Those that choose to become Canadian citizens this year will have to pay more…why?
Well, for the second time in a year, the Conservative government has hiked the fee it charges to make someone a Canadian citizen.
The new fee for processing citizenship documents has been set at $530 as of January 1, 2015, up from the former new fee set back in February 2013 of $300.
The government has been anxious to increase our citizenship fees for some time, arguing that would-be citizens should be covering more of the associated costs with processing their applications.
In an analysis of the new fees, the Citizenship and Immigration Department says the higher fee will allow the government to recoup a majority of the $555 in costs.
The bottom line; the government estimates a total savings of $41 million it will not have to expend.
“While the analysis assumes that there will not be a significant reduction in overall demand for citizenship as a result of this fee increase, it is acknowledged that some people may have to delay their application to give them more time to save for the new fee,” the analysis says.
When citizenship-processing fees were first increased from $100 to $300 in February 2013, it was actually the first time an increase had been implemented since 1995.
The new fee structure is in addition to the $100 right-of-citizenship fee, which is recoverable if a citizenship application is not accepted.
The good news here is that anyone who applied for citizenship before January 1 2015 will pay the old fee.
The opposition felt that it was unfair to hike fees when people were waiting years to receive their citizenship, as the close of 2013 represented a backlog of close to 400,000 cases. Nonetheless, along with the new fees comes a promise by the government that they are making headway on cutting through this overwhelming pile of documents.
The Citizenship and Immigration Department also indicated that wait times for new citizens would be under one-year at some point within the next fiscal year.
NB: New fees to be paid by employers and open work permit applicants were also introduced on February 21, 2015.
Supporting Article Research Sources: Citizen and Immigration Dept – http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/fees/fees.asp#citizenship, The Province – http://www.theprovince.com/news/