Canadian Citizenship Applications in Free Fall

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Applications for Canadian citizenship fell by about 50% between 2016 and 2015, based on the first 9 months of the year (56,446 applications versus 111,993 in 2015 over the same period). According to Canadian immigration lawyers, this huge drop in the number of applicants would be attributed mainly to the significant increase in the overall administrative fees for applying for citizenship.

Andrew Griffith, author of ‘Multiculturalism in Canada: Evidence and Anecdote’ and former Director General of Citizenship and Multiculturalism Branch, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (SOCI), described the situation as alarming. The Canadian Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology is starting this week a series of hearings on a bill to amend the Citizenship Act. Bill C-6 seeks to facilitate access to citizenship and encourage immigrants to become citizens.

Bill C-6 overturns the reforms introduced by the previous Conservative government and proposes a reduction in the length of time required for permanent residence before being able to apply for citizenship. It does not, however, provide for a reduction of administrative costs. These costs are still lower than comparable models offered by countries such as Australia, New Zealand and the United States.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]