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The first-generation limit (FGL) on transferring Canadian citizenship has been postponed until at least August, contrary to initial plans.

According to the FGL rule, a Canadian citizen who was born outside of the nation will not automatically be granted citizenship by their parents if they go on to have a kid born outside of Canada.

The federal government was previously compelled to modify the FGL regulation included in the Canadian Citizenship Act by Ontario’s Supreme Court. It was declared unlawful by the court because it established “a lesser class of citizenship.” The court at this point set a deadline of June 19, 2024, for the implementation of a solution to this issue.

But now that the federal government has requested one, the Ontario Supreme Court has granted an extension. The new deadline for solutions to the FGL problem is August 9, 2024. There are further conditions attached to this extension.

An Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) representative confirmed this information to CTV News, saying that a hearing is scheduled for August 1, 2024, with the goal of determining if an extension until December 2024 would be suitable. In addition, the judge overseeing the case requested a report on the status of law C-71’s implementation following the initial order in May of this year, along with the “intended next steps to pass the bill by December 19, 2024.”

Bill C-71 is the proposed Act to amend Canada’s Citizenship Act to repeal the FGL rule implemented in 2009. If the Bill receives Royal Assent, it will grant citizenship to eligible foreign nationals whose parent(s) have a substantial connection to Canada and are impacted by the FGL. Substantial connection is determined by a Canadian parent born abroad accumulating at least 1,095 days (about 3 years) of physical presence in Canada, prior to the birth or adoption of their child.

With the House of Commons adjourned for summer break last week (until mid-September), it is very possible that FGL changes will be delayed until December of this year.

Changes already implemented

Nonetheless, the IRCC has already made adjustments to address the FGL rule, which allows foreign nationals to be granted Canadian citizenship.

These temporary procedures, which went into effect on May 30, enable the Immigration Minister to issue a “discretionary grant of citizenship” to certain qualified applicants who have requested expedited processing of their citizenship application, therefore granting them Canadian citizenship.

These actions are relevant in two particular situations:

  • Scenario One: The applicant has submitted a proof of citizenship application that would be subject to the FGL rule change, and has requested urgent processing in accordance with urgent processing criteria; or
  • Scenario Two: The applicant has a proof of citizenship application in process and IRCC has identified that the application is impacted by the FGL rule. The application had previously been de-prioritized until new rules come into effect, but the applicant has since requested urgent processing.

To read more about these measures, and who is eligible for urgent processing of their citizenship application

The advantages of being a citizen of Canada

Apart from having unrestricted entry, residency, employment, and settlement rights, residents of Canada are also eligible to vote, run for political office, possess dual citizenship with other qualifying nations, and obtain a passport that is regularly rated as one of the strongest globally.

There is no legal necessity for permanent residents to become citizens of Canada, even though the majority of them choose to do so. A smaller percentage of permanent residents choose to keep their status at the expense of some of the rights and benefits granted to Canadian citizens.

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