By Canadian Immigrant Magazine|
It’s Citizenship Week (October 8 to 14, 2018) and there are 72 special citizenship ceremonies happening across the country this week, including a special CN Tower ceremony in Toronto where six new citizens braved the EdgeWalk, the world’s highest hands-free walk, while taking the oath of citizenship — 116 storeys from the ground.
This ceremony will be followed by other elevated ceremonies, at the top of the Vancouver Lookout, on October 11, and at the Olympic Stadium in Montréal, on October 12.
“During Citizenship Week, I encourage everyone to celebrate their citizenship and to reflect on what being Canadian means to you,” says Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen. “To me, being Canadian means being part of the greatest country in the world.”
By the end of October 2018, an estimated 152,000 people will have obtained Canadian citizenship since last October, when changes to the Citizenship Act were put into effect to help qualified applicants get citizenship faster.
That’s an increase of 40 per cent, compared to the 108,000 people who obtained citizenship in the same period the year before.
Specifically, the changes reduced the time permanent residents must be physically present in Canada before applying for citizenship from four out of six years to three out of five years.
Other changes to the Citizenship Act also included reducing the age range for applicants who must meet the language and knowledge requirements and counting the days that temporary residents and protected persons spend in Canada as half days (up to 365 days) toward their physical presence requirements.