This graphic shows changes to Canada’s citizenship decision-making process.
Canada’s previous decision-making model for citizenship applications was a three-step process: an application went from a citizenship officer to a citizenship judge and then went back to a citizenship officer. Under this model, we had a large backlog and more applications than we could process in a timely manner. As of February 2014, the average processing time was 24-36 months and the backlog was more than 320,000 applicants.
Thanks to Economic Action Plan 2013 funding and recent improvements to the citizenship program, Canada welcomed approximately 130,000 new citizens in the first six months of 2014 - more than double the number of new Canadians in the same time period in 2013.
Under the amended Citizenship Act, the decision-making model is a single-step process: applications will be processed by a citizenship officer. Under this model, we will see an even further reduced inventory of applicants and we will have the ability to process all applications in a timely manner. In 2015/16, processing times as expected to be less than one year and the inventory will be reduced to allow for real-time processing.