Bill C-24 is the key to the change in requirements for becoming a Canadian citizen from now onwards. The changes are mentioned in this Bill and hence forming a new set of guidelines both for becoming a Canadian Citizen and also for retaining the same.
Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act
Government claims that the changes will demand more of preparation from a new comer so that he or she is integrated in an even stronger way with the Canadian society.
There are people who are not in the mood to accept the changes and hence they have already started criticizing against it. Some of the major opposes are Amnesty International, the Canadian Association of refugee Lawyers who are all set to fight back the changes on legal grounds.
The major changes in application process
• The rules on physical presence in Canada are more stringent than before.
• Such permanent residents would also be required to submit their intention of living in Canada on a permanent basis, for which they would need to attest the documents.
• Applicants in the age range of 16 to 64 would be required to take up language and knowledge tests, criteria which were meant for people in the age range of 18 to 54 only.
• Applicants will not be able to count the stay before they acquired permanent residency status.
• There is a hike in the fee for processing the application as well.
• With the changes brought in, the Government is empowered to revoke the citizenship of someone who holds a dual citizenship. Even otherwise if someone is found to be associated in any illegal act or crime would also face the same consequence and the Government is free to take any such step.
• An appellant would also be required to submit Notices of Assessment he takes up while filing his application for citizenship.
Opinions made on the changes
The website of CIC says that the reforms would make the rules to become a Canadian even stronger so that no one cans undue advantage of the same. The changes would also see the newcomers more prepared for becoming a true Canadian.
The basis for making such changes
There have been cases in the past where the courts have been making a true effort to ensure that permanent residents are present in the country for a considerable period of time before they acquire citizenship of the country.
Earlier when an applicant could submit his application for citizenship by staying in for three years out of four, now this has been increased. One will have to stay for a minimum of 1460 days in a period of four years out of six years.
Citizenship should not be available to those who do not deserve it. Therefore, to stop the abuse of the system and to ensure that deserving candidates get an opportunity to become an integral part of the Canadian system the changes have been introduced with much thought.