13,500 New Canadians Welcomed During Citizenship Week

Canada's Citizenship week has been a rousing success in spurring Canada's citizenship rate for 2023. The latest stats from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) show that there's been a drop in the number of new Canadians during the first quarter of 2023. Only 84,720 people became Canadian citizens during that time, which is about 11.9 percent lower than last year.

Experts believe this is a lasting effect of the old COVID-19 policies. While it is a cause for concern, Canadian officials continue encouraging newcomers to settle. According to the 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan, Canada aims to welcome over 1.4 million people by 2025. Becoming a Canadian Citizen is a goal for many newcomers in the country. 

As Canadian Citizenship Week came to an end, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser and the Canadian government announced that they had granted citizenship to a whopping 13,500 New Canadians. Additionally, Canada is thrilled to have surpassed its citizenship targets in 2022, welcoming an impressive number of nearly 364,000 individuals as new Canadian citizens.

Canada Grants Citizenship

In a week-long celebration of new citizens and the essence of being Canadian, Citizenship Week witnessed a remarkable milestone in Canada. The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, proudly announced that the Canada had hosted 105 citizenship ceremonies across the country, welcoming over 13,500 individuals as new Canadians across all provinces and territories. This extraordinary number nearly doubled the average rate of new Canadians welcomed per week throughout the year.

Minister Fraser personally attended citizenship ceremonies held in Halifax and Vancouver, where he extended warm greetings to the newly minted citizens and emphasized Canada's longstanding tradition of aiding vulnerable individuals. He also underscored the significance of Canadian citizenship, emphasizing the rights and responsibilities that come with it.

He stated,

“It was a great honor to participate in welcoming over 13,500 new members to our Canadian family. In fact, it is one of the best parts of my job. Citizenship Week 2023 has given me the chance to reflect on everything that being Canadian means: the freedom to live as our authentic selves, the connection to our natural world, and the opportunity to reach our full potential no matter where we came from. I am thankful every day to be Canadian, and I encourage everyone to reflect on what being Canadian means to them.”

For those who received their citizenship, as well as their friends, family, and all those fortunate enough to participate in these momentous occasions, citizenship ceremonies were deeply emotional and meaningful experiences. The ceremonies served as a reminder of the unique bond that ties Canadians together and the diverse fabric of the country.

Citizenship Numbers 2020-2023

Over the past few years, Canada has witnessed a significant increase in individuals becoming new citizens. Accoring to the IRCC monthly statistics, in 2020, 110,987 people embraced Canadian citizenship, which experienced a substantial surge to 137,119 in 2021. The trend continued its upward trajectory in 2022, with an astonishing total of 375,355 new citizens welcomed into the country.

Although the first quarter of 2023 saw a slight decline, with 84,720 individuals becoming Canadian citizens, it is important to consider this within the context of older COVID-19 policies.

Let’s shift our focus to the top ten leading countries contributing to this remarkable influx of new citizens.

Country 2020 2021 2022 2023 Q1
India 15,422 20,867 59,568 16,068
Philippines 15,991 18,243 41,578 8,738
Nigeria 2,287 3,292 12,682 3,765
Syria 7,245 10,042 20,478 3,545
Pakistan 4,740 5,552 15,204 3,253
Iran 4,888 4,854 13,086 2,774
People's Republic of China 4,712 5,141 10,809 2,572
United States of America 2,480 3,479 9,230 2,043
United Kingdom and Colonies 2,021 3,043 6,890 1,521
Iraq 2,003 2,257 7,734 1,506

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Canada’s Citizenship Ceremony

The citizenship ceremony holds immense significance as the culminating step in the journey to Canadian citizenship. It marks a pivotal moment for participants, where they fully embrace the rights and responsibilities of being a Canadian citizen. Central to this ceremony is the administration of the Oath of Citizenship, a solemn pledge usually facilitated by a citizenship judge.

Canada prides itself on its rich and diverse Indigenous Peoples' history, which is intertwined with the nation's very fabric. The stories and contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples are integral to the broader narrative of Canada's past, present, and future. Recognizing the importance of acknowledging and respecting Indigenous rights, the Oath of Citizenship underwent a significant change in June 2021.

This revision acknowledges and upholds the Aboriginal and treaty rights of Indigenous Peoples. It reflects Canada's commitment to inclusivity, reconciliation, and the recognition of the unique contributions and ongoing roles that Indigenous Peoples play in shaping the country's future. By incorporating this recognition into the Oath of Citizenship, Canada demonstrates its dedication to fostering a society that celebrates and respects the rich cultural heritage of its Indigenous communities.

The revised Oath of Citizenship represents a meaningful step forward in embracing truth, reconciliation, and mutual understanding. It signifies the collective effort to build stronger relationships with Indigenous Peoples and ensure their voices are heard, valued, and respected throughout the nation.