On March 11, 2009 I asked the following question of Minister Kenny:
Mr. Minister, how many people living and working in Canada do not have a Canadian citizenship? How many people have made application to come to Canada whom are still waiting for their applications to be processed? On an annual basis are there any restrictions as to the number of people Canada is prepared to enter our country?
These questions are respectfully submitted without prejudice.
On April 23, 2009 I received the following reply:
Dear Mr. Birkbeck:
I am replying to your e-mail of March 11, 2009, addressed to the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, regarding your questions about citizenship and immigration.
With regard to your first question, please see the table below for information from the 2006 Census on the number of persons living in Canada at the time of the census who were not Canadian citizens (total = 1,760,865). This includes 1,495,510 immigrants who report their citizenship as "other country" and all non-permanent residents (265,355). A breakdown by age has also been provided.
Persons living in Canada who are not Canadian citizens, by immigration status and age, Canada, 2006 Census
Source: 2006 Census Statistics Canada 97-564-XCB2006008
Total - not Non-permanent
Age Canadian citizens Immigrants residents*
Under 15 years 229,970 195,215 34,755
15 to 24 years 250,230 184,110 66,115
25 to 44 years 757,650 632,095 125,560
45 to 54 years 228,385 206,755 21,630
55 to 64 years 149,520 140,220 9,295
65 years and over 145,115 137,115 8,005
Total - Canada 1,760,865 1,495,510 265,355
* Non-permanent residents include persons in Canada as temporary residents at the time of the census (i.e., persons with a work or study permit or who were refugee claimants, and family members living in Canada with them).
To be eligible for Canadian citizenship, immigrants must meet several requirements, including at least three years of residency in Canada and knowledge of an official language. They may also be required to take a knowledge test.
The vast majority of foreign-born people who were eligible for Canadian citizenship chose to become Canadian. In 2006, 85.1 percent of eligible foreign-born people were Canadian citizens.
Those who had been in Canada the longest were the most likely to hold Canadian citizenship, as they had had more time to make the decision to apply for it. The vast majority (94.1 percent) who arrived before 1961 had Canadian citizenship. Similarly, 89.1 percent of those who came in the 1960s and 1970s had become naturalized citizens. The proportion of naturalized citizens was lower (84.1 percent) among those who arrived in the 1990s.
When asked about their citizenship intention six months after landing in Canada, the vast majority (91 percent) of the respondents in the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada expressed their intent to settle in Canada permanently and become Canadian citizens. Four years later, 15 percent of the newcomers who were interviewed once again had obtained Canadian citizenship.
As of December 31, 2008, there were 997,000 people who had made an application to come to Canada as a permanent resident who were still waiting for a final decision on their application.
On November 28, 2008, the Minister Kenney announced that Canada will welcome between 240,000 and 265,000 new permanent residents in 2009, the same range as in 2007 and 2008.
Rather than set a maximum limit, every Fall the Government of Canada sets a planning range for the number of permanent admissions Canada expects to welcome in the upcoming year. The overall planning range comprises separate planning ranges for the four broad categories of immigration to Canada: economic, family, protected persons and "other" (e.g., those selected on humanitarian and compassionate grounds). In setting these ranges the Government of Canada must strike a balance among the economic, family and humanitarian objectives of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. At the same time, several other factors must be considered, such as the operational capacity to process applications.
Canada does not set a planning range for temporary residents. Applications for temporary residence are processed on a priority basis as they are received.
Thank you for taking the time to write. I trust that the information provided is of assistance.
Ministerial Enquiries Division