The number of permanent residents becoming Canadian citizens has plummeted since 2001
The number of permanent residents becoming Canadian citizens has plummeted since 2001 as Canada reaches record-breaking levels of immigration, new data from Statistics Canada reveals that almost half of the recent immigrants are forgoing Canadian citizenship. Over the past two decades, Statistics Canada’s figures demonstrate a remarkable drop-off in permanent residents electing to take on Canadian citizenship – by as much as 40%.
The Institute for Canadian Citizenship has also cited these numbers to support the findings. In 2021, 45.7% of permanent residents who had been in Canada for less than ten years obtained citizenship – a notable drop from the 60 and 75.1 percent rates observed in 2016 and 2001.
Getting citizenship in the host country has many advantages for both immigrants and the local population. For instance, obtaining citizenship allows immigrants to vote, provides them the ability to influence politics, and may increase their economic opportunities. (Bratsberg, Ragan, and Nasir 2002; Hayfron 2008)
Among the major Western countries, Canada has one of the highest citizenship rates (the percentage of immigrants who become citizens) (Picot and Hou 2011). Data shows that, among recent Canadian immigrants, the rate has been dropping. This research explores the extent of this downward trend, the duration, and how it varies among different immigrant groups.
The analysis’s main focus, the citizenship rate among immigrants who have resided in Canada for 5 to 9 years, fell from a high of 75.4% in 1996 to a low of 60.4% in 2016. (Chart 1 and Table 2). 7.1 percentage points between 2011 and 2016 and 5.5 percentage points between 2006 and 2011 comprised the majority of this decline, which occurred in more recent intercensal years. The declines between 1996 and 2001 as well as between 2001 and 2006 were much less significant.
These are basic statistics, however different immigration groups may show different trends. The analysis focuses on the change in the citizenship rate among groups divided by family income, fluency in an official language, level of education, and source country or region to determine whether this is the case.
Permanent Residents in Canada
An immigrant to Canada who has been granted permanent residence status but is not a Canadian citizen is known as a permanent resident. People from other countries are permanent residents. While boarding a flight to Canada or traveling to Canada on any other commercial carrier, permanent residents (PRs) of Canada must have their valid PR card or permanent resident travel document (PRTD) with them.
What permanent residents in Canada can do?
You have the rights as a permanent resident to live, work, or study anywhere in Canada and get the majority of social benefits available to Canadian citizens, including health insurance, the right to protection under Canadian law, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by applying for citizenship.
You are required to abide by all federal, provincial, and local laws in Canada as well as pay taxes.
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