About the law
by Andrew Z. Wlodyka
An amended Citizenship Act has already been introduced in Parliament in the form of Bill C-63. This Bill has received second reading
and is presently before a Parliamentary Committee for clause by clause study. However, Bill C-63 was not passed when Parliament recessed
for the summer. A new Minister has been appointed by the Prime Minister to replace Lucienne Robillard. Her name is Elinor Caplan and
it is uncertain at this stage whether she has the same commitment to the proposed amendments to the Citizenship Act, as did her predecessor.
The most contentious issue is the proposed amendment that would require a permanent resident
to reside physically in Canada for three years before he or she would be granted citizenship.
At the present time, the term "residence" is not defined in the Act. Both the Citizenship and
Federal Court are divided on the meaning of the term "residence". The majority of the judges
of both the Citizenship Court and the Federal Court are of the view that the present legislation
does not require three years' physical presence in Canada. It is the quality of the attachment to
Canada that is the most important factor to take into account to determine residence and not just
how much time is spent physically here by the prospective applicant.
family class | independent skilled workers | investors | entrepreneurs
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This page last updated: October 6, 1999
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