Changes in Citizenship Act: Worrisome for newcomers in Canada

The recent changes in Citizenship Act, have apparently posed a challenge to many young immigrants who are in the age range of 20 to 30 years.

The changes
All this while, a permanent resident could become eligible for citizenship if he would have stayed for three out of four years. With the changes introduced recently, one has to live for a minimum of four out of six years for becoming eligible to obtain the status of Canadian citizen. Adding a few more years to eligibility criteria has actually moved the dream away from many aspiring permanent residents who thought of becoming a lawful citizen very soon.
A spokesperson from Citizenship and Immigration Canada says, the changes would level the field for all the applicants.

The increasing numbers
The government had introduced a two tier system in 2006, which encouraged immigrants to come here as students or temporary workers. Programs like CEC, Provincial Nominee Program and others would then help them getting transitioned into permanent residents and later into citizens. And these efforts increased the number of foreign workers from almost 93,000 in 2006 to more than 192,000 in 2012. The number of students also went up to more than 149,000 in 2012 from 92,000 in 2006. Accordingly the number of permanent residents also went up considerably.

A longer wait than before
There are people who came here as an immigrant on study visa or even on a visitor visa. They also may have come on a work visa allowing them to stay here for a short period of time and work during the same period. Those who met the eligibility at various levels and ultimately could become a full citizen in a short span of time. With the alterations in the process, they would now be waiting for a longer time than before. Those who could have applied for citizenship by the end of this year will now have to wait till 2016 for initiating the process.

There are cases in the past, when people belonging to a profession like engineering arrived here in 2010 and by 2013 they could become a permanent resident. Programs like Canadian Experience Class supported them in their journey. With the longer wait an immigrant would not b able to thank of obtaining citizenship any time before 7 to 8 years.

The challenges of not becoming citizen
In spite of being regular with tax payments and many other responsibilities which a Canadian should meet, the immigrants or the permanent residents would not be offered a job as fast as a citizen would be.

The petition filed against the changes in Citizenship Act enjoys support of as many as 3,200 immigrants.

There are students who are into a debt for taking up a higher study would not be able to make the repayment for a long time now. And this is merely because they would have to wait to become citizens of the country.

Such immigrants would not be able to enjoy the benefit of hassle free traveling, and integrating with the society.
With the changes introduced recently, many would face a setback and would have to wait for a longer period of time.

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