The law now permits people under 18 to apply for citizenship independently of parents or guardians. (Imagine NB/file)

Canada drops fees for independent minors seeking citizenship

People who are under 18 years old and seeking Canadian citizenship on their own will pay significantly less for their application fees. On June 19, 2017 the government changed the law to make it easier for minors to apply even if they are doing so independently of their parents or guardians.

These could include young asylum seekers, children estranged from their parents or those who don’t want to follow parents back to their countries of origin. Parents may abandon citizenship applications if they don’t have the qualifications or they may decide to not give up their original citizenship in countries that do not allow dual passports.

Number of unaccompanied minors increasing

In 2016, the number of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in Canada rose by more than 50 per cent to 3,400.

The application fee was $530 and will drop to $100. That means there will be no difference in the fee for minors regardless of whether they have a Canadian parent, are applying with a permanent resident parent or are applying on their own behalf.

Refunds on fees paid after June 19

The change is retroactive to June 19 and those who paid the higher price will get a refund. The government says it will engage provinces and territories, childcare agencies, immigration service provider organizations and other to raise awareness about the change.

Categories: Immigration & Refugees
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