Posted on - Oct 17, 2017

By Victor Ing

Victor Ing

The Liberal government election promise of relaxed citizenship requirements have finally arrived! As of October 11, 2017, new rules have come into effect to make it easier for Canadian permanent residents to apply for citizenship by reducing the time that they need to be physically present in Canada before qualifying for Canadian citizenship.

On October 4, 2017, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) announced that long awaited changes to the Citizenship Act would take effect on October 11, 2017. These changes were initially approved in June 2017 when Bill C-6 became law making obtaining citizenship more flexible and accessible for potential applicants, but it was not known exactly when they would come into effect.

Below are three of the important changes you need to know about:

Three in Five Rule

You are now eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship if you have physically resided in Canada for three (3) years in the five (5) years immediately before the date of your citizenship application, which replaces the former rule of four (4) out of the past six (6) years.

Time Spent Before Permanent Residence Counts

IRCC will once again recognize days spent in Canada as a temporary resident towards the residency requirement for citizenship. Days spent in Canada before becoming a permanent resident now count as half-days, up to a maximum of 365 days, towards meeting the physical presence requirement to obtain Canadian citizenship. These changes will specifically help people who have studied and worked in Canada before becoming permanent residents.

Relaxed Testing Requirements

Previously, applicants between the ages of 14 and 64 years were required to pass language and knowledge testing requirements for Canadian citizenship. The new rules will make these requirements mandatory only for applicants between the ages of 18 and 54 years, exempting older and younger applicants from testing both English or French language proficiency and knowledge of Canada.

These new changes make citizenship more attractive and accessible for potential applicants. In combination with the reduction of the physical residence requirement to only three years of physical presence in Canada, these newly implemented rule changes make citizenship attainable as early as two years after you become a permanent resident of Canada.

IRCC introduced the new revisions to Canada’s citizenship provisions during Citizenship Week held between October 9-15, which is intended to celebrate and reflect upon what it means to be Canadian. By implementing these changes, Canada is actively encouraging permanent residents to take the final step to apply for citizenship and become part of the Canadian family.


Victor Ing is a Vancouver immigration lawyer at Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre in Vancouver, BC Canada, and provides a full range of immigration services.

To learn more about immigrating to Canada, becoming a permanent Canadian resident or bringing your family to Canada, email Victor Ing or call him at 1-604-689-5444.

Share this article:

Related Topics: , ,

Related Posts

BC’s Business Immigration Program Reopens for Business On July 2, 2015 the provincial government introduced it's new and improved BC PNP business program - the Entrepreneur immigration stream. The BC PNP entrepreneur immigration stream is targeting experienced entrepreneurs who are ready to invest in and acti...
Canadian companies gain access to EU tech workers Canadian companies seeking skilled tech professionals and skilled EU tech professionals seeking to work in Canada will benefit from the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (“CETA”) that came into effect in 2017.
Employer Roadblocks for Hiring Foreign Workers Continue! Minister of Immigration, Chris Alexander, continues to make the hiring of foreign workers difficult for Canadian employers. On February 21, 2015 Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) introduced new rules that require employers hiring foreign nationals ...
Sas & Ing celebrates the 100 Year Journey Gala Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre proudly assists the Indo-Canadian community to honour the legacy of the Indo-Canadian pioneers and their important contribution to Canada's past, present and future.
Canada’s Skilled Worker Program Re-Opens It’s Doors! Canada's skilled worker program for permanent residence was re-opened on May 4, 2013 after several months of being suspended. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney closed the program in June of 2012 to further address a backlog of applications as well as to ...