On June 17, 2016, legislation to change the Canadian Citizenship Act, also known as Bill C-6, passed the Canadian House of Commons following its third reading. On the same day, a first reading took place in the Senate. As of November 28, 2016, the second reading took place in the senate. This means passage of this new law should be happening relatively soon and probably early in 2017.
The amendments made by Bill C-6 aim at changing the Citizenship Act in a way that would allow immigrants to apply for Canadian citizenship earlier and more easily than was previously the case.
Some of these changes include the following:
The requirement that an applicant intend, if granted citizenship, to continue to reside in Canada has been repealed/removed.
While prior to the amendment it was required for the applicant to have been physically present in Canada as a permanent resident for at least 4 out of 6 years immediately before the date of the application, the new requirement is 3 out of 5 years (1,095 days).
Time spent in Canada as a non-permanent resident now can count towards meeting the requirements for length of physical presence. Applicants can now count each day they were physically present in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act before becoming a permanent resident, to be accumulated as half a day of physical presence, up to a maximum of 365 days.
Bill C-6 also limits the requirement to demonstrate knowledge of Canada and of one of its official languages to applicants between the ages of 18 and 54 as opposed to ages of 14 to 64 under the previous Act.