During the annual Citizenship Week, a time dedicated to the celebration of new citizens and Canadian identity, Canada recently welcomed over 13,500 individuals as new citizens. The Honourable Sean Fraser, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, revealed this significant news, stating that Canada had organized 105 citizenship ceremonies across all provinces and territories during the past week. This figure signifies nearly double the typical weekly average of new Canadians welcomed throughout the year.
Minister Fraser, who attended the citizenship ceremonies in Halifax and Vancouver, emphasized the importance of these events as he welcomed new Canadians. He underlined the country’s longstanding tradition of supporting vulnerable populations and delineated the obligations and privileges that come with Canadian citizenship.
Citizenship ceremonies hold immense sentimental value for new citizens, their loved ones, and all those fortunate enough to witness these significant milestones. Minister Fraser expressed his pride and honor in being a part of welcoming over 13,500 new members to the Canadian family during Citizenship Week 2023. He remarked, “Being Canadian implies the liberty to be true to oneself, a deep bond with our natural environment, and the potential to realize one’s full potential regardless of one’s origin.”
The citizenship ceremony, the final step towards becoming a Canadian citizen, requires participants to affirm their acceptance of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship by taking the Oath of Citizenship, typically administered by a citizenship judge.
Recognizing the rich, diverse history of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, the Oath of Citizenship was altered in June 2021 to acknowledge Aboriginal and treaty rights. Canada proudly exceeded its citizenship goals for the past year, welcoming nearly 364,000 new citizens.
Additionally, the Citizenship Application Tracker was introduced in May 2021, providing clients with up-to-date information about their citizenship application status. Furthermore, the IRCC has initiated online application procedures for certain services, such as applying for a grant of citizenship or obtaining proof of citizenship.
Since the inauguration of the new online testing platform on November 26, 2020, nearly 546,000 individuals have completed citizenship tests online. The IRCC now has the capacity to invite over 5,000 applicants weekly to take the test. Between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023, the number of people taking the Oath of Citizenship each month, on average, was close to 30,000, surpassing pre-COVID-19 volumes.