As every year, the second week of October is dedicated to celebrating one of Canada’s most exceptional “pride” as a nation: its citizenship.
From one end of the country to the other, the Federal Government highlights the celebrations of Citizenship Week, to emphasize that concept and vision that has been created among those who carry a Canadian passport.
Various activities are held in all regions, mainly in swearing ceremonies of new citizens, as well as “reaffirmation” of citizenship ceremonies.
Celebrate being Canadian- Things to know
Here are six things you may not know about Canadian citizenship:
Canada, like almost the entire American continent, manages a concept of ‘jus soli,’ which means that anyone born in its territory is a Canadian citizen, regardless of immigration status.
Almost the rest of the planet has stricter citizenship laws, which means receiving citizenship from one of the parents.
A “young” citizenship
For over 400 years, immigrants have been arriving in the territory that is now Canada. However, Canadian citizenship barely turned 70 in 2017.
Before 1947, the “Canadians” were legally British citizens. However, several and complex laws were introduced since the Confederation (1867) to gradually recognize the character of “Canadian citizen,” such as those born in this territory. So, for example, the troops were distinguished during the two world wars.
About a quarter of a million immigrants arrive in Canada every year. and most of them, over the years, will join the “big Canadian family.” The country has the highest naturalization rate in the world.
According to the Ministry of Immigration, 85% of all immigrants end up becoming Canadian citizens.
A family that grows
In the last decade, more than 1.75 million immigrants have sworn in as Canadian citizens. The number of applications waiting to be processed is almost every year greater than the processing capacity.
Also, more than 2,000 swearing ceremonies are held every year throughout the country.
An easier process
The government of Justin Trudeau introduced a reform ( which became effective on October 11 ) to reduce residence times before being able to apply for Canadian citizenship, which went down to three years throughout five.
It became accessible from the beginning of the 20th century. The three years were the requirement for immigrants who wanted to naturalize.
The oath, more than words
Many are surprised or even laugh that to become Canadian citizens, they have to recite a pledge to Queen Elizabeth II. It is more than a symbolic act. It has a legal character. And for that reason that the officers will be pending in the ceremony that all the participants are, effectively, reciting the oath.
However much, Elizabeth II is officially the queen of Canada.