Red Seal Immigration Ltd. always encourages Permanent Residents to acquire Canadian Citizenship to enjoy the many benefits and the protection that citizenship offers, but now with the proposed amendments sighted in the near future to the Citizenship Act, there is no better time than now to apply, as these changes could have a very real impact for those intending to become citizens of Canada.

 

There are a number of proposed changes as set out below but some of them really stand out for those Permanent Residents who initially entered Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

 

Currently, Temporary Foreign Workers who later acquired Permanent Residency can use time spent previously in Canada towards the residency requirement when applying for Canadian Citizenship. This is a huge advantage because a Permanent Resident applying for Canadian Citizenship must meet a residency requirement and for each day previously spent in Canada as a temporary resident, this can be used as a half day up to an accumulation of one year. For example, a foreign worker who spent two years in Canada prior to becoming a Permanent Resident, could be eligible for Citizenship as early as two years into their becoming a Permanent Resident.

 

With the proposed changes, use of time spent in Canada prior to becoming a Permanent Resident will be eliminated AND the physical presence in Canada requirement will increase significantly from the required 1095 full days for 3 out of the 4 years period preceding the application, to 1460 full days for 4 out of a 6 year period preceding the application. Also, the applicant may need to establish that 183 days at a minimum, per year for that period, was spent within Canada.

 

Remember, even if you were in Canada prior to becoming a Permanent Resident, your minor children can apply for Citizenship at the same time as you, even if they arrived to Canada at a later date as Permanent Residents.

 

Looking at the potential impact the proposed changes that the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act will have on the Foreign Worker-turned Permanent Resident, it is recommended that you make the application for yourself and dependant children as soon as you are eligible.

 

Red Seal Immigration can assist you with your Application for Canadian Citizenship. If you would like more information about the proposed changes and are interested in applying for citizenship, please contact us for more information.

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Amberley Smith, RCIC

Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant