony: The citizenship ceremony is the final step to becoming a Canadian citizen. You will take the Oath of Citizenship and get your citizenship certificate there.

We will send you a notice telling you to attend a ceremony and take the oath, if you meet all of the conditions to:

  • become a Canadian citizen, or

  • get your Canadian citizenship back.

The notice will tell you when and where the ceremony will be held.

Community groups often host the ceremonies, which take place all across the country and at all times of the year.

There are special ceremonies on Canada Day, during Citizenship Week and at other times.

Who must go: Adults and children aged 14 or over must go to the citizenship ceremony and take the oath.

Parents will get certificates of citizenship for their children under age 14. Children under age 14 do not have to go, but they are welcome to do so.

What to bring: You must bring all of your original immigration documents.

If you have a permanent resident card, you must also bring it even if it has expired.

If you became a permanent resident before June 28, 2002, you must bring your Record of Landing (IMM 1000).

If you have both of those documents, bring both of them to the ceremony.

At the citizenship ceremony, we will welcome you into the Canadian family. You will accept the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship.

A citizenship judge usually presides over the ceremony. He or she leads the Oath of Citizenship. Many people will take the oath with you.

If you want to swear the oath on your holy book, bring it with you.

Once you have taken the Oath of Citizenship, you will be a Canadian citizen. We will give you your citizenship certificate. You must use it to prove that you are a Canadian citizen and to show the date that you became one. Keep it in a safe place.

Your citizenship certificate is not a travel document. You need to get a Canadian passport to travel outside Canada.

As a new citizen, you must wait at least two business days after your ceremony before you can apply for services, such as applying for a passport. From IRCC web site

آبی پر رنگ

For any questions and concerns about any issues or matters on immigration, including foreign workers, International Students and temporary resident visa (tourist visas), renewal of permanent resident card, citizenship, Federal, Quebec & Provincial Immigration Programs, Quebec Experience Program and more.  Do not hesitate to contact our office, we are here to answer your questions.