Government of Canada implements new legislative changes to the Citizenship Act – IRCC

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Further to changes introduced upon Royal Assent which repealed certain provisions of the former government’s Bill C-24, important changes to physical presence and the age required to meet language and knowledge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

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Source: Government of Canada implements new legislative changes to the Citizenship Act – IRCC

Citizenship requirements will change on October 11

Citizenship requirements for physical presence, language and knowledge will change on October 11, 2017. Applicants can apply for citizenship under the new rules using updated forms available October 11. The following changes will be expected to come into effect:

  1. Physical presence in Canada requirements will be reduced to three out of five years.
  2. A portion of time spent in Canada before permanent resident status will count towards residency requirements.
  3. Age range for language and knowledge requirements will be reduced to 18-54 years old.

The changes are part of the amendments that received Royal Assent in June. For a complete list of changes, please read the Bill C-6 Backgrounder.

Timeline of Citizenship Act changes

On June 19, 2017, Bill C-6 passed Parliament. Some immediate changes include:

  • Intent to live in Canada once granted citizenship is no longer required.
  • Citizenship revocation provisions only applying to dual citizens are repealed.
  • Minors can qualify on their own without the need to have a Canadian parent.

 

During the summer of 2017, IRCC will conduct the required regulatory process, train staff, and make the necessary technology changes for the fall of 2017.

 

The following changes are expected to come into effect in the fall of 2017:

  • Physical presence in Canada requirements will be reduced to three out of five years.
  • A portion of time spent in Canada before permanent resident status will count towards residency requirements.
  • Age range for language and knowledge requirements will be reduced to 18-54 years old.

For a complete list of changes made to the Citizenship Act and when they take effect, please read the Bill C-6 Backgrounder

Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Passport Application Clinics at Immigrant Services Calgary

Are you a new Canadian citizen? Do you need help to apply for your Canadian passport? Immigrant Services Calgary is hosting free passport application clinics on Saturdays in September.

Please be aware this service is available by appointment only. To register, please call 403-265-1120 ext. 303.

Please gather and bring the following documents to your appointment.

  1. Citizenship certificate (Must)
  2. Guarantor’s information (See application form P6)
  3. Two references’ information (See application form P3)
  4. Emergency contact information (See application form P3)
  5. Two photos as required (See application form P4)
  6. Documents to support identify (Driver’s license, AB provincial ID card, AB Health card, etc.)
  7. Address information in the past two years
  8. Occupations in the past two years (Starting date, ending date, employer or school, address, telephone, field of employment or study)
  9. Mother’s maiden name
  10. Additional documents required for minor applicants under age 16 (See Child general application form P5)

Minister Hussen announces major step forward in gender equality by making changes to passports and immigration documents – IRCC

As Canadians, we know that protecting and promoting fundamental human rights is an imperative for governments and individuals alike. This includes gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.

The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced that the Government of Canada will be working to implement an “X” gender designation in Canadian passports, as well as other documents issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to support LGBTQ2 rights and advance the Government’s agenda on gender equality, diversity and inclusion. An “X” will make it easier for people who do not identify as female (“F”) or male (“M”) to acquire passports and other government-issued documents that better reflect their gender identity.

Starting August 31, 2017, IRCC will be the first Government of Canada department to introduce interim measures, which include allowing individuals to add an observation to their passport stating their sex should be identified as “X,” indicating that it is unspecified. Interim measures will be available until IRCC is able to print documents with an “X.”

Today’s announcement follows steps to protect Canadians in their right to the gender identity of their choice, and freedom of gender expression. Earlier this summer, Bill C-16 amended the Canadian Human Rights Act and added gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination.

In the coming months, the Government of Canada will continue this important work in developing a consistent federal approach to how its programs and services collect, use and display sex and gender information so Canadians can have their gender more accurately reflected in government documents while also protecting their privacy. Our government is committed to better reflecting the gender identity and gender diversity of Canadians.

Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website.

Canada’s Asylum System and the Associated Facts – Infographic

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) created a new infographic to help you understand Canada’s asylum system and the associated facts.

Image source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

In this infographic, IRCC also mentioned the fact: “Asylum seekers are asking for protection under international and Canadian laws. They are separate category and are neither ahead nor behind applicants for immigration, permanent residence or citizenship.”