New figures show that the number of immigrants becoming Canadian citizens is growing at a substantial rate.
The latest data shows that in the first three months of this year, Canada welcomed more than 75,900 new citizens at 759 ceremonies across anada. Comparatively, in the first three months of 2013, Canada welcomed 35,320 new Canadians.
Calgary, Alberta is just one Canadian city where many immigrants choosing to become citizens. The city welcomed 1,164 new Canadians from more than 100 countries over the past month – more than four times the number of people who became Canadian citizens in Calgary in April last year when 284 new citizens were sworn in.
Scarborough, a district of Toronto, also welcomed more than double the amount of citizens last month compared to a year ago, with 3,200 new citizens from approximately 135 countries being welcomed to Canada.
“Our government is proud to welcome these new citizens to the Canadian family,” said Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister. “A Canadian citizenship ceremony is a moving and emotional celebration that reaffirms one’s commitment to Canadian values and traditions. The impressive number of individuals participating in these ceremonies and taking on the full responsibility of Canadian citizenship demonstrates that our government’s efforts to improve the citizenship programme and decrease wait times are working,” he added.
Since 2006, Canada has enjoyed the highest sustained levels of immigration in Canadian history—an average of a quarter million newcomers each year. Accordingly, the demand for citizenship has increased by 30 per cent.
New rules announced earlier this year will require citizenship applicants to be physically present in Canada for a total of four out of their last six years. In addition, they would need to be physically present in Canada for 183 days per year for at least four of those six years.
More applicants will now also be required to meet language requirements and pass a knowledge test, to ensure that they are better prepared to fully participate in Canadian society.
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