CANADA’S Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander on Tuesday announced that Canada has welcomed its 150,000th new citizen of 2014. This is double the number of new citizens compared to the same period in 2013 and thanks to the action taken by the government to reduce backlogs and improve processing times.
Alexander attended a citizenship ceremony in Scarborough (Toronto) and welcomed the country’s newest Canadians. At the event, Alexander highlighted the government’s recent changes to the citizenship system, which have led to improved processing times and an eight percent reduction to the citizenship backlog.
Recent changes to the Citizenship Act, which received Royal Assent on June 19, will allow for further improvements to the efficiency of the citizenship program. The new streamlined decision-making process and other changes to the Citizenship Act are expected to bring the processing time for citizenship applications down to under one year, reduce the citizenship application backlog by more than 80 percent and achieve a working inventory of applications in fiscal year 2015-2016.
* Since 2006, Canada has enjoyed the highest sustained levels of immigration in its history – an average of one quarter-million newcomers each year.
* For new Canadians, the citizenship ceremony marks their formal entry into the Canadian family. A citizenship ceremony is a unique part of Canadian civic life. It is one of the formal occasions when we reflect on the rights, responsibilities and exceptional privilege of being a Canadian citizen.
* Since 2006, Canada has welcomed over 1,300,000 proud new Canadians.
* Newcomers can learn about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, and more, in the Discover Canada guide.
“Our government is proud to welcome more new citizens to the Canadian family. The increased number of new Canadians in 2014 is an indication that our government’s changes to the citizenship system are working. With our recent changes to the Citizenship Act, we will see improved processing times and high numbers of new Canadians taking on the rights and responsibilities that come with citizenship,” said Alexander.