Currently, there is a significant backlog in citizenship applications, which leads to almost a 32 month wait for a regular citizenship application without any issues or complication.

Backlog chart

Ref: Multicultural Meaderings

If there is any fault to point to, Citizenship officers have been liberally and broadly requesting the residential questionnaire recently.  This cautious approach has been taken by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) in order to prevent any fraudulent applications and to put more emphasis on national security.  As a result, it is not surprising that an average citizenship applicant may wait between 30 to 32 months, or more for any complicated cases.

When the new legislation, Fast Removal of Foreign Criminals Act, came into effect on June 19, 2013, some naturalized citizens have been facing an unexpected and significant impact on their citizenship – revocation. 

A refugee from Iran came to Canada about 15 years ago; upon a successful claim, she obtained her Canadian resident status and subsequently, her Canadian citizenship.  When her mother was on her death-bed this fall, she visited her mother for the last time in Iran. With a change of situation/stability in Iran, she felt safe to return to Iran.  As a result of the change of situation in Iran, her Canadian citizenship is being threatened in the process of revocation, as a misrepresentation – “no more fear of persecution.”  Although her case is still in process, it is just one situation among many that naturalized Canadian citizens may face, in-light-of changes of circumstances, despite the fact that they already received their Canadian citizenship in due course.  Furthermore, such notion creates an unintended but actual category of second class citizenship in Canada.

Coming in 2014, it is expected (from the recent throne speech) that there will be a number of significant changes to the Citizenship Act, such as increasing the examination period from 4 years to 6 years, for example.  Having said that, such changes has been discussed and tabled since 1977, but no major change has made to Citizenship Act so far.

In the meantime, we highly recommend people receive proper legal advice BEFORE taking any significant steps in filing their Canadian citizenship application. Otherwise there might be unexpected actions that may have a severe impact on your circumstances.

If you have any individual questions or concerns, please contact our office for more customized consultation for your unique situation.  Please note that this posting is for general information only and is not to be considered binding or official legal counsel since situations will vary and can be complicated. The content in this post is current as of the day of entry. Due to the changing nature of Immigration law, the information in this entry may or may not still be applicable.

Ref: Chart above is taken from the Multicultural Meanderings posting

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