Canada welcomed more than 260,000 new citizens this year, thanks largely to the government’s improvements to the citizenship programme. This is more new Canadians than in any year in Canada’s history and more than double the number from last year.
Changes to the Citizenship Act which came into affect earlier this year new introduced a new citizenship decision making programme which streamlined the process from three steps to one. Since implementing the new process, more than 115,000 people have become Canadian citizens – a 90 percent increase from the same time period last year.
At the same time, Canada’s citizenship application backlog has been reduced by 17 per cent since June 2014, and is at its lowest level in almost three years, while the government is on track to eliminate the citizenship application backlog and reduce processing times to less than one year sometime in the next fiscal year.
“With a record number of new Canadians this year, it is clear that our government’s changes to the Citizenship Act are having a real impact on the number of new citizens welcomed to the Canadian family,” said Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. “With more than 260,000 new citizens embracing Canadian values and traditions in 2014, we are fulfilling our commitment to reducing backlogs and, improving processing times.”
From 1st January 2015, citizenship processing fees will increase from CDN$300 to CDN$530 for applicants whose complete applications are received after this date. These applicants will benefit from the processing improvements outlined above, and this is in keeping with user-pay principles and a move toward full cost recovery in the citizenship programme.
Article published 24th December 2014