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New Rule (Bill C-37) to Protect the Value of Canadian Citizenship

Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Ministry recently introduced a new rule on 10th July, 2010 that would better protect the value of Canadian citizenship by strengthening the process of applying for citizenship and cracking down on crooked citizenship consultants.

The Immigrating Minister Kenney said that "Canadian citizenship is highly valued around the world and today we are taking steps to ensure it stays that way. These changes will help prevent citizenship fraud. As promised in the Speech from the Throne, these amendments will streamline the process to take citizenship away from those who have acquired it by fraud, including by concealment of their war crimes. And it would take decision-making away from politicians and give it to the courts."

Rule Details

The full package of amendments named as Bill C-37: Strengthening the Value of Canadian Citizenship Act proposes to:
  • Strengthen citizenship residence requirements to specify in the law that people applying for citizenship would have to be physically present in Canada for three of the previous four years.
  • Improve the government's ability to bar criminals, including violent foreign criminals, from becoming Canadian citizens.
  • Streamline the revocation and removal process and make revocation more transparent by shifting the decision making on revocations from the Governor in Council to the Federal Court.
  • Ensure that the law supports the implementation of the first generation limit to passing on citizenship, ensure that the law does not unintentionally bar applicants who are eligible for citizenship, and ensure that the children of people serving Canada abroad - children of Crown servants - are not disadvantaged by their parent's service to Canada and are able to pass on citizenship to their children.
  • Add legal authority to regulate citizenship consultants and to crack down where they help people gain citizenship fraudulently, in line with the recently proposed amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act - The Cracking Down on Crooked Consultants Act - aimed at immigration consultants.
  • Increase the penalties for citizenship fraud to a maximum of $100,000 or up to five years in prison or both.

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