Canada immigration news: Eligible Canada permanent residents can apply to become citizens with a few clicks of a mouse now that the online citizenship application website is live.
“The new online application is user-friendly,” boasts Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on its website.
“For example, you can now save partially completed applications and resume them at a later time, upload supporting documents and proof of payment, print a PDF and ask for confirmation of receipt.”
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The IRCC actually released the online application tool in late 2020 but was just testing it to determine its real-world capabilities. The final version went live on Aug. 11.
It’s now open for online citizenship applications to all applicants aged 18 and over who:
- are applying as an individual (not as a family);
- do not have a representative, and;
- are not declaring a residence outside Canada as a crown servant or with a crown servant family member.
Online Applications Open To Families and Children Later in 2021
The IRCC will open the online application website to families (groups) and minors under 18 years of age later this year and to representatives to apply on behalf of their clients and clients who are declaring a residence outside Canada as a crown servant or with a crown servant family member in 2022.
Permanent residents are eligible for Canadian citizenship if they:
- have lived in Canada for three out of the last five years;
- have filed their income tax reports;
- can pass a citizenship test, and;
- meet the language requirements.
There are, of course, circumstances that could make a permanent resident ineligible for Canadian citizenship, such as having committed a crime. Immigration officials advise anyone who is uncertain as to their eligibility to contact their lawyer or arresting officer.
New Citizens Take Oath Recognizing Canada’s First Nations
Those permanent residents who do succeed in qualifying for Canadian citizenship will be among the first to take an oath that recognizes Canada’s indigenous peoples.
“The oath of citizenship is more than words. It’s a declaration of belonging,” tweeted Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino earlier this year.
“The oath will now recognize First Nations, Inuit and Métis rights and treaties, fulfilling (the Truth and Reconciliation Commission) call to action 94 and ensuring new Canadians understand their important role in our past and present.”
New Citizenship Oath Came Into Effect June 7
The words to the citizenship oath were changed through Bill C-8, An Act to Amend the Citizenship Act, on June 6 and came into effect the following day.
Under the previous oath of citizenship, new Canadians stated: “I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.”
But the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), whose mandate was to inform Canadians about what had happened during the time the residential schools were in operation, came back with a recommendation six years ago to change the oath of citizenship.
In its six-volume final report to Canada’s federal government, the TRC made 94 recommendations after spending six years hearing more than 6,500 witnesses across the country.
Ottawa has decided to act on several of those recommendations and the change to the oath of citizenship, modified slightly from what the TRC had proposed, is one of those changes.