Welcoming new Canadians - New citizens in January 2014 more than double the number from one year ago

OTTAWA, Feb. 4, 2014 /CNW/ - Canada welcomed more than 16,000 new citizens in January - twice as many as in January 2013, Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced today.

Investments announced in Economic Action Plan 2013 have helped make the system more efficient and strengthened the integrity of Canada's citizenship program. The immense popularity of Canadian citizenship, though, has hampered efforts to tackle long processing times.

The government will take additional steps in the coming days to reduce backlogs while further strengthening the value of Canadian citizenship. As announced in the October 2013 Speech from the Throne, these measures - taken together - will form the first comprehensive reforms to the Citizenship Act in more than a generation.

Quick facts

  • In January 2013, 8,250 people obtained Canadian citizenship. In January 2014, more than 16,000 people became citizens at 244 citizenship ceremonies held across the country.
  • The citizenship ceremony is the last step before becoming a Canadian citizens 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%.
  • Census data show 86% of eligible permanent residents become Canadian citizens.

Quote

"Our government views citizenship as a pledge of mutual responsibility and a shared commitment to values rooted in our history. 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."

Chris Alexander, Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister

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SOURCE Citizenship and Immigration Canada

For further information:

Alexis Pavlich 
Minister's Office Citizenship and Immigration Canada
613-954-1064

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
613-952-1064
CIC-Media-Relations@cic.gc.ca

Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada's economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.