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If you’ve reached the point where you’re considering applying for Canadian citizenship, it’s important to know about some recent rule changes.

The most significant change concerns residency requirements. You now have to have been resident in Canada for four out of the six years before you apply–an increase from 3 years. Additionally, you have to be “physically present” for a minimum of 183 days per year of those 4 years.  So under the new rules, I’d have had to wait an extra year before applying (I became a Canadian citizen in 2010).

The language rules have become a lot stricter too. All applicants between the ages of 14-64 have to meet the English/French language requirements and pass the knowledge test. Previously the age range was 18-54. And use of interpreters is no longer allowed.

For full details of all the changes, go to http://bit.ly/1Cej8er. You can begin your citizenship application at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/citizenship/become.asp.

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