The Act to amend the Citizenship Act has been heard for the third time on May 17, 2016. This is great news those waiting for citizenship. There have been several topics about what changes the Liberal government should make to the Citizenship Act, mostly repealing some or even all of the changes that were implemented by the previous bill (Bill C-24).
Minister John McCallum, the Minister of Immigration, had to say about the bill C-6
“In sum, we disagree with the Conservative government’s legislation based on two general principles. First, a Canadian is a Canadian. All Canadians are equal. We must not have two classes of citizens. Second, we want to welcome newcomers as Canadians, and we do not want the conditions for becoming Canadian to be too rigid or too difficult.”
Now that Minister McCallum has formally tabled Bill C-6 (An Act to Amend the Citizenship Act), the proposed revisions are very specific.
A summary of what is to be expected from this amended was listed, from Parliament is as follows:
This enactment amends the Citizenship Act to, among other things,
(a) remove the grounds for the revocation of Canadian citizenship that relate to national security;
(b) remove the requirement that an applicant intend, if granted citizenship, to continue to reside in Canada;
(c)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;
(d) limit the requirement to demonstrate knowledge of Canada and of one of its official languages to applicants between the ages of 18 and 54; and
(e) 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.
It also makes consequential amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
This will speed up the waiting period of those awaiting citizenship. To date, this particular bill has been heard three times, each time gaining an increase in votes. March 21, 2016, recorded votes from the House of Commons received 226 Yeas – 90 Nays out of a total of 316.The most recent sitting, on May 17, 2016, had received 218 Yeas – 88 Nays out of a total of 306.
This amended bill intends to decrease the requirements for residency to gain citizenship, to 3 out of 5 years as well as allowing for previous days spent in Canada prior to permanent residence to also be included as one day counts as half-day (up to a maximum of one year). The previous requirement of Bill C-24 of 183 days in Canada each calendar year is no longer a requirement. Bill C-6 also identifies to revert back to before Bill C-24 was implemented by returning to the original age range for knowledge and language testing to 18-54.
Bill C-6 has completed its third reading in the House of Commons May 17, 2016, and will likely take effect in the near future.
For additional reference: