A recent study conducted by Statistics Canada study shows that there has been a dip in the number of immigrants gaining permanent Canadian citizenship. This is a cause for concern, but research has shown that there might be improvements soon.
Canada’s immigrants have always found becoming a citizen to be one of the most important milestones in their life because it signifies the end of their role as the newcomer. It marks the beginning of their new life as a Canadian who shares the same rights as native Canadians. Citizens have the right to vote, and they can even run for political office. They will also get preferential treatment when they want to apply for government jobs. Having permanent residence will also allow them to travel with a Canadian passport and go outside the country indefinitely.
Canada has always shown pride in its ability to uphold the citizenship journey undertaken by immigrants. The country’s high rate of citizenship acquisition shows that Canada has not failed at accommodating the newcomers and facilitating integration. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conducted a study in 2018, which found that 91 percent of immigrants who have resided in Canada for a minimum of 10 years had citizenship.
The new study by Statistics Canada found that the citizenship acquisition rose to 86 percent during the 2016 Census from 82 percent at the 1991 Census. However, they have also noticed a significant decline in the rate of citizenship acquisition within the recent immigrant cohorts. In 1996, 68 percent of eligible immigrants residing in Canada for five years or more held citizenship. The number decreased to 43 percent in 2016. Statistics Canada concluded that the citizenship rate for the majority of the immigrant cohorts dipped in 2016 when compared with the figures of the 2006 Census.
However, the Liberal campaign platform has predicted that they would increase their spending on citizenship application processing by 40 percent, which could lead to a 40 percent increase in new citizens by 2024.