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Citizenship Update: Liberals to Waive Citizenship fees, new Immigration Minister

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This pledge was made prior to the Federal elections. It was Ahmed Hussen, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, who was spearheading the immigration policy changes. Recently, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appointed a new Immigration Minister, Toronto MP, Marco Mendicino. He currently spearheads the immigration policy changes and promises to prioritize the campaign against illegal immigration.

Based on the recent numbers, fewer immigrants are becoming Canadian citizens in 2016 compared to 1996. The citizenship rate in 1996 was over 75% while in 2016 it dropped to 60%.

There can be a number of factors that can affect the citizenship rate. However, the Liberals have taken action and are planning to continue to eliminate hurdles for immigrants. In fact, back in 2017, the Liberals have reduced the length of time and have lowered the age range for language and knowledge requirements.

This time, the Liberal party promises to waive citizenship fees for eligible permanent residents. They are expecting that this policy will result in about 40% increase in new citizens by 2024.

In 1996, the processing fee for citizenship was $200, but it increased to $630 under the previous Conservative government. Adults need to pay $530 plus a “right of citizenship fee” of $100 when they submit  their citizenship application. This makes it a huge hurdle for a family of four because it will cost them about $1,500 on citizenship fees alone.

This is great news for most immigrants, of course! It would be smart for those who are currently eligible to apply for citizenship to wait until the Liberals pass the legislation implementing the citizenship fee policy change.

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