Bill C-24 means major reforms to Canada Citizenship Act

Well, lets see these reforms in detail here.

Canada Citizenship Act will see new rules through Bill C-24.

Following are the changes in different categories—

• Period of Residence in Canada—The new scheme will require Canada permanent residents wanting to become Canada citizens to reside physically in Canada for four out of the last six years. Current rules require Canada permanent residents to reside for three out of last four years before gaining eligibility for Canada citizenship application.

• Language proficiency—Applicants aged between 14 and 64 years will be needed to fulfill language and knowledge tests in French and English under Canada’s new Bill C-24.(current range is applicants aged between 18-54 years).

• Filing Income Tax Returns—In order to become eligible for making application for Canada citizenship, all Canadian permanent residents will have to file Canada income tax returns as per Bill C-24 on their worldwide income. Current rules do not require Canada permanent residents wanting to become Canada citizens to file any income tax return in Canada.

• Fees, Timing—Canada government announced charging increased fees of $300 from the present fees of $100. Aim of such new rules is to bring down processing times to under 12 months from the current 24 months for any routine Canada citizenship application.

• Canada citizenship fraud—Committing Canada citizenship fraud will make any Canada citizenship applicant to get his or her application refused by CIC—Citizenship and Immigration Canada—under Bill C-24. So, the fine for such persons will be $100,000(maximum) along with five years in prison. Currently, the maximum fine is $1,000 along with one year in prison.

That’s not all. Applicants are likely to get barred from making an application for Canada citizenship for ten years(current rules bar such applicants from making any Canada citizenship application for a period of five years).

An unauthorized immigration adviser who knowingly represents any application or aids applicant in committing Canada residence fraud will be liable for fines up to $100,000 or two years of imprisonment or even both(if its an indictable conviction).

• What will be the effects of Bill C-24?—Well, Bill C-24 is still a proposed reform. Hence, it may or may not be passed. Nonetheless, the aim of Canada government is to toughen the Canada citizenship process to ensure only those who genuinely wish to remain in Canada get Canada citizenship.