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Canada welcomes thousands of new citizens

Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced that more than 3,900 individuals from approximately 125 countries became Canadian citizens at ceremonies held in the Scarborough area recently.

Ceremonies like these demonstrate how Canada is working to make the citizenship program more efficient, helping more people realize sooner their dream of becoming Canadian. Recent changes to the Citizenship Act will further reduce wait times by streamlining the decision-making process for citizenship. 

It is expected that these changes will bring the average processing time for citizenship applications down to under one year, and that the current backlog will be reduced by more than 80 per cent by April 2016.

 A few quick facts:
• Since 2006, Canada has enjoyed the highest sustained levels of immigration in Canadian history – an average of a quarter million newcomers each year.
• So far in 2014, Canada has welcomed approximately 122,000 new citizens.
• On June 19, 2014, Bill C-24, Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, became law. The new provisions strengthen the integrity of the citizenship system and reduce processing times for citizenship applications.
• Over 30,800 new citizens have been welcomed in Scarborough so far in 2014 – more than three times the number of newly naturalized Canadians over the same period in 2013.

“The increasingly high number of individuals taking on the full responsibility of citizenship and committing to Canadian values and traditions shows the high value of Canadian citizenship,” said Alexander. 

“It also demonstrates that our government’s efforts to improve the citizenship program and decrease wait times are working. On behalf of all Canadians, I would like to congratulate these new citizens, and welcome them to the Canadian family.” 

Posted: Jul 29, 2014

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