Are you ready for the changes to the Canada Citizen Act?

The following information is important to all human resource and mobility managers that work in Canada and are looking to hire and relocate talent from other countries. This does not pertain to short-term assignments during which an employee might simply retain the citizenship of their country of origin. This matters to those who you will be onboarding for full-time work in Canada and where the employee hopes to make a permanent home in your country.

What has changed?

Fundamental changes to the Canada Citizen Act (or “Citizenship Act”) were announced on June 19, 2017. The changes were made to reduce previously existing barriers to citizenship and eliminate potential differential treatment of dual citizens. Certain changes will be effective immediately, whereas others will be implemented later on this year.

Who is affected?

  • Dual citizens in Canada
  • Individuals applying to Canada for citizenship, including minors without a Canadian parent

What to expect

Highlights of the immediate changes include:

  • Dual citizens living in Canada who are convicted of crimes such as treason, spying, and terrorism offences will no longer face revocation and will instead be subject to the criminal justice system, as with all Canadian citizens who face criminal charges
  • Intention to continue to live in Canada once granted citizenship is no longer required, thereby allowing citizens flexibility and movement for personal reasons
  • Minors can now apply for citizenship without a Canadian parent, as the age requirement for citizenship has been removed
  • Statelessness has been added as a stand-alone ground that can be considered for a discretionary grant of citizenship
  • Reasonable measures to accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities will now be considered
  • Citizenship will not be granted to individuals serving conditional sentences

Changes Expected to Take Effect in Fall 2017

  • Applicants must be physically present in Canada for three (3) out of five (5) years before applying for citizenship (as opposed to four (4) out of six (6) under the previous policy)
  • Applicants must file Canadian income taxes for three (3) out of five (5) years (as opposed to four (4) out of six (6) under the previous policy)
  • Applicants are no longer required to be physically present in Canada for 183 days in four (4) out of the six (6) years preceding their application
  • Applicants may count each day they were physically present in Canada prior to becoming a permanent resident as a half-day toward meeting the physical presence requirement for citizenship, up to a maximum credit of 365 days
  • Applicants between fourteen (14) and fifty-four (54) years must meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship (as opposed to eighteen (18) to sixty-four (64) under the previous policy)


Modern Mobility Made Easy™

Planning ahead

To learn more about the amendments to the Canada Citizen Act, or any other issues that affect you or your mobile employees, be sure to speak with one of the Global Consultants at Global Mobility Solutions. From pre-decision to visa and immigration to language and cultural training, GMS has the award-winning programs and innovative technology to make relocating your employees and tracking their expenses simple and worry-free.


Do your relocation policies align with the latest visa and immigration changes from around the world?

Request your complimentary Visa Program Assessment

Provided by Global Mobility Solutions network partner Emigra World News