Canadian Citizenship in 2023: What You Need to Know
Becoming a Canadian citizen is a significant milestone for many individuals, and in 2023, more than 354,000 people achieved this dream in over 3,000 citizenship ceremonies across Canada. The surge in naturalization trends is evident when comparing the numbers from preceding years, especially in 2020 and 2021, marking a notable increase in the number of new Canadian citizens.
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has been making efforts to reduce the citizenship application backlog, aiming to process 80% of citizenship applications within their service standards. As of November 2023, the backlog has been reduced to 20%, representing IRCC’s target number. This progress has been achieved through the introduction of new platforms and processes to improve efficiency, including launching online citizenship tests, virtual citizenship ceremonies, and an online citizenship application tracker for applicants to stay updated on the status of their application.
For individuals who are permanent residents of Canada and are looking to become Canadian citizens, there are criteria that must be met before applying. These include being a permanent resident, filing taxes if necessary, passing a Canadian citizenship test, proving language skills, and meeting Canada’s physical presence requirements.
It’s important to note that only the five years preceding the date of the application are taken into account when applying for citizenship. Days spent in Canada as a permanent resident count as a full day, while days spent in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident count as a half-day towards meeting the physical presence requirement, up to a maximum credit of 365 days.
The benefit of Canadian citizenship is that unlike permanent residents, Canadian citizens have no residency obligations. In addition, Canadian citizens receive Canadian passports and are entitled to vote in federal, provincial, and municipal elections, and cannot lose their status unless it was obtained through material misrepresentation.
Becoming a Canadian citizen is a meaningful and rewarding process, and with the efforts made by the IRCC to reduce citizenship application backlogs, the pathway from permanent residency to citizenship is now more streamlined and accessible for eligible individuals. If you are considering becoming a Canadian citizen, it’s advisable to seek professional guidance and schedule a free Canadian citizenship consultation with expert immigration law firms.
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