Applying for Citizenship? Here are the changes you need to know

Changes to citizenship requirements

On October 11, 2017, some changes to the Citizenship Act as a result of Bill C-6 become law. Here are some of the changes that you need to know about before applying for your citizenship.

Physical presence

You must be physically present in Canada for 3 out of the last 5 years with no minimum number of days per year, before applying for citizenship.

Previously: You had to be physically present in Canada for 4 out of 6 years, with a minimum of 183 days in each of the 4 years, before applying for citizenship.

Days spent in Canada before becoming a permanent resident (as a temporary resident or protected person) within 5 years of applying for citizenship, count as ½ days, up to a maximum of 1 year (365 days).

Previously: The time spent in Canada before becoming a permanent resident did not count towards the physical presence requirement for citizenship.

Language and knowledge

If you are between 18 years old and 54 years old, you must:

  • Meet language (English or French) requirements
  • Take the Citizenship Test

Previously: If you were between 14 and 64 years, you had to meet the language and knowledge requirement for citizenship.

Income tax

You have to file Canadian income taxes (if required to do so under the Income Tax Act) for 3 out of 5 years, matching the new physical presence requirement.

Previously: You had to file Canadian income taxes, if required to do so under the Income Tax Act, for 4 out of 6 years.

All the changes take effect on October 11, 2017

Learn more about Canadian citizenship.

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