In the second hike in a span of less than 12 months, the Federal Government has increased the application and processing fees for Canadian citizenship from $300 per person to $530 per person. The previous hike in fees had come into effect in Feb, 2014 when the fee was raised from $100 to $350 per person. Coming into effect from 1st January, 2015, the latest hike has brought about a five-fold increase in Canadian citizenship fees since February, 2014.
Justifying the move, the Citizenship and Immigration Department claimed that the increased fee will free taxpayers from shouldering the cost of processing applications from persons desirous of becoming Canadian citizens. The fee is expected to allow the agency to recover the processing cost of $555 per application. In all, the burden on taxpayers is expected to come down by around $41 million per year.
However, the latest increase may cause the financial calculations of applicants to go awry, especially those with large families. Those seeking citizenship are required to pay an additional $100 towards right-of-citizenship fee. This fee is refunded to unsuccessful applicants.
A comparison of Canada’s citizenship fees with the fees charged by other nations indicates that Canada continues to remain an affordable destination for citizenship applicants. As compared to Canada’s $530, the UK charges $1740, the USA charges $743, New Zealand charges $ 426, and Australia charging $264 (all figures in Canadian Dollar).
The UK and Australia review their fees annually, thereby enabling applicants to plan for the increase. Canada, the USA, and New Zealand review the fees as and when needed, which may, as with Canada, result in multiple revisions in a single year.