Expecting New Changes in Immigration

Changes in Canadian immigration are expected to be introduced this fall, and many people are hoping for an easier and faster immigration process.

Canada has once again confirmed its commitment to increase the intake of economic immigrants to the country. Several changes have already been introduced to the legislation, and more are expected in the fall of 2016.

Long-Awaited Changes

“A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian,” as often says the Honorable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship. As he has shared back in March, McCallum is committed to increasing Canada’s immigration capacity and ensuring that Canada remains welcoming and open to immigrants.

The first step towards that goal was to re-evaluate the changes introduced with the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act (Bill C-24). This controversial bill was introduced in 2014 and became a law in 2015, raising a heated discussion about what it meant to be a Canadian and to value Canadian citizenship. The most discussed part of the bill was around the issue of citizenship revocation and the notion of dual citizenship.

Thankfully, the Canadian government has decided to address the citizens’ concerns through a new Bill C-6. “Bill C-6, currently before Parliament, will make important changes to Canada’s Citizenship Act,” shares Nevena Djuricic, RCIC and Ashton’s IMCD instructor. “The bill mostly reverses changes made under the previous Bill C-24.”

“As a naturalized Canadian I am very pleased with the proposed Bill C-6. The proposed amendments recognize that naturalized citizens are no different than Canadian-born,” states Nevena.

Bill C-6

Several changes are introduced under Bill C-6, including the following:

  • Proposition not to revoke the citizenship on the ground of the national interest. As McCallum puts it, “if a person commits a crime, the person should be in jail, not at the airport”. The citizenship can still be revoked on the ground of fraud or false misrepresentation.
  • Proposition to reduce the physical presence in Canada requirement from the current four years (1,460 days) to three years (1,095 days).
  • The applicants don’t have to declare their intent to reside in Canada on their citizenship application. This gives all Canadians the freedom to move outside of Canada, as guaranteed in their Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • The applicants can count their time in Canada before Permanent Residency towards their physical presence requirement, up to 1 year. The supplemental 183-day physical presence requirement is also eliminated.
  • Only the applicants aged from 18-54 are required to provide proof of language proficiency (English or French), as opposed to the previous age requirement from 14-64.
  • Other changes to further enhance program integrity, including prohibiting granting citizenship under conditional sentences, prerequisite for all applicants to maintain requirements for citizenship until Oath taking, and granting citizenship officers authority to seize fraudulent documents.

According to Nevena, the proposed changes to the Citizenship Act have tremendous impact. “It shows that every Canadian citizenship has the same value and the same respect as the citizenship of those born in this country.”

“The ultimate job of any government, regardless of their political agenda, is to promote good governance, inclusively and accountability, and that is what Bill C-6 will do.”

The bill was passed in the the House of Commons on July 19, 2016 following the third reading. For more detailed overview, please visit the Government of Canada website.

Further Changes

The two groups that are especially anxious to see the changes in immigration are those under the Family Class and the Canadian Experience Class.

“We’re working to meet our single most important commitment to reduce the processing time for family class,” said McCallum during his recent visit to the Peel region. “Right now, it takes approximately two years for a husband and wife to be reunited… it is unacceptable.”

As for international students, we have often heard McCallum say that “there is no group better equipped to be future Canadians than international students”. Being young, educated, and proficient in English or French makes international students great candidates for immigration. Now the goal is ensuring that the current immigration system reflects that.

There is also another group that will benefit from the future immigration changes. “We are determined to make it easier for people – particularly for visitor visas, weddings and funerals,” shared McCallum.

We are yet to see what changes in immigration will be introduced later this year.

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  1. Shaukat Mahmood Bajwa says:

    So much delay for implementation of Bill C-6 is not understandable. The effecties are eagerly waiting.

  2. Tanveer Ahmad says:

    Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship touched the lives of countless Canadian residents who are eager to assimilate fully as Canadian citizens and stand proud of their new identity – I am one of them

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