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Allen and Hodgman | Canada reduces residency time for citizenship
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Canada reduces residency time for citizenship

Beginning October 11, 2017, becoming a Canadian citizen got a lot easier. For applications filed on or after that date, the residency requirement has been reduced from four years out of the last six, to three years (1095 days) out of the last five.  In addition, the requirement to be present for 183 days in each year has been removed, as long as the total days are met. Also, applicants can now count one half the days spent in Canada before becoming a permanent resident, up to a total of 365 days.  As a result, a person who has been in Canada continuously as a student or temporary worker can qualify for citizenship as soon as two years after becoming a permanent resident.

These changes are in addition to the changes that took place on June 19, 2017. Those changes removed the minimum age requirement for citizenship, and also removed the requirement that applicants must intend to live in Canada after becoming citizens.

It is important to remember that the Citizenship Act requires actual physical presence in Canada. If you are a permanent resident living outside of Canada with a Canadian spouse, or working for a Canadian business, your days outside Canada may count as days inside Canada for the purpose of meeting the “two years out of five” requirement to  maintain your permanent residency. But they won’t count towards citizenship.