Canadians celebrate Citizenship WeekWritten by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
May 23, 2023 Ottawa Becoming a Canadian citizen is a momentous occasion that marks the final step in the immigration journey. Every year, we celebrate Citizenship Week, a chance to celebrate new citizens and all that it means to be Canadian—our diversity, our history and our culture.
Today, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, launched Citizenship Week, which runs from May 22 to 28, 2023. He will mark the occasion by attending citizenship ceremonies from coast to coast in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Vancouver, British Columbia. Across the country, Canada will welcome thousands of new Canadians.
Citizenship ceremonies are an emotional and meaningful experience for all those who have a chance to participate. They provide an opportunity to witness new Canadians reach this proud milestone and reflect on the significance of citizenship, the rights it affords, and the responsibilities it bears. Citizenship is a commitment to Canada and all Canadians.
Everyone in Canada is invited to celebrate Citizenship Week by attending citizenship ceremonies taking place this week across the country. Canadians can join the livestream from Halifax on May 24 or attend a ceremony that is open to the public in person.
As part of our efforts to modernize our services, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has made great strides when it comes to citizenship through online testing, virtual citizenship ceremonies, and an online application tracker that helps clients stay up to date on their files.
Canada is proud to have exceeded its citizenship goals this past year, with nearly 364,000 new Canadian citizens. We have already welcomed 85,000 new Canadians in the first three months of this year, and look forward to welcoming thousands more in the months ahead.
“It is a great honour to participate in welcoming new members to our Canadian family. In fact, it is one of the best parts of my job. This week has given me the chance to reflect on everything that being Canadian means—the freedom to live as our authentic selves, the connection to our natural world, and the opportunity to reach our full potential no matter where we came from. I am thankful every day to be Canadian, and I encourage everyone to reflect on what being Canadian means to them.”
– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
The citizenship ceremony is the final step to becoming a Canadian citizen. During the ceremony, participants accept the rights and responsibilities of citizenship by taking the Oath of Citizenship, which is usually administered by a citizenship judge.
Indigenous peoples’ history in Canada is rich and diverse. The stories of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples are essential to the story of Canada, and Indigenous peoples will continue to play an important role in Canada’s future. In June 2021, the Oath of Citizenship changed to recognize Aboriginal and treaty rights.
The Citizenship Application Tracker was launched in May 2021 to help clients stay up to date on the status of their citizenship application and be aware of any required next steps to complete it.
IRCC has launched online application processes for some clients looking to apply for a grant of citizenship, get proof of citizenship, or search citizenship records.
Between November 26, 2020, when the new online testing platform was launched, and March 31, 2023, nearly 546,000 people have taken citizenship tests online. Every week, IRCC is able to invite over 5,000 applicants to complete the test.
Between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023, on average, nearly 30,000 people took the Oath of Citizenship each month, exceeding pre-COVID-19 volumes.
There are nearly 100 citizenship ceremonies planned that will welcome close to 13,000 new Canadians during this year’s Citizenship Week.