The Canadian government are proposing new changes to reduce the amount of time applicants must be present in Canada before they can apply for Canadian Citizenship.
John McCallum the Immigration Minister for the Liberal Party is putting forward of a number of changes to citizenship rules to the House of Commons. The Liberal government was elected to power late last year and wants to implement new changes that they see as unnecessary barriers to becoming a citizen.
For those currently in Canada, the rules state those who wish to become Canadian Citizens must have spent at least four out of six years physically present in the country before their Canadian citizenship can be granted. Time spent in Canada before becoming a permanent resident does not contribute towards this.
However, the new bill proposes to reduce this requirement to just three of the past five years. There are also other considerations on the time spent on temporary visas before permanent residency up to one year, granting a half-day for each day spent. So those who spent two years in Canada, could be granted 50% credit, or one year, towards their physical presence requirement.
Other changes also include plans which would allow foreign, sponsored spouses of Canadians to become permanent residents as soon as they arrive in Canada. Under the current system, spouses of Canadians become conditional permanent residents, and still must wait for two years before they are granted full permanent resident status. Although some protest that this will increase the amount of fraudulent “marriages of convenience”.