Thousands of applications filed in week after October 11th, 2017
As per the CBC, there was a significant uptick in applications for Canadian citizenship after the government cooled the rules around residency requirements and language proficiency this fall. 3653 applications are filed in an average week, in the six months leading up to the rules being changed in October of last year. That number shot up to 17500 applications the week after the new requirements kicked in. There were also 12,530 applications submitted the week after that.
We touched on the changes in a previous post. The previous required length of physical presence in Canada was reduced to three out of five years, from four out of six years. As well, a portion of time spent in Canada before permanent resident status is now counted towards the residency requirement, which gives credit to temporary workers and foreign students. Lastly, the age range for language and knowledge requirements was reduced to 18 to 54 years old, from the previous requirement of 14 to 64.
“Reducing the physical presence requirement gives more flexibility to applicants to meet the requirements for citizenship and encourages more immigrants to take the path to citizenship. This helps individuals who have already begun building lives in Canada achieve citizenship faster.” -Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship spokeswoman, Nancy Caron
Data is continuing to get collected on whether the uptick trend keeps up. Back in 2015, The Toronto Star reported that the percentage of immigrants who become citizens had dropped dramatically from 79 per cent to 26 per cent among people who arrived between 2000 and 2008 – much of it being attributed to a significant fee increase to $630, which included a $100 “right of citizenship” fee.