Every year, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) celebrates Citizenship Week, which commemorates Canada’s new citizens and what it means to be a Canadian.
Today, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced the launch of Citizenship Week, which will run from May 22nd to May 28th, 2023. The Minister will be attending citizenship ceremonies in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Canada is set to welcome thousands of new Canadians as citizens. Citizenship ceremonies are a meaningful experience for the individuals reaching this significant milestone, one that affords all the rights and responsibilities of being a Canadian.
Everyone is invited to celebrate Citizenship Week by attending citizenship ceremonies taking place this week across Canada. Canadians may also join the livestream from Halifax on May 24th. IRCC has been working to modernize their services and has made important strides when it comes to citizenship through online testing, virtual citizenship ceremonies and online application trackers.
Last year, Canada exceeded its citizenship goals by welcoming almost 364,000 new citizens. Canada has already welcomed 85,000 new Canadians in the first three months of 2023. Indians continue to make up the highest proportion (around 19%) of new citizens, but citizens of the Philippines, Nigeria, Syria, Pakistan, Iran, China, the US and UK made up to 54% of this number.
What is a citizenship ceremony?
Once you have successfully completed the citizenship test and interview, you will be invited to a citizenship ceremony, which is the final step to becoming a Canadian citizen. During the ceremony, participants take the Oath of Citizenship, which is symbolic of accepting the rights and responsibilities of being a citizen of Canada. This process is usually administered by a citizenship judge.
Between April 1st, 2022 and March 31st 2023, on average, nearly 30,000 people took the Oath of Citizenship each month, which has exceeded pre-COVID-19 numbers. During Citizenship Week, there are almost 100 citizenship ceremonies planned, which hope to welcome close to 13,000 new Canadians.
Who is eligible for Canadian citizenship?
IRCC allows permanent residents to apply for Canadian citizenship after they have been physically residing in Canada for three years (1,095 days) out of the five years immediately preceding the application for citizenship.Canadian citizenship is advantageous as unlike permanent residents, Canadian citizens have no residency obligations. In addition, they can receive Canadian passports and are entitled to vote in municipal, provincial, and federal elections.