|Minister Alexander highlights success of Canadian citizenship program|
Scarborough, ON –
Today, at a citizenship ceremony in Scarborough, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister, Chris Alexander, announced that Canada welcomed the 100,000th new citizen of 2014 last week. The number of new citizens sworn in to date in 2014 is more than double the number of new citizens admitted by this time last year.
The 100,000 new citizens, who came to Canada from more than 200 countries, were welcomed at more than 1,080 citizenship ceremonies held across the country. The citizenship ceremony is the last step before becoming a Canadian citizen and embracing the rights and responsibilities that come with citizenship. This success demonstrates that changes and improvements are already doing more to help people realize their dream of becoming Canadian.
The government’s proposed changes in Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, will further reduce wait times by streamlining the decision-making process for citizenship. It is expected that those changes will bring the average processing time for citizenship applications down to under one year and that the current backlog will be reduced by more than 80 percent by 20152016.
• Since 2006, Canada has enjoyed the highest sustained levels of immigration in Canadian historyan average of a quarter million newcomers each year.
• Canada has one of the highest rates of naturalization in the worldmore than 85 percent of eligible permanent residents become citizens.
• Citizenship and Immigration Canada received 333,860 citizenship applications in 2013, the highest volume ever.
• Canada welcomed 128,996 new citizens from 219 countries in 2013, an average of approximately 10,750 people each month. So far in 2014, on average, more than 20,000 individuals are becoming citizens each month.
• Since 2006, Canada has welcomed over 1,300,000 proud new Canadians.
“Our government is making significant improvements to the citizenship program, and this high number of new citizens admitted so far this year demonstrates that our changes are working. Canadian citizenship is a pledge of mutual responsibility and a shared commitment to values rooted in our history. Our government is proud to welcome the 100,000 new citizens who have joined the Canadian family so far in 2014, and we look forward to welcoming many more new Canadians in future citizenship ceremonies across our great nation.”
Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister
Alexis Pavlich 6/2/2014