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Citizenship Changes

New Criteria: Check Your Eligibility

Regardless of your age, you must have been physically present in Canada for at least:

  • 1095 days during the five years right before the date you sign your application

You may be able to use some of your time spent in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person towards your physical presence calculation. Each day spent physically in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident within the last 5 years will count as one half day, with a maximum of 365 days, towards your physical presence.

Temporary resident status includes lawful authorization to enter or remain in Canada as a:

  • visitor,
  • student,
  • worker or,
  • temporary resident permit holder

A protected person is someone who:

  • was found to be in need of protection or a convention refugee by the Immigration and Refugee Board, or
  • received a positive decision on a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Government of Canada implements new legislative changes to the Citizenship Act

October 4, 2017 – Ottawa, ON – As part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to provide greater flexibility in meeting requirements for those who wish to obtain Canadian citizenship, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced today a significant milestone in implementing changes to the Citizenship Act through the adoption of Bill C-6.

Further to changes introduced upon Royal Assent which repealed certain provisions of the former government’s Bill C-24, important changes to physical presence and the age required to meet language and knowledge requirements for permanent residents who are applying for citizenship will come into effect on October 11, 2017. The new requirements will give more flexibility to both younger and older eligible immigrants to obtain citizenship. They will also help individuals who have already begun building lives in Canada achieve citizenship faster.

Citizenship applicants who meet the new requirements must wait until October 11, 2017, before applying for citizenship. This is the date when the changes come into effect, and when the new citizenship application forms and guides will be available.

More changes to the Citizenship Act are expected to take effect later this year and in early 2018. For a complete list of past, current and future changes to the Citizenship Act and their effective dates, please read the Bill C-6 Backgrounder.