An additional number of so-called "Lost Canadians," people with roots in this country who have been without citizenship because of various quirks in the law, will finally receive their citizenship next week.
The government says on June 11, citizenship will automatically be extended to those "Lost Canadians" who were born before 1947 but did not become citizens when the first Canadian Citizenship Act took effect at the beginning of 1947.
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"This will also apply to their children born in the first generation outside Canada," said Chris Alexander, minister of citizenship and immigration in a written statement.
The government promised to restore citizenship to people who had lost it or had never received it due to outdated legislation in a new law that passed last June after changes it implemented in 2009 still left several people ineligible to receive it.
A number of so-called "Lost Canadians" sued the federal government after they were denied Canadian citizenship.
Other changes to the act
The following changes to the Citizenship Act will also come into force on June 11, 2015:
- Only members of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council, lawyers or notaries (including paralegals and students at law) can be paid to provide citizenship applicants with representation or advice.
- The new penalty for an indictable fraud offence will be a fine of up to $100,000 and/or five years in prison. The penalty for a summary offence will include a fine of up to $50,000 and/or two years in prison.
- Applicants between the ages of 14 and 64 must meet basic knowledge and language requirements.