IRCC aims to grant citizenship to 300,000 people this fiscal year
October 18, 2022
By CIC News |
CIC News has obtained an internal IRCC memo that outlines targets for the number of new citizens Canada will welcome for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.
The memo, drafted by the Operations, Planning and Performance division of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a senior official, recommends that IRCC process a total of 285,000 decisions and 300,000 new citizens by March 31, 2023. A decision is a review of an application which is then approved, denied, or marked as incomplete. The citizenship target means that 300,000 approved applicants must take the oath of citizenship, either in person or virtually.
This is a significant increase over the 2021-2022 fiscal year and even exceeds the pre-pandemic targets of 2019-2020, when 253,000 citizenship applications were processed.
In 2021-2022, IRCC succeeded in welcoming 217,000 new citizens. So far in the 2022-2023 fiscal year, Canada has welcomed 116,000 new citizens and is well on track to hit target. By comparison, over the same period in 2021, Canada had only sworn in 35,000 people.
The memo also outlines the current challenges involved in processing applications as well as ensuring all positive decisions can take the oath of a citizenship within a reasonable timeframe.
IRCC moving away from paper applications
In March 2020, IRCC became unable to process most applications due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was because the department was only able to process paper applications that were mailed to a central location. As all in-person events were also cancelled, this meant that IRCC was unable to conduct interviews with candidates and there could not be any oath swearing at citizenship ceremonies.