On October 4, 2017 the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced that important changes to physical presence and the age required to meet language and knowledge requirements for permanent residents who are applying for citizenship will come into effect on October 11, 2017.

As of October 11, 2017, physical presence in Canada will be reduced to three out of five years before applying for citizenship, rather than four out of six years. This is the only requirement with respect to physical presence.  Applicants will no longer need to show that they were physically present in Canada for 183 days a year in four out of the six years preceding their application.

In order to match the physical presence requirement, Applicants must file Canadian income taxes, if required to do so under the Income Tax Act, for three out of five years, rather than four out of six years.

Whereas before, applicants between 14 and 64 years had to meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship, as of October 11, 2017, this requirement will apply to applicants between the ages of 18 and 54.

Please note that Citizenship applicants who meet the new requirements must wait until October 11, 2017, before applying for citizenship. This is the date when the changes come into effect, and when the new citizenship application forms and guides will be available.