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Applications for Canadian Citizenship Increase after Relaxation of language and Residency Rules

December 2017, 30
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An increase was seen in applications received for citizenship in Canada when the government announced relaxed rules about residency and language requirements.

IRCC provided data to show that on an average 3,653 applications per week were received in the six months, prior to the effecting of changes in October.

The figure was 17,500 applications per week after announcing the new regulations.

Nancy Caron spokeswoman for Immigration said that when the requirement for the physically being present was reduced, the result was flexibility for applicants, in meeting the citizenship requirements. It also encouraged several immigrants to select citizenship. It helped the persons who had begun to build a life in the country to achieve citizenship at a fast pace.

Normally 200,000 applications for citizenship are submitted annually.

It was anticipated that there would be variations in the application rates after the rules were changed. The department handled increased capacity and kept the processing times under 12-months.

An increase in the rate of citizenship promotes social cohesion and simplifies community life because the immigrants feel deeply connected to the nation and the society. When the people become citizens the fact strengthens the journey of integration. It makes them feel Canadian and improves the economic, political and social outcome of Canada.

The provisions of new rules included:

Reduction of the length of physical presence to be three years out of five years, and not the previous four years out of six years.

A Part of the time spent in the country before taking the PR status stands counted to meet requirements of residency, which will benefit students and temporary workers.

The age required for language and knowledge is reduced to 18 years - 54 years, from 14 years – 64 years.

A barrier was observed in the form of high fees for applying to take citizenship, for refugees and persons involved in the reunification of the family.

The fee for processing was increased to $630 in 2014. It is low when compared to processing fees collected in the Netherlands, the U.S. and the U.K but higher when compared to Australia Germany and France.

Promotion of citizenship not only provides personal advantages but also benefits Canadian society. The people can participate, in the local politics fully.

Ahmed Hussen, Immigration Minister said that the changes done in October will make joining the Canadian family flexible and easy. Canada is committed to the integration of fresh immigrants successfully. Citizenship for permanent residents will help them to restart their lives and effectively contribute towards the society.

People will not be considered for citizenship in Canada when they face charges in/out of Canada, or suffer a criminal record, or if their citizenship was refused/ revoked earlier.

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