Citizenship Norms Relaxed in Canada, Applications surge

The effects of the C-6 bill that was introduced by the newly elected Liberal administration of the country seemed to be clear from the data that has been made public. There were some relaxations made in the existing conditions required for applying to become a citizen of Canada and as expected, there has been a substantial rise in the application numbers. The new rules and changes came into effect from the second week of October and that is the period that has seen the most rise in the application numbers.

some relaxations made in the existing conditions required for applying to become a citizen of Canada and as expected, there has been a substantial rise in the application numbers
some relaxations made in the existing conditions required for applying to become a citizen of Canada and as expected, there has been a substantial rise in the application numbers

Previous Canadian Citizenship Rules and effects

There were stricter rules introduced and enforced by the conservative government which was elected earlier. These rules consisted of:

  • People who applied needed to be residing for four years in the country out of the last six years.
  • Applicants between the age of 14 and 64 needed to go through lingual and citizenship norms knowledge test.

As a result, there was a sharp decline in the number of people that applied and became full citizens. So much so that the rate came from nearly eighty percent down to nearly thirty. There was growing fear among high officials and academics that this will harm the image of the nation and disinterest the immigrant population of the country.

New Rules of Canadian Citizenship

Acknowledging the importance of citizenship norms for integrating the immigrant population into country’s electoral process, the government relaxed some of the pre-existing norms. The relaxed norms include:

  • The age limit being reduced to ages 18 to 54 from 14 to 64.
  • The government also relaxed the residency requirements. Now, the time required was reduced to three in the past five years.
  • It was also specified that some percentage of the time spent before becoming permanent citizens might be counted in residency requirements. This might be beneficial for people who have studies here and temporary workers.