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Changes to Canadian immigration law can affect you (Toronto)

Proposed changes to immigration law will increase the length of living in Canada for former foreign temporary workers before they can apply to Canadian citizenship. To stop this, please sign a petition here
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On Feb, Protected content , Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander launched the Blueprint for Citizenship Improvements as a part of the government’s introduction of Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act.

While the new rules and requirements specified in the Bill make much sense in terms of strengthening the value of Canadian citizenship and requiring more commitment from individuals expressing interest to become Canadian citizens, it unfairly targets and discriminates one specific group, namely, former foreign workers and international students who became Canadian permanent residents in the recent years.

Unlike, the rest of general population of new immigrants, families and individuals who gained their permanent residence through application under Canadian Experience class or Provincial Nominee Program have been living and working in Canada for at least 1 year (the vast majority being in Canada for Protected content and more in case of international students), have already fully integrated into Canadian economy and social life long before they become permanent residents. This group of new immigrants have been paying taxes and contributing to Canadian economy for several years before they earned the right to become permanent residents. The above facts have been acknowledged by Canadian government numerous times in various publications in general media and on Canadian Immigration and Citizenship ministry website. As recognition for the success of the temporary residence programs, under the current Citizenship requirements each day spent in Canada on an authorized work or study permit is counted as half day towards the requirements of citizenship application. Overall, up to Protected content of Protected content of residence can be gained under temporary residency status.

Nevertheless, with the introduction of Bill C-24, the achievements, contributions and rights of those individuals are being stepped over by the Canadian Government. Under one of the bill provisions, the time spent in Canada on temporary study and work permits will no longer be counted towards citizenship applications. Effectively, the residency requirement for a former foreign worker or student who lived in Canada for at least 2 years before becoming a permanent resident is going to be extended twice as much as for the rest of immigrant population (by 2 years instead of 1). Not only this goes contrary to Canadian governments own statements about the importance, integration and success of temporary residence programs it also goes in contrary to practices of many other European and Western countries who do count temporary residence (in many cases in full) for citizenship applications.

By signing this petition you will help tens of thousands of former foreign workers and international students to reach politician's ears and help them understand that there is no other immigration group which have more social, economic and political ties to Canada as do the former foreign workers who lived in Canada for many years before they earned the right to become permanent residence and that the introduction of Bill C-24 will unfairly treat and discriminate these people who call Canada their home.

Toronto Forum