This month the Department of Citizenship and Immigration will launch a new website and accompanying mobile app designed to promote citizenship among Canada’s new arrivals.
Government statistics show that despite a growing number of citizenship applications between 2008 and 2012 – from 242,000 to 317,440 – there are less applications being granted.
The new site and app should help address that problem by providing study materials and advice on the citizenship application process. Furthermore, immigrant advocates say it should clarify some of the common misconceptions held by landed permanent residents regarding Canadian citizenship.
One of the common misconceptions is the belief that one has to forfeit their native citizenship upon gaining their Canadian citizenship.
The website, www.citizenshipcounts.ca, will also provide information on recent regulation changes that have tightened the rules surrounding citizenship for people charged with a crime. Though the government still retains the right to strip citizenship from those charged with a serious crime, they have narrowed the minimum sentence barring appeal rights, down to six months from two year sentences.
The website is targeted toward young immigrants and refugees who may not fully be aware of the benefits of gaining citizenship status. Officials say that many newcomers from places like Africa, Greece, Ireland and the Caribbean do not apply for citizenship for a range of reasons.
Source: Toronto Star