free citizenship
free citizenship
Justin Trudeau on the campaign trail. Via @CBC

In case you haven’t heard, Canada is having a federal election on October 21. The leaders of Canada’s major political parties are travelling all over Canada trying their best to get people to vote for them, making promises to make their lives better under their leadership. For example, the current prime minister, Justin Trudeau is promising free citizenship if he is reelected.



YOU GET FREE CITIZENSHIP, AND YOU GET FREE CITIZENSHIP!

Trudeau, leader of Canada’s Liberal Party, is promising to eliminate the application fee associated with Canadian citizenship.

Advocates have called the application fee as a barrier for a lot of Newcomers to Canada, including Filipinos.

The Liberal Party released its platform recently, making a promise to make Canadian citizenship more affordable to Newcomers.

The plan to eliminate the application fee is estimated to cost the Government of Canada CAD400 million over the next four years.



CITIZENSHIP ALLOWS IMMIGRANTS TO FULLY PARTICIPATE IN CANADIAN SOCIETY

The Liberal Party said that “”Becoming a citizen allows new immigrants to fully participate in Canadian society and the process of granting citizenship is a government service, not something that should be paid for with a user fee. To make citizenship more affordable, we will make the application process free for those who have fulfilled the requirements needed to obtain it.”

Presently, Permanent Resident must pay CAD530.00 (PHP20,825.18) per adult.

There’s also a Right to Citizenship fee, which is another CAD100.00 (PhP3,929.28).

Payment of these fees is seen as a challenge for a lot of Newcomers who would like to apply to become Canadian citizens.

Becoming a Canadian citizenship is a goal many Newcomers to Canada have in mind, including Filipinos.



CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP HAS MANY BENEFITS

Canadian citizens have many benefits over permanent residents, including being to apply for Canadian passports. They are also allowed to vote in elections.

There are others experts who disagree with the idea of free citizenship, saying that no other Western country offers free citizenship.

The Government of Canada relaxed citizenship regulations in 2017, lessening the amount of time Permanent Residents need to be in Canada before they can apply.

They also lowered the age range for both language and Canadian knowledge requirements.

Ahmed Hussen, minister for immigration said that the idea to do away with the citizenship fees were because of extensive consultations with the public.

“We heard from groups across the country who have said that the prohibitive fees were stopping families from finally becoming Canadian. Currently, the cost of applying for citizenship for an average family of four is almost $1,500,” Hussen said in a statement to the CBC.




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