Changes to the Citizenship Act

On June 19, 2014, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act received Royal Assent and became law. The changes are the first comprehensive reforms to the Citizenship Act since 1977 with a range of legislative amendments to further improve the citizenship program. A number of changes came into effect on June 19, 2014, including:

  • fast-tracking citizenship for members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF);
  • improving clarity on the first generation limit on citizenship for those born abroad;
  • extending the exception to the first generation limit to ensure the children of Crown servants can pass on citizenship; and
  • moving the decision-making authority for discretionary citizenship grants to the Minister, which improves applicant service by eliminating an extra step.

Additionally on August 1, 2014, a new streamlined decision-making process for citizenship applications, measures to improve efficiency of the application process, and a new judicial review and appeals process came into effect.

In 2015, these final changes will be in force:  

Changes with respect to a new revocation decision-making process and new grounds for revocation of citizenship may come into force earlier than the above-listed provisions.

Results of the changes

The Government of Canada’s recent changes to the Citizenship Act and the Citizenship Improvements are already having direct results. Here are some highlightsFootnote *:

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