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Canada Greatly Increases the Number of Citizenship Judges

May 2018, 21
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The federal government of Canada has increased the number of citizenship judges from the previous five to present fourteen. Furthermore this has happened just after the relaxation of the requirements to obtain citizenship in Canada.

IRCC has made an announcement in this matter and has appointed nine new judges and re-appointed a judge for serving a new term. The aim of these appointments is ensuring to meeting the operations needs across the country.

In October 2017, the change in the citizenship rules reduced the number of residency years that a candidate needed to accumulate prior to applying for citizenship in Canada. The period of change was from four years out of six, to three years of five.

Positive changes

Moreover, the changes permitted permanent residents who had spent time in the country in the capacity of an international student, or foreign worker, or as a protected person prior to switching to permanent residence. They got the benefit to count each day in Canada temporarily, as half a day of residency, accumulated to a cap of 365 days.

The condition that applicants need to be physically present in Canada for 183 days in four of the six years before they give an application was also removed.

Changes lead to more applications

Furthermore within weeks after the introduction of new rules applications jumped from 3,653 of the weekly average to 17,500. The aim of the fresh professionals is to give a quick access to applicants for citizenship. These Citizenship judges take decisions not only on citizenship applications, but also preside over citizenship ceremonies. Moreover, they administer the citizenship oath to fresh citizens. 105,000 new Canadians took the oath in 1,400 citizenship ceremonies last year as per the statement of IRCC.

The Citizenship judges are appointed by the Governor in Council, after receiving a recommendation from the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. The appointment happens by using a transparent, open process based on merit.

Other information

The candidates have to possess skills like judgment thinking, decision-making; cultural sensitivity, effective communication; and standing in the community for getting an appointment as a citizenship judge. These judges represent diversity in the professional backgrounds and include public servants, lawyers, professionals, and members of Armed Forces. They will be located in British Columbia, Halifax, the Greater Toronto Area, Edmonton, Montreal, Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Surrey.

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