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Over 16,000 new Canadians became citizens in January

Canada welcomed more than 16,000 new citizens in January – twice as many as in January 2013, announced Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. 

Recent investments have helped make the Canadian system more efficient and strengthened the integrity of Canada’s citizenship program, he said. The immense popularity of Canadian citizenship though has hampered efforts to tackle long processing times.

The government will take additional steps to reduce backlogs while further strengthening the value of Canadian citizenship. 

These measures will form the first comprehensive reforms to the Citizenship Act in more than a generation.

Quick facts:
• The citizenship ceremony is the last step before becoming a Canadian citizen and taking on the rights and responsibilities that come with citizenship.
• The new Canadians welcomed into the Canadian family in January 2014 came from 190 different countries.
• In 2013, 10,745 people were granted citizenship, on average, each month.
• Since 2006, Canada has welcomed the highest sustained levels of immigration in Canadian history – an average of 257,000 newcomers each year. Accordingly, the demand for citizenship has increased by 30 per cent.
• Census data show 86 per cent of eligible permanent residents become Canadian citizens. 

“Canada views citizenship as a pledge of mutual responsibility and a shared commitment to values rooted in our history,” said Alexander. “We are proud to have welcomed more than 16,000 new Canadian citizens this past month and we look forward to their full participation in Canada’s economy and Canadian society. We will continue to improve Canada’s citizenship program to ensure deserving applicants can become citizens more quickly,” he added. 

Posted: Mar 5, 2014

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