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Canada changes to citizenship rules

January 2014, 28
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Canada's federal government are going to bring in a number of to the citizenship rules. Immigration minister Chris Alexander told CBC news that the Canadian government will table a bill during the next parliament session which will show “the first comprehensive reform to the citizenship act in more than a generation”. Although the changes are to be significant, the immigration minister has stated that the Canadian government will not address matters surrounding whether or not citizenship should continue being granted to people just because they are born there, this may be addressed in the future as the government are contemplating ways to change problems caused by “passport babies” or “birth tourism”but as of yet they are undecided about the best way the matter can be resolved.

The new rules, which will be enforced throughout 2014, will allow the Canadian government to remove citizenship from a person who has previously been granted it, citizenship can be removed through situations where the holder is involved in terrorism acts or treason. This was one issue which was risen nearly 12 months ago following confirmation that a Lebanese-Canadian had been involved in the bombing of Israeli tourist, which took place in Bulgaria in 2012. Under the changes which have been put forward regarding the citizenship act, may be expected to wait a longer period of time before they can be considered for Canadian citizenship, however once the application process commences the government are hoping the processing time will be quicker that it is at the moment. The Canadian immigration minister feels the forthcoming legislation will improve the backlog which citizenship applications are currently facing.

In order for an individual to be deemed eligible for Canadian citizenship, they need to have maintained residency in Canada for at least three years of the years prior to making the application. The conditions in place for being deemed eligible are also expected to see significant changes. Crack downs through the reform are also aimed to reduce and diminish “citizens of convenience”, a number of measures are to be put in place so the citizenship act is not subject to abuse, it is important that people are aware that cheating their way through the process is not an option. In October 2013 the Canadian government announced that the citizenship act would face a shake up of conditions, the federal budget which is due could be any time from February.

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