Canada – Immigration Updates

Citizens from Antigua and Barbuda Will Need a Visa to Travel to Canada 

What has changed

The government announced on June 26, 2017, that citizens of Antigua and Barbuda no longer meet Canada’s criteria for a visa exemption. These citizens will need a visa to travel to Canada and will no longer be able to use their eTA to travel to Canada.

For the next two (2) weeks, citizens of Antigua and Barbuda who have already booked a flight to Canada, departing on or before July 11, can send their complete visa application, along with proof that they purchased their flight before June 27, the appropriate fees, and supporting documents, directly to the Visa Office in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, for priority processing. If they go in person before noon, their application will be processed that day. If they send their application via courier, it will be processed within twenty-four (24) hours.

For all other travelers, including those outside of Antigua and Barbuda and those with flights leaving after July 11, 2017, Antiguan and Barbudan citizens can apply for a visa through regular and VAC channels. The government is promising that most applications (about eighty (80) percent) will be processed within fourteen (14) days.

Who is affected?
  • Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda traveling to Canada after July 11th
What you need to do
Planning ahead
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.

Bill C-6 Receives Royal Assent Implementing Changes to the Citizenship Act

What has changed

Fundamental changes to the Citizenship Act were announced on June 19, 2017. The objective of the Bill C-6 is to reduce previous barriers to citizenship and potential differential treatment of dual citizens. Certain changes will be effective immediately, whereas others will be implemented later on this year. Please see ‘What to expect’ for further details.

Who is affected?

  • Dual citizens in Canada
  • Individuals applying to Canada for citizenship, including minors without a Canadian parent

What to expect

Highlights of the immediate changes include:

  • Dual citizens living in Canada who are convicted of crimes such as treason, spying, and terrorism offences will no longer face revocation and will instead be subject to the criminal justice system, as with all Canadian citizens who face criminal charges.
  • Intention to continue to live in Canada once granted citizenship is no longer required,thereby allowing citizens flexibility and movement for personal reasons.
  • Minors can now apply for citizenship without a Canadian parent, as the age requirement for citizenship has been removed.
  • Statelessness has been added as a stand-alone ground that can be considered for a discretionary grant of citizenship.
  • Reasonable measures to accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities will now be considered.
  • Citizenship will not be granted to individuals serving conditional sentences.

Changes Expected to Take Effect in Fall 2017

  • Applicants must be physically present in Canada for three (3) out of five (5) years before applying for citizenship (as opposed to four (4) out of six (6) under the previous policy).
  • Applicants must file Canadian income taxes for three (3) out of five (5) years (as opposed to four (4) out of six (6) under the previous policy).
  • Applicants are no longer required to be physically present in Canada for 183 days in four (4) out of the six (6) years preceding their application.
  • Applicants may count each day they were physically present in Canada prior to becoming a permanent resident as a half-day toward meeting the physical presence requirement for citizenship, up to a maximum credit of 365 days.
  • Applicants between fourteen (14) and fifty-four (54) years must meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship (as opposed to eighteen (18) to sixty-four (64) under the previous policy).
What you need to do
Planning ahead
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.