Canada chose more than 260,000 new citizens in 2014, thanks to the government’s finally revising the citizenship program using recent reforms to the Citizenship Act. This is more new Canadians than in any year in Canada’s history and more than double the number from last year.
Through recent changes to the Citizenship Act, the government has finally made strides over the past year to improve the citizenship application process.
A new citizenship decision-making process, which came into force last August, has 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.
Canada’s citizenship application backlog has been reduced by 17 percent since June 2014.
To have applicant fees more closely reflect the costs associated with processing citizenship applications, citizenship processing fees have increased from $300 to $530 for applicants whose complete applications are received after Jan. 1, 2015. Applications for a grant and resumptions of citizenship to a minor are exempt from this change. The $100 Right of Citizenship fee for successful applicants remains the same. Other fees for services, such as for citizenship proofs, are not changing.
Since 2006, Canada has enjoyed the highest sustained levels of immigration in its history—an average of one quarter-million newcomers each year. Canada has welcomed more than 1,550,000 new Canadians since 2006. Changes to the Citizenship Act received Royal Assent on June 19, 2014. These changes are helping to improve the efficiency of the citizenship program.