On June 19, Bill C-6 received Royal Assent, resulting in changes to the Citizenship Act. These changes give more flexibility for applicants to meet the requirements for Canadian citizenship. Some changes to the Citizenship Act were effective immediately upon Royal Assent, while others come into effect this fall.
In the fall of 2017, citizenship applicants will be able to apply if they have been physically present in Canada for three out of five years instead of the former requirement of four out of six years. Further, they will be able to count each day they were physically present in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person as a half day towards meeting their physical presence requirements for citizenship, up to a maximum of one year.
The Bill also amends the age range of the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship from 14-64 years to 18-54 years. Effective this fall, only applicants between 18 and 54 years old will have to show that they have an adequate knowledge of English or French. This change helps reduce barriers for both younger and older applicants, so that they may continue building successful lives in Canada.