|Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act ; Blueprint for Citizenship Improvements|
Brampton, February 6, 2014— Today, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander launched the Blueprint for Citizenship Improvements as a part of the government’s introduction of Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act.
Overall, Bill C-24 reinforces the government’s commitment to reduce backlogs and improve processing times while strengthening the integrity of Canadian citizenship. The Blueprint for Citizenship Improvements was launched to highlight specific action the government will take to reform the citizenship application process.
The government’s Blueprint for Citizenship Improvements aims to improve and streamline Canada’s citizenship program by reducing the decision making process from three steps to one. It is expected that by 2015–2016 this change will bring the average processing time for citizenship applications down to under a year. It is also projected that by 2015-2016, the current backlog will be reduced by more than 80 percent. Citizenship application fees will be better aligned with the actual cost of processing, relieving the burden on Canadian taxpayers who currently subsidize 80 percent of the cost. Finally, with less time spent processing incomplete citizenship applications the government can focus on reducing backlogs in the current inventory.
The Blueprint for Citizenship Improvements is just one aspect included in Bill C-24, Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act introduced by the government today. Bill C-24 will:
support newcomer’s integration to the Canadian economy and communities and ensure new citizens have a stronger attachment to Canada;
protect the value of Canadian citizenship and prevent fraud, and
improve processing by cutting red tape and saving taxpayers’ dollars.
· Legislative reforms under the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act are the first comprehensive reforms to the Citizenship Act since 1977.
· Canada welcomed more than 16,000 new citizens in January 2014, more than doubling the number of citizenship grants given in January 2013.
· More than 85 percent of eligible permanent residents become Canadian citizens.
“The Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, along with the launch of the Blueprint for Citizenship Improvements, helps improve the citizenship process by reducing backlogs and wait times. Our government is proud to table improvements to the Citizenship Act that reinforce the value of citizenship and make the process quicker and easier for new Canadians who play by the rules.”
Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister
Alexis Pavlich 2/6/2014