The remaining provisions of the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, Bill C-24 came into force on June 11, 2015. Bill C-24 became law on June 19, 2014 and were the first set of reforms to the Citizenship Act since 1977.

The changes, which amended and improved the citizenship program, came into effect in three phases: July 19, 2014, August 1, 2014 and June 11, 2015.

The government has made changes to strengthen and to restrict the granting of citizenship. These new requirements will make it more difficult for permanent residents to become Canadian citizens.

June 19, 2014

  • Fast-tracking citizenship for members of the Canadian Armed Forces;
  • Improving clarity on the first generation limit on citizenship for those born abroad;
  • Extending the exception to the first generation limit to ensure the children of Crown servants can pass on citizenship; and
  • Moving the decision-making authority for discretionary citizenship grants to the Minister, which eliminated an extra application step.

August 1, 2014

  • Streamlined decision-making process for citizenship applications whereby citizenship officers have complete discretion on all aspects of the application;
  • Improved efficiency of the application process by returning incomplete applications;
  • A new uniform system for judicial review of decisions made under the Act. Now decisions made by citizenship officers can be judicially reviewed and challenged in the Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada; and
  • Authority to abandon a citizenship application (at any stage of the process) if the applicant fails to comply with a request for information or to attend an interview.

The final set of changes to the Act that came into force on June 11, 2015. The intent of these new revisions is to deter “citizens of convenience“; and therefore, residency requirements have become much stricter.

Please see Part 2 in next post…