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  • Amir Akhtar

Immigrants will now be eligible for Canadian citizenship sooner

Updated: Oct 21, 2023

Bill C-6 officially became law in Canada on June 19, making the process simpler and quicker for permanent residents to become citizens. Under the new law, immigrants only need to have lived in Canada for 1,095 days, within a five-year period, to be eligible for citizenship. Previously, the Conservatives required immigrants to be in Canada for 1,460 days within a six-year time period before they could apply to be citizens.

“We want all permanent residents, if possible, to become Canadians,” said Canada’s Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen, in a statement.

The changes introduced by Bill C-6 also eliminate the government’s ability to revoke citizenship on national security grounds from citizens who hold dual citizenship. Individuals who lost their citizenship because it was allegedly obtained fraudulently will also be given the right to appeal the decision in federal court. As well, children under the age of 18 will be allowed to apply for citizenship without the consent of their parents.

Bill C-6 was first passed by the House of Commons a year ago, but it spent the last year winding its way through the Senate before recently being approved.

To summarize, C-6 will:

  • Allow permanent residents who had spent time in Canada on temporary status, such as on a work or study permit, to count up to 365 days of this temporary status towards the residency requirement.

  • Remove the ‘intent to reside’ provision, which previously required new citizens to state that they intended to reside in Canada.

  • Eliminate the government’s ability to revoke citizenship from naturalized citizens who hold dual citizenship on national security grounds, which the now-governing Liberals had said created a two-tiered citizenship system when in opposition.

  • Permit children under the age of 18 to apply for citizenship without the support or consent of their parents.

  • Give individuals who lost their citizenship on the grounds that it was obtained fraudulently the right to appeal that decision in Federal Court.

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