More than 260,000 people became new Canadians in 2014

posted on December 24, 2014

By Canadian Immigrant Magazine | Link to Article

By Canadian Immigrant Magazine | Link to Article

Canada welcomed more than 260,000 new citizens this year, according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. This is more new Canadians than in any year in Canada’s history and more than double the number from last year, and the Citizenship and Immigration department attributes it to the Citizenship Act reforms it made this 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,” says 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.”

The new citizenship decision-making process, which came into force Aug. 1, streamlined the process from three steps to one. Since implementing the new process, more than 115,000 people have become Canadian citizens — a 90 per cent increase from the same time period last year.

Canada’s citizenship application backlog has also been reduced by 17 per cent since June 2014, and the government is on track to eliminate the backlog and reduce processing times to less than one year sometime in the next fiscal year.

Fees are increasing, however. Citizenship processing fees will increase from $300 to $530 for applicants whose complete applications are received after Jan. 1, 2015. 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 program. The $100 Right of Citizenship fee for successful applicants remains the same. Other fees for services, such as for citizenship proofs, are not changing.

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