#Citizenship applications, new citizens and Permanent Residents: 2020 Update

IRCC kindly provided me with the 2020 citizenship application monthly data (not available on opendata), allowing me to update one of my standard charts, showing the dramatic declines in 2020:

Annual decline 2020 compared to 2019:

  • Applications: 26.5 percent
  • New Citizens: 56.8 percent
  • Permanent Residents: 45.7 percent

Surprised by the relatively small decline in applications compared to new citizens, suggesting that IRCC may be developing a backlog as has happened in the past.

As I have noted in the past, the number of applications and new citizens fluctuates widely compared to the more stable trajectory of new Permanent Residents, reflecting policy changes in terms of applications and resource and management issues in the case of new citizens.

Historically, this has been met by injections of funding to clear backlogs (often near to elections!) and I understand that the 2014-15 increase in citizenship fees (from $200 to $630 for adults) may have been a way to pay for increased funding.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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