Appendix F: Citizenship Operational Statistics and Backlog

Citizenship Grants to New Canadians

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Applications Received (Est.)

227,520

242,400

232,960

208,800

223,040

317,440

New Canadian Citizens

199,866

176,567

156,342

143,595

181,288

113,111

Increase in inventory (backlog)

27,654

65,833

76,618

65,205

41,752

204,329

Ceremonies Completed

2,802

2,011

1,957

1,743

1,944

1,664

Average New Citizens per Ceremony

71

88

80

82

93

68

Source: CIC Operational Databases, 4th Quarter 2012. It is unclear what caused the jump in citizenship applications (from 223,000 to 317,000) in 2012, but clearly processing capacity also fell dramatically, from 181,000 to 113,000, or by 37 percent. Press accounts blame this for the increased fraud prevention measures, particularly residency determination, confirmed in the analysis in CIC Citizenship Management Quarterly Report, Second Quarter, FY 2012-13 (Operational Bulletin 407). $44 million was provided in Budget 2013 over two years to help address the backlog. See Citizenship application process blamed for growing wait list, CBC, 23 April 2013 and Immigration, Citizenship In Canada Budget 2013: Cost of Becoming a Canadian Set to Rise, Huffington Post, 21 March 2013.

Subsequent press accounts, based on ATIP release of internal CIC detailed operational management reports, also indicate that the introduction of new test questions and versions are another significant contributing factor. See More people failing revamped citizenship tests, CBC, 15 June 2013, based on the CIC Citizenship Management Quarterly Report, Second Quarter, FY 2012-13.

An additional factor may be the reductions in CIC’s regional network implemented in 2012 as part of the Department’s Strategic Review targets. 19 offices were closed. CIC Operational Bulletin 431 – In-Canada Office Closures and the Elimination of Front Counter Service, 1 June 2012.

Current processing times for Canadian citizenship are 25 months for routine applications, 35 for non-routine ones (Canadian citizenship, CIC website, June 2013). By comparison, Australia has a service standard of 60 calendar days, meeting this standard about 60 percent of the time (Citizenship program quarterly reports, Australia Department of Immigration and Citizenship website, quarterly report ending December 2012).

 

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