Minister Fraser participates in Citizenship Week ceremony – Some updated data

Of course, the Minister and supporting documentation picks the most favourable timeline and is silent how the program largely shut down in 2020. That being said, IRCC has ramped up the program and if they are able to maintain the rate of 3,000 per month as stated, the backlog will decline:

Citizenship Week is an opportunity for Canadians across the country and around the world to show pride in our history, culture and achievements.

Today, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, attended a virtual citizenship ceremony, wrapping up another successful Citizenship Week. The ceremony, hosted in partnership with the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, saw 25 new Canadians invited to take their Oath of Citizenship.

During the ceremony, the Minister spoke about the significance of citizenship, the rights and freedoms it affords, and the important responsibilities that come with it. He also acknowledged the individuals and families waiting to become citizens, and that IRCC is taking action so they can achieve this dream as soon as possible.

IRCC is working hard to process a large volume of citizenship applications, and has been taking steps to improve its operations. As a result, Canada exceeded its citizenship goals for 2021-2022, with over 217,000 new Canadian citizens, and is planning to welcome even more in 2022-2023.

IRCC has also been modernizing and increasing its services for people who want to become Canadians. On November 26, 2020, we launched a new platform that made Canada one of the first countries in the world to offer citizenship testing online. IRCC also adapted quickly to COVID-19 restrictions by introducing virtual ceremonies in April 2020. Thanks to these measures, we are now inviting more people to tests and ceremonies than we were able to do before the pandemic.

Becoming a Canadian citizen is a significant milestone in a newcomer’s immigration journey, and we will continue our efforts so that as many as possible can reach this goal. Supported by additional funding from the 2021 Economic and Fiscal Update, IRCC will continue its efforts to reduce application inventories accumulated during the pandemic.

Quote

“I am proud to be Canadian, and it is always a great honour to participate in welcoming new members to our Canadian family. This week has been a chance to reflect on everything that being Canadian means—the freedom for individuals to live as their authentic selves, the connections to our beautiful landscapes and the chance for everyone to reach their full potential no matter their background. I am thankful every day to be Canadian, and I encourage everyone to reflect on what being Canadian means to them.”

– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

 Quick facts

  • The citizenship ceremony is the final step to becoming a Canadian citizen. During the ceremony, participants accept the rights and responsibilities of citizenship by taking the Oath of Citizenship, which is administered by a citizenship judge.
  • Canada’s first citizenship ceremony was held 75 years ago, on January 3, 1947, at the Supreme Court of Canada.
  • In June 2021, the Oath of Citizenship changed to recognize the inherent and treaty rights of Indigenous peoples.
  • Canada has one of the highest naturalization rates in the world, with about 85% of newcomers becoming citizens.
  • The Citizenship Application Tracker was launched in May 2021 to help clients stay up to date on the status and any required next steps for their citizenship applications.
  • IRCC has also launched online application processes for some clients looking to apply for a grant of citizenship, get proof of citizenship or search citizenship records.
  • From the launch of IRCC’s new online testing platform on November 26, 2020 to April 30, 2022, almost 310,000 people have taken citizenship tests, and IRCC is able to invite about 5,000 applicants per week to complete the test.
  • Between April 1, 2020 and April 30, 2022, more than 300,000 people took the Oath of Citizenship in almost 14,000 ceremonies using a virtual platform. The Department is inviting on average about 3,000 applicants per week to participate in citizenship ceremonies.

Minister Fraser celebrates Citizenship Week

Yet another missed opportunity to release the revised citizenship guide! Understand the guide has been ready and approved for some time.

No surprise on elimination of citizenship fees given not in Budget 2022.

Don’t understand the reference to “Most recently, these amendments include broadening the interpretation of “citizenship by descent” to be more inclusive for families.” as the first generation limit has not been change, although Bill S-245 has been approved in the Senate but has not reached first reading in the House:

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today issued the following statement to mark the start of Citizenship Week, which runs from May 23 to 29, 2022:

“Today, I join Canadians from coast to coast to coast to mark the beginning of Citizenship Week. This week is a chance to celebrate what it means to be Canadian—from the rights we enjoy, to the responsibilities we share, to the diversity that makes us a strong and proud nation.

“This year, we marked the 75th anniversary of the first Canadian Citizenship Act. The passage of the Act, which was later replaced with the Citizenship Act in 1977, was a monumental moment in Canadian history that shaped the identity we share today. In the days that followed, Canada held its first-ever citizenship ceremony, establishing a formalized rite of passage that millions of new Canadians have taken part in since.

“Canada is known around the world as a country that respects and celebrates our differences. As we have grown, we have amended our Citizenship Act so that it reflects our values and promotes an inclusive society. Most recently, these amendments include broadening the interpretation of “citizenship by descent” to be more inclusive for families. They also include establishing a new Oath of Citizenship that recognizes the inherent and treaty rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, and the obligation that all citizens have to uphold the treaties between the Crown and Indigenous nations. We are committed to ensuring that the tragic parts of our history are not forgotten, as we continue on the path of reconciliation.

“Canadian citizenship holds so much significance and meaning. For some, it represents the achievement of a dream and the promise of a new life. For others, it is an innate and unbreakable bond to the beautiful country we call home.

“For all of us, citizenship remains a commitment not only to Canada, but to our fellow Canadians. Whether volunteering for a community project, helping out a neighbour in need or welcoming newcomers to our country, I encourage all Canadians to look for ways to take part in building a strong, inclusive and prosperous Canada—this week and every week.”

Source: Minister Fraser celebrates Citizenship Week

Minister Mendicino marks Citizenship Week

Of note is what was not said or announced: the elimination of citizenship fees that was part of the 2019 election platform, the long delayed release of a revised citizenship study guide (Discover Canada) and the limited recovery in citizenship numbers following the program’s complete shutdown in April 2020.

Citizenship Week would have been an appropriate time for the release of the revised guide:

The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today issued the following statement to mark Citizenship Week:

“Today, Canadians celebrate the start of Citizenship Week, a time to express pride in our shared history, our diverse heritage, and our collective achievements. It is also an opportunity to highlight the tremendous contributions of immigrants to their communities and the Canadian economy.

“Canadian citizenship is both highly valued and sought after around the world. Without a doubt, one of our greatest achievements is the shared recognition that Canada is stronger and more prosperous because of its diversity.

“While we are by no means perfect, Canadians share a profound commitment to equality, inclusion, and respect for our differences – this includes our ethnicities, our gender identities and expressions, and our beliefs.

“As Canadian citizens, we all have a responsibility to help others in our communities, and that has never been more important than during the global COVID-19 pandemic we’ve faced together this past year. We will forever be grateful to the front line workers, entrepreneurs, community leaders, and all Canadians who have worked tirelessly to help Canada throughout the pandemic.’’

“The hopes, the commitment, and the energy that newcomers and new citizens bring to Canada are expressed in countless positive contributions, and that has never been truer than over the past year.”

“As Canadians, we share a profound commitment to be there for one another. It is one of our defining attributes, and time and time again, newcomers and new citizens have embraced this spirit. I encourage all Canadians to take the time to find ways to be active in your communities, to do some volunteer work, and to help welcome new Canadians in your community.

“Throughout Citizenship Week, I encourage all Canadians to reflect on what it means to be Canadian, and the many rights, freedoms, and responsibilities we all share as citizens.”

Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2021/05/minister-mendicino-marks-citizenship-week.html

One year later, Citizenship Act improvements lead to more new citizens – The numbers

Almost one year after the changes to residency requirements (from 4 to 3 years) and fewer applicants having to be tested for language and knowledge (from 14-64 to 18-54), the number of applications has increased.

As noted before, the residency requirement change is a one time impact, with this year being a “double year” with 3 and 4 year cohorts combined. The reduced testing requirements, primarily the 55-64 year olds, has both a one-time impact (those who put off getting citizenship) as well as ongoing.

The new “normal” will be known with the 2019 numbers:

This year, Citizenship Week (October 8 to 14, 2018) will be celebrated with 72 special citizenship ceremonies across the country. Citizenship Week also marks the 1 year anniversary of Bill C 6, which brought in important changes to the Citizenship Act, helping qualified applicants get citizenship faster.

The changes from Bill C 6 came into effect on October 11, 2017, and provided those wanting to become Canadian citizens with greater flexibility to meet the requirements. In particular, the changes reduced the time permanent residents must be physically present in Canada before applying for citizenship from 4 out of 6 years to 3 out of 5 years.

By the end of October 2018, an estimated 152,000 people will have obtained Canadian citizenship since the changes came into effect, an increase of 40%, compared to the 108,000 people who obtained citizenship in the same period the year before.

Bill C 6 has allowed more permanent residents to apply for citizenship. In the 9 month period from October 2017 to June 2018, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) received 242,680 applications, more than double the 102,261 applications that were received in the same period the year before. Despite the increase in applications, processing times for routine citizenship applications remain under 12 months.

Source: Taking Canadian Citizenship to New Heights This Citizenship Week

Citizenship Week Statement from the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Hard to disagree with the message.

The good news about citizenship is that IRCC has addressed the previous backlog of over 300,000 through granting citizenship to some 500,000 people during 2014 and 2015.

The bad news is the sharp decline in those applying to become citizens, from a previous average of 200,000 per year to 130,000 in 2015 and only 36,000 in the first half of this year.

The steep increase in fees from $100 to $530 in 2015 largely responsible. More to come later this week:

“Every year Citizenship Week gives Canadians the opportunity to reflect on what it means to be Canadian: the rights we enjoy, the responsibilities we share, and the diversity that makes us strong.

“Canada is respected around the world for our success at reaching out to newcomers and embracing them into our great nation. This makes our citizenship both valued and sought-after. And one of the strongest pillars of success and integration is the act of becoming a citizen, which is why we encourage newcomers to take the path to citizenship.

“I am proud to say that the citizenship processing backlog has been reduced by more than 80%, and as such, most new citizenship applications are being processed within 12 months.

“As the Prime Minister has said many times, we are a strong country because of our diversity and not in spite of it. During Citizenship Week, let us join together and celebrate that diversity and the hundreds of cultures that make up Canada.

“I encourage Canadians to reaffirm their citizenship this week as a sign of pride in our traditions, history, and institutions. And I encourage you to share what your citizenship means to you on social media using #MyCitizenship and #CitizenshipWeek.”

Source: Statement from the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship – Canada News Centre