Canada Aims to Grant Citizenship to Over 300,000 Applicants By March 2023

Immigration Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has released a memo that highlights the citizenship-granting goals for Canada for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. It states that Canada hopes to welcome more than 300,000 people as citizens of the country.

Operations, Planning and Performance is the division of the IRCC that drafted the memo for the benefit of a senior official. The recommendation is that the IRCC process:
  1. 285,000 decisions which are applications that are reviewed, and further approved, denied or marked as incomplete.
  2. Approve 300,000 citizenship applications whereby each applicant must be sworn in either in-person or virtually.

Canada's New Canadian Citizenship Goals

Canadian Citizenship is a major immigration goal for many currently living in the country. There are various benefits attached to citizenship. More jobs are available to Canadian Citizens, they can vote and run for political office, they can travel on a Canadian Passport, and more. Canadian citizens also don't need to renew their immigration documents, so they never have to worry about losing their status.

This goal increase is significant in light of the previous year’s citizenship targets. The IRCC was successful in acquiring 217,000 new citizens in 2021–2022. With 116,000 new citizens admitted so far in the fiscal year 2022–2023, Canada is on course to meet its goal. By contrast, just 35,000 Canadians had been sworn in at the same time period in 2021.

This is a substantial improvement over the fiscal year 2021–2022, and it even surpasses the pre-pandemic goals of 2019–2020, when 253,000 citizenship applications were handled.

The document also describes the existing difficulties in processing Canadian Citizenship applications and guaranteeing that everyone who is approved may take the oath of citizenship within a fair amount of time.

Due to the coronavirus epidemic that ravaged the world in March, 2020, Canada's IRCC was only able to handle online applications and could not process the majority of citizenship applications.

This was due to the department's limited capacity to handle applications on paper that were addressed to a single location. There were no opportunities for interviews and no ceremonies to award citizenship.

IRCC Processing Times

According to IRCC, initiatives have been taken to reduce the backlog and process 80% of all new applications in accordance with service standards. The IRCC has added 1,000 new staff employees to help reduce the backlog. Additionally, by the end of the year, minors (those under the age of 18) will be able to submit an online application for citizenship. This is in line with other policies that the government has introduced to alleviate the backlog caused by the pandemic.

The document urges IRCC to stick with its present first-in-first-out policy for all applications, which would continue to prioritize older paper applications while simultaneously giving a few digital ones top priority in order to keep the backlog from growing.

How Do I Get Canadian Citizenship?

  • You’ll need to pass a test on your rights, obligations, and understanding of Canada
  • You must already be a permanent resident
  • You must have resided in Canada for three of the past five years
  • Provide proof that you have submitted your taxes, and meet other requirements.
  • Show off your linguistic abilities
  • There can be more conditions presented to you, depending on your circumstances.

Learn more about Canadian citizenship by watching our video below

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