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On August 19th, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced that Canada welcomed its 150,000th new citizen of 2014. This is record breaking compared to this time last year with over double the number of new Canadians being welcomed to Canada than 2013. The government credits its actions taken to reduce backlogs and reduce processing times for these improvements.
Alexander attended a citizenship ceremony in Scarborough and welcomed the country’s newest Canadians. At the event, Alexander highlighted the government’s recent changes to the citizenship system, which have led to improved processing times and an eight percent reduction to the citizenship backlog.
Recent changes to the Citizenship Act, which received Royal Assent on June 19, 2014, will allow for further improvements to the efficiency of the Citizenship program. The new streamlined decision-making process and other changes to the Citizenship Act are expected to bring the processing time for citizenship applications down to under one year, reduce the citizenship application backlog by more than 80 percent and achieve a working inventory of applications in fiscal year 2015-2016.