[kc_row use_container=”yes” force=”no” column_align=”middle” video_mute=”no” _id=”105866″][kc_column width=”100%” video_mute=”no” _id=”594238″][kc_column_text _id=”302924″]

Becoming a citizen is one of the defining life moments of
Canada’s immigrants. It marks the end of their newcomer journey and the
beginning of their journey as a Canadian with the same rights as those born in
Canada. These include the right to vote, to run for political office, to gain
preferential treatment when applying to government jobs, to travel with a
Canadian passport, and to travel outside of Canada indefinitely.

Canada takes pride in supporting the citizenship journey of
immigrants as the country’s high rate of citizenship acquisition is an
important indicator that Canada does a good job of facilitating integration. A
2018 study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
reported that 91 per cent of immigrants who had lived in Canada for at least 10
years held citizenship, compared with the OECD average of 63 per cent. Other
top destination for immigrants such as United States (62 per cent) lag behind
Canada by a wide margin. Statistics Canada’s new study finds that citizenship
acquisition stood at 86 per cent at the time of the 2016 Census compared with
82 per cent during the 1991 Census.

Recent policy shifts could improve naturalization rates in
the coming years. For instance, Canada has increased its economic class
selection standards over the past decade, which means more immigrants are
arriving with higher levels of language proficiency. Family class immigrants
tend to have similar socio-economic characteristics as the Canadian citizens
and permanent residents sponsoring them, which means that higher economic class
selection standards should result in more family class immigrants arriving with
higher human capital.

Reducing language test and citizenship exam requirements for
only those between the ages of 18 and 54 will likely also improve citizenship
rates since older immigrants tend to have weaker English or French skills than
younger ones.

The Liberal campaign platform forecasted they will spend
$110 million in 2023-2024 to process citizenship applications compared with the
$75 million to be spent over the coming federal government fiscal year. This 40
per cent increase in spending suggests the government expects a 40 per cent
increase in new citizens by 2024. If this is the case, Canada will reverse its
declining rate of naturalization among recent immigrants in the coming years —
and that would further cement Canada’s leadership among its OECD peers in
facilitating integration.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.