Canadian citizenship? “No, thank you”. Requests dropped from 75% to 45%. Meanwhile, permanent residence is a mirage for many

TORONTO – The idyll between Canada and immigrants is over. The numbers say it. In fact, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship says that Statistics Canada data indicate a 30% drop in the adoption of citizenship since 2001. Let’s see to what extent: in 2021, only 45.7% of permanent residents who resided in Canada from less than ten years became a citizen. A drop, compared to 60% in 2016 and 75.1% in 2001.

The group’s chief executive, Daniel Bernhard, calls the drop “alarming” and says it should serve as a “wake-up call” to improve the experience newcomers have in Canada.

StatCan does not explain the reasons for the decline, but Bernhard points to the country’s cost of living and job prospects as possible factors. “There are a myriad of problems – explains Bernhard – but ultimately what is changing is that people have decided they are less interested in being ‘Team Canada’ “. And according to Bernhard, the decline affects the country’s long-term economic and social prospects. “It’s a problem for all of us who care about Canada’s future prosperity and dynamism – he says, as reported by CP24 – so we need to solve this problem for the future of our country”.

The federal government famously said it plans to increase immigration by adding 1.45 million permanent residents over the next three years, up from 465,000 in 2023 and ramping up to 500,000 in 2025. But it’s the classic case where “the right hand doesn’t know what the left one is doing”, since the path to obtaining permanent residency – as every new immigrant knows – is nothing short of an odyssey: endless and interminable bureaucratic practices, often bordering on logical and for the most part incomprehensible, as it is easy to see by consulting the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) section of the federal government website, here  …a thousand “stakes” that put even the most tenacious of “aspiring Canadians” to the test. A path which, moreover, does not give any guarantee of permanence even to the most qualified workers, especially if they come from countries (such as European ones) which do not enjoy “special programs”.

It is inevitable that aspiring immigrants will then choose other, more welcoming countries. And it is probable that those who already have permanent residence think twice before becoming citizens. Because – looking at the numbers – it is clear that, today, “Welcome to Canada” is just a beautiful fairy tale in which no one believes anymore.

(The title of this article’s social media posts contains an error: “from 75% to 40%”. The correct data is the one in the original title of the article, “from 75% to 45%”. Sorry for that!)

Pic by tookapic from Pixabay