Canada toughens up on citizenship requirements

Canada toughens up on citizenship requirements

Canada toughens up on citizenship requirements

The Canadian Conservative Party has tabled amendments to citizenship legislation aimed at strengthening the perceived value of citizenship in the country.

Referring to Canadian citizenship as the country’s most precious commodity, Immigration Minister Chris Alexander unveiled the changes in a recent speech.The changes are the first to be made to citizenship requirements for at least a generation.

The new law will increase the residency requirement by a year to four years, and will triple the cost of application to CA$300. Both the required knowledge about Canada and the necessary language abilities are to have more stringent standards applied.

Applicants for citizenship will now need to have applied to file income tax returns in the country, and prove they have fully commit ted to living in Canada. Penalties for residency fraud, in which immigrants falsely claim to be resident in order to keep their residency status as a means to qualify for citizenship, will by increased to a massive CA$100,000 from just CA$1,000..

According to Alexander, the Canadian government wants to strengthen the perceived value of being a Canadian citizen by encouraging people to embrace the rich Canadian culture and values and become active, committed members of their local communities. Citizenship, he added, gives both rights and duties as well as responsibilities and opportunities.

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