Citizenship Application Fees to be Waived

Government of Canada Commits to Waiving Application Fees for its Citizenship.

In the mandate letter received by Immigration Minister - Marco Mendicino, the Prime Minister , Justin Trudeau included a plan to eliminate citizenship application fees which is currently $630 per adult (all applicants over the age of 18 years)

Why is there a consideration to eliminate citizenship fees?

  • The rate of citizenship acquisition has been declining. According to data from Statistics Canada, the rate of immigrants who became citizens after living for six years in Canada dropped to 55.4% in 2016 from 70.2% in 2006.

  • Advocates say that citizenship application fees are a major barrier to Canadian citizenship. This is because the cost is not affordable for low-income families. However, obtaining citizenship helps immigrants settle down and feel more Canadian.

What are the requirements for applying for Canadian CItizenship?

Typically, to be eligible for Citizenship, immigrants are required to

  1. Prove they have been physically present in Canada for 1095 days as permanent residents. This is at least 3 out of 5 years prior.

  2. Have filed income taxes in those years,

  3. Have adequate knowledge of English or French.

  4. Have to pass the citizenship exam, which includes a combination of questions related to the rights and responsibilities of Canadians and Canada’s history, government and laws.

According to the Immigration Minister’s Press Secretary, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is currently looking into a timeline for eliminating the application fees, and also how to cover the cost, which admittedly will involve a lot of fact finding in order to proceed with the directive.

We are curious to see how these when this would be implemented. Will it be retroactive or on a go forward basis. If your eligible for Citizenship, would you wait to know the outcome before applying or it does not matter?

Source: The Globe and Mail

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