Is the Canadian Dream Fading? Immigrant Citizenship Applications on the Decline

#citizenship #permanentresidence

The number of immigrants in Canada seeking citizenship has noticeably decreased in recent years, which begs the question of whether the Canadian Dream still has staying power.

This trend was shown by a Statistics Canada study that covered the years 1996 to 2021. It showed that the citizenship rates of recent immigrants had decreased by almost 30%, with the largest decline occurring in the last ten years.

Declining Citizenship Uptake Among Recent Immigrants

According to the survey, there has been a decline in the rate of citizenship uptake among new immigrants since 1996. In 2021, only 45.7% of immigrants sought citizenship, a significant decline from the 75.4% who did so in the previous year. Notably, between 2016 and 2021, the rates of citizenship uptake declined the most.

Different categories of recent immigrants had varying rates of citizenship uptake, according to further data analysis. The possibility of gaining Canadian citizenship depended on several factors, including country of origin, education level, economic level, and linguistic ability.

For example, recent immigrants who earned between $50,000 and CAD 100,000 were 14% more likely to become citizens than those who earned less than CAD 10,000. These could be those holding start-up or other self-employed visas.

Similarly, people who merely possessed a high school diploma (30.4%) had a lower citizenship uptake rate (51.8%) than those with a university degree.

Language ability was another important factor. Immigrants who spoke either French or English as their first language had a higher citizenship uptake rate (49.8%) than immigrants who spoke neither language (19.7%).

Furthermore, the patterns of immigration varied by region; notable declines were noted in East Asia (58%), Southeast Asia (40.7%), West Asia (-29.3%), Eastern Europe (-28.9%), and Central America (-28.2%). 

Factors Contributing to the Downturn

The decline in recent immigrant citizenship uptake rates has been attributed to a number of factors.

These included modifications to the policies about citizenship applications, such as higher application costs, language competence exams, and stricter knowledge requirements concerning Canada. Another important reason mentioned was the global COVID-19 epidemic, which could be responsible for up to 40% of the drop in citizenship rates between 2016 and 2021.

The results of the study point to a complicated interaction between external, policy-related, and personal elements when it comes to affecting immigrant preferences about becoming citizens of Canada.

The continuous fall in immigration raises significant issues regarding the nature of the Canadian Dream and the variables influencing immigrant integration and engagement in Canadian society, even if Canada still has a very high immigrant citizenship rate when compared to other Western nations.


What effect do levels of income have on immigrants' decision to become citizens?

An increased probability of obtaining Canadian citizenship is linked to higher income levels, potentially because of resources to help with the citizenship application process and financial stability.

Does the level of education influence citizenship acceptance rates differently?

Yes, compared to people with lesser education levels, those with greater education levels—such as a university degree—are more likely to pursue Canadian citizenship.


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