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Bill to toughen laws on citizenship

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Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Chris Alexander tabled Bill C-24 on Feb.6 — the first changes to the Canadian Citizenship Act in 36 years. The bill is meant to crack down on fraud by adding new requirements for citizenship.

If the bill passes, permanent residents must live in Canada for four years, instead of the previous three, to apply for citizenship. They would have to be in Canada a minimum of 183 days before applying and would have to declare their intent to stay in Canada once granted citizenship.

SAIT international student advisor Stacey Barefoot said these new rules will help close loopholes.

“There were a lot of people in the past who got permanent residency, meet the minimum requirements then spend the rest of their time in their home country,” Barefoot said. “This is a way of cracking down and reducing fraud.”

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