For the second time in less than a year, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has decided to raise the processing fees for Canadian citizenship. As of January 1st 2015, the price of Canadian citizenship applications will increase from $300 to $530 per adult.
Less than a year ago, in February of 2014, the Canadian government similarly increased the fee for obtaining Canadian citizenship from $100 to $300.
While the processing fees are increasing, the $100 Right of Citizenship fee for successful applicants remains the same, as do the other fees for services such as citizenship proofs. With the combination of these standard fees and the increase in citizenship processing fees, prospective applicants must now pay 5 times more for Canadian citizenship than they did in 2013.
This fees increase follows more than 260,0000 new citizens coming to Canada in 2014, which was more than double the number of new citizens in 2013 and represents more new Canadians in one year than in any year in Canada’s history. Citizenship and Immigration Canada attributes this increase to the Citizenship Act reforms it has made this year.
These reforms include streamlining the citizenship decision-making process from three steps to one, resulting in a 90 percent increase in new Canadians from the previous year, and reducing the backlog in Canada’s citizenship applications by 17 percent since June 2014, which is its lowest level in almost three years.
“With a record number of new Canadians this year, it is clear that [the] government’s changes to the Citizenship Act are having a real impact on the number of new citizens welcomed to the Canadian family,” said Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. “We are fulfilling our commitment to reducing backlogs and improving processing times.”
The significant increase in the number of new Canadian citizens during 2014 proved to be profiable for the Canadian government, particularly with the increase in fees that took place last year. Citizenship projections for 2015 are expected to continue increasing, and based on this, the fee hike in 2015 is expected to bring in an additional $60 million to the Canadian government.
Unfortunately, the increase in citizenship processing costs may make Canadian citizenship further out of reach for many families who are Canadian permanent residents.
In response to the growing fees, the Federal Government has highlighted that despite these increases, Canada’s fees remain lower than fees in both the United States and the United Kingdom.
FWCanada is a Montreal-based immigration law firm that provides professional legal services on Canadian immigration. For more tips and updates on Canadian immigration, follow FWCanada on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.