By Adiba Hasan

As autumn settles in, Canada is steadily progressing toward its immigration targets for the year. The latest update from the ICC Immigration Dashboard indicates that IRCC has achieved 65% of its target for new Permanent Residents (PR) for 2023.

January – July Actual: 303,805

PR Applications Received

According to IRCC operational data, the number of PR applications received has been below average since June, when IRCC received only 20,836 applications, dropping from 41,430 PR applications received in May. July trended even lower to 17,770 PR applications.* While the overall number of PR applications received in 2023 are higher than in 2022, June and July 2023 experienced the lowest number of applications received.

*Note: IRCC operational data for permanent resident applications is preliminary and is subject to change

Immigration Category

The ICC Immigration Dashboard shows the trends in admission numbers among the different immigration categories. Despite the backlogs, all categories have reached over 50% of IRCC’s target immigration levels. The Economic and Family categories stand out, with more than 60% of permanent residents admitted. Additionally, the Refugees and Other categories are not far behind, admitting 57% and 58% respectively.

Application Backlog

IRCC has implemented a transparent tracking system to keep the public informed about their backlogs and inventories. Currently, IRCC is managing more than 2.3 million applications, out of which 35% of applications are in backlog and the remaining 65% are within the service standard.

The applications in backlog do not receive uniform attention. Citizenship applications have been the quickest to process, reducing the proportion of applications in backlog from 27% in June 2023 to 23% currently. In contrast, permanent residence applications were at a 48% backlog in June, reducing only to 46% currently. Temporary Residence Visa applications have consistently maintained a 33% backlog since July.

Invitation to Apply (ITAs)

Express Entry is a system that IRCC utilizes to select candidates that best fit specific economic immigration programs to apply for permanent residence. Express Entry encompasses Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, Canadian Experience Class, and part of the Provincial Nominee Programs.

Earlier in 2023, IRCC garnered attention for issuing a record number of Invitations to Apply (ITAs). However, as the department advances toward its annual PR targets, ITA issuance has declined. After a sharp drop in May, where only 5,389 ITAs were issued, June and July witnessed consistent issuance of 9,600 ITAs, followed by a slight dip to 8,600 ITAs in August. French-Language Proficiency candidates received the highest number of ITAs, constituting 25% of the total ITAs issued between June and August.

After a month-long pause of ITA issuance since August 15th, IRCC confirmed that the draw would restart, which took place on September 19th, issuing 3200 ITAs.

Month (2023)ITA Number
June (8th, 27th, 28th)9600
July (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 11th, 12th)9600
August (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 15th)8600
September (19th)3200

While Canada remains a beacon for hopeful immigrants worldwide, it is essential to acknowledge and address the domestic issues and perceptions that might deter potential immigrants. The rhetoric surrounding international students and the potential consequences of decreasing immigration levels requires us to ponder whether these measures might have unforeseen repercussions.

We welcome you to share your insights, experiences, and perspectives on this multifaceted issue.

Explore the latest data on permanent resident admissions and new citizens by visiting our immigration dashboard. At the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, we are dedicated to unlocking Canada for newcomers. Through initiatives like Canoo and our ongoing research projects, including the immigration dashboard, we strive to create opportunities and foster collaboration in support of Canada’s diverse and vibrant immigrant community.

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By Adiba Hasan

Mid-Year Check: Permanent Residents

Canada, recently rated as the second-best country in the world, is well on its way to achieving its target of welcoming 465,000 permanent residents in 2023. According to the latest data in the ICC Citizenship and Immigration Dashboard, Canada has reached 56% of its goal, admitting 263,175 permanent residents.

January – June Actual: 263,175
Mid-Year Check: Citizenship

While PR numbers are on track with the targets set out in the latest immigration levels plan, citizenship numbers are down compared to 2022. Halfway into 2023, Canada has admitted 177,415 citizens (check out ICC Immigration Dashboard).

Citizens admitted 2023 (Jan-June Actual): 177,415

In comparison to the same time period in 2022, Canada had admitted 187,540 citizens, indicating that citizenship processing is down 5.3%. On a monthly level from May to June 2023, citizenship numbers dropped by 12%, from 42,537 to 34,474 respectively.

International Students amidst Canadian political debates

Notwithstanding the recent progress against the targets set out in the latest immigration levels plan, debates have erupted over the impact of high levels of immigration to Canada on key services and infrastructure, with housing featuring prominently. The debate has expanded to include temporary categories of immigration, in particular international students. In 2022, Canada hosted 549,260 international students, the largest cohort in Canada’s history. This year, Canada has already admitted 289,875 international students according to IRCC data, well on its way to hosting 900,000 international students altogether.

As governments grapple with housing solutions, international students have become unwitting pawns in domestic political debates. In a CBC article, Isaac Garcia-Sitton, the executive director of international student enrolment, education and inclusion at Toronto Metropolitan University stated, “Canada’s established policies, systems and processes are not strategic in scope and lack an emphasis on student well-being — favouring the recruitment of international students but not necessarily their transition or settlement once they arrive”. This issue extends beyond the international student experience to the process of transitioning to permanent residence, and eventually, on to citizenship.

Proportion of PGWP holders who became PR in 2022

Data show that international students play a crucial role in Canada’s labour market, but many also go on to build long-term futures in Canada as permanent residents. Statistics Canada reported that among the 2008 cohort of international students who were in Canada on Post-Graduate Work Permits (PGWP), 73% had become permanent residents by their 10th year in Canada. In 2022, 53,725 Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) holders transitioned to becoming permanent residents, representing 12% of the 437,120 PRs admitted last year (check the ICC Immigration and Citizenship Dashboard). International students are not only a source of domestically trained talent, they are future PRs and some eventually become citizens who vote, vocalize and shape the public discourse in Canada.

Canada’s immigration landscape in 2023 is characterized by both promise and challenge. International students not only enrich the country’s labour force but also contribute to the future of the country by building their futures here as permanent residents. However, the housing crisis remains a pressing issue that demands comprehensive solutions, and policies must evolve to prioritize the well-being of all immigrants, including new permanent residents and international students. In addition, better data needs to be gathered to track the proportion of international students who become permanent residents in Canada, and furthermore, to track the number who go on to become citizens. Questions remain as to whether international students are at the forefront of the government’s mind as they build frameworks and policies such as the “Trusted Institution Framework“.

Your insights and opinions on these critical matters are valuable. We invite you to share your thoughts and join the conversation on the future of immigration policies in Canada.

Take a look at our immigration dashboard for the latest numbers on PR admissions and new citizens.

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By Adiba Hasan

Canada remains on track to welcome 465,000 new permanent residents in 2023, having already hit 47% of its target by May. While April saw a temporary dip in the number of PRs admitted (likely related to the Public Service Alliance of Canada strike action), May saw a resurgence with 45,825 new permanent residents welcomed into the country.

Debates on immigration levels have bubbled to the surface in recent weeks, particularly in relation to its impact on housing affordability. The political significance of this debate was made all the more evident in the recent cabinet reshuffle as Minister Sean Fraser — the Minster responsible for setting current immigration levels — was moved from IRCC to Housing Infrastructure and Communities. With the introduction of Marc Miller (former Minister of Indigenous Services) as Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the debate continues over how to balance immigration levels with adequate housing supply for a growing population. In particular, with labour shortages afoot, who will build the housing required to accommodate this growth? As Canada adapts its immigration categories and embraces new selection methods, the ICC Citizenship and Immigration Dashboard serves as a reliable resource, keeping the public informed about the latest trends in immigration.

January – May Actual: 220,810

Invitation to Apply: 2023

In May 2023, the former Minister of IRCC, the Honorable Sean Fraser, introduced a category-based selection approach to prioritize skilled immigrants in specific areas of need in Canada. The new categories established as part of this strategy are the following:

  • French-language proficiency
  • Healthcare occupations
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) occupations
  • Trade occupations
  • Transport occupations
  • Agriculture and agri-food occupations

The first call to apply for PR as part of the new immigration pathways under Express Entry focused on admitting immigrants with experience in the trades, STEM occupations, and French language proficiency. This year, IRCC pledged to welcome 82,880 immigrants under the Express Entry system and already issued 73,448 Invitations to Apply (ITAs).

The highest draws were from the general express entry pool without any specific category, accounting for 56,400 ITAs. The rest of the categories make up 23% of the total ITAs issued in 2023, 6,900 ITAs for French Proficiency, 3,300 ITAs for Foreign Skilled Worker Program, 2,648 ITAs for Provincial nominees, 2,000 ITAs for Healthcare, 1,500 ITAs for Trades, and 500 ITAs for STEM.

As we wait for the Prime Minister to issue his mandate letter for the new cabinet, Minister Marc Miller has expressed that to address the shortage of skilled trades workers, it is imperative to be focusing on the new Trades category. In the coming months, close attention will be paid to how this immigration category impacts Canadian labour demand.

PR Admissions per Province: May

As Canada progresses towards its PR admissions target, provinces have experienced uneven trends.

Quebec saw a decline in PRs admitted since the beginning of the year. The province admitted 5,995 PRs in January, but as the year progressed, the province saw a drop in April, admitting 3,310 PRs. In May, Quebec admitted 3,555 PRs, but as the province toughened its immigration policies to make French language proficiency mandatory for almost all economic immigrants, it is yet to be seen how the numbers of PRs admitted are affected. However, economists indicate that the province will see labour shortages as companies will find it difficult to attract international talent partly due to the strong emphasis on French across permanent and temporary immigration streams.

The Atlantic Provinces started the year on a high note, but Newfoundland and PEI have since seen a fall in PR admissions. In January 2023, Newfoundland admitted 1,085 PRs, and PEI admitted 640 PRs. Fast forward to April, these provinces admitted 405 PRs and 300 PRs, respectively. As they strive for economic growth and development, attracting and retaining skilled immigrants becomes crucial.

Given the prevailing debates around immigration and housing across Canada, the introduction and prioritization of new categories for Express Entry raise interesting and significant questions: can category-based selection actually deliver against the labour shortages being experienced in the trades, STEM and healthcare sectors? Does Quebec’s new approach to francophone immigration pose risks to the province’s social and cultural cohesion, particularly amongst those outside of the francophone community? Our goal is to foster meaningful discussions about immigration and citizenship in Canada – share your thoughts with us!

Take a look at our immigration dashboard for the latest numbers on PR admissions and new citizens.

You can learn more about the ICC here. Join the conversation and be part of building a more inclusive Canada.

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By Adiba Hasan

Canada’s population hit 40 million people in June 2023, representing the fastest population growth (2.7%) among G7 countries. The country plans to welcome 465,000 permanent residents (PRs) in 2023, while annual PR targets are set to hit 500,000 in 2025.

Increasing immigration levels have been accompanied by a surge in public debates about Canada’s ability to accommodate a growing number of immigrants. As the Canadian government pursues strategies to nurture both population and economic growth, the importance of having access to immigration data is becoming increasingly important. ICC’s Citizenship and Immigration Dashboard is a publicly-available tool that provides up-to-date access to the most recent trends. Here is the latest monthly analysis of new permanent resident admissions and new citizens in 2023.

Citizens admitted 2023: 100,161
PRs admitted 2023: 174,545

IRCC Backlog

IRCC continues to face backlogs despite efforts to manage a growing number of applications. Overall, IRCC has 820,000 applications in backlog, comprising 429,000 temporary residence applications, 308,000 permanent residence applications, and 83,000 citizenship grant applications. In 2022, IRCC finalized 5.2 million applications. While the aim was to reduce the backlog, in June 2023, there was a slight increase in applications falling outside of service standards, from 800,000 to 820,000 applications.

An earlier analysis of our Citizenship and Immigration Dashboard predicted that the PSAC strike would contribute to a rise in the backlog of immigration applications, with Immigration Minister Sean Fraser acknowledging that approximately 100,000 decisions were not processed during the strike. While processing times have decreased for certain application paths, the processing of citizenship applications still takes about 19 months, and the processing time for permanent residence through the Federal Economic Class takes 20 to 24 months.

Citizenship versus Permanent Residence in 2023

The number of citizens and permanent residents admitted at the beginning of the year hit record highs but the trend saw a sharp decline in April 2023 (see our Citizenship and Immigration Dashboard for a visualization). Between March and April 2023, there was a 39% decrease in the number of permanent residents admitted in Canada and a 46% decrease in the number of new citizens admitted.

This decline could be caused by backlogs in processing applications, however, data acquired from IRCC also show that 2023 saw a notable decline in the number of citizens admitted since 2022.

Canadian Citizens Admission

The table shows fluctuations in the number of citizens admitted since 2019 in the period of January to April. Between January to April of 2023, IRCC admitted 100,161 new citizens, indicating a significant 20% decrease compared to the previous year. The data reveal that PR and Citizenship admissions have been low, but citizenship admissions in April were the lowest since 2020 when the pandemic began.

Year (January-April)New Citizens Admitted

Top 3 Source Countries in April 2023

The ICC’s Citizenship and Immigration Dashboard shows that India is the top source country for both new citizens and permanent resident admission, amounting to 3,130 new Canadian citizens and 9,275 permanent residents of Indian origin in April 2023. The Philippines (1,315) and Nigeria (644) follow after India for new citizens admitted, and China (1,770) and the Philippines (1,415) follow after India for permanent residents admitted. Although the following data represents a snapshot for April, a notable trendline can be observed in the Citizenship and Immigration Dashboard, indicating a decline in the number of admitted citizens and permanent residents (PRs) compared to the earlier months in 2023.

Top 3 Country of Origin for New Citizens

In April, there was a noticeable decline in overall citizenship numbers leading to a decline in the number of citizens from the respective countries above. When compared to March 2023, these were the following declining rates:

  • India: citizens admitted in April was a 46% decline from those admitted in March 2023.
  • Philippines: citizens admitted in April was a 53% decline from those admitted in March 2023.
  • Nigeria: citizens admitted in April was a 57% decline from those admitted in March 2023.
Top 3 Country of Origin for New Permanent Residents

In April, there was a noticeable decline in overall permanent residence numbers leading to a decline in the number of PRs from the respective countries above. When compared to March 2023, these were the following declining rates:

  • India: PRs admitted in April were a 38% decline from those admitted in March 2023.
  • Philippines: PRs admitted in April was a 39% decline from those admitted in March 2023.
  • China: PRs admitted in April were a 40% decline from those admitted in March 2023.

As Canada navigates the nuances of immigration targets, it is vital to reflect on public policy challenges and opportunities. How can Canada address concerns related to housing and strained healthcare systems while continuing to attract and retain skilled immigrants? What measures can be taken to ensure the long-term satisfaction and integration of recent permanent residents? Share your thoughts and perspectives on these questions and join the conversation on Canada’s immigration policies.

Take a look at our immigration dashboard for updated numbers of PRs and citizens.

You can learn more about the ICC here. Join the conversation and be part of building a more inclusive Canada.

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By Adiba Hasan

Minister of Immigration, Sean Fraser, recently introduced category-based selection within its Express Entry program for permanent residence. This new approach aims to “issue invitations to apply to prospective permanent residents with specific skills, training or language ability“. The objective is to meet labour needs in vital sectors such as healthcare, STEM, trades, transportation, agriculture, and agri-food. Additionally, the selection process intends to foster the growth of the francophone community by prioritizing immigrants who are proficient in French.

Canada aims to admit 465,000 permanent residents in 2023. The most recent data that is available on our Citizenship and Immigration Dashboard shows that IRCC has already achieved 30% of the PR number target for the year.

January – March Actual: 145,215

Invitation to Apply (ITAs)

In the past few months, IRCC attracted headlines for issuing a record-setting number of invitations to apply (ITAs) via Express Entry for permanent residence. The latest round of ITAs were sent on May 24th. The breakdown of monthly ITA draws from the Express Entry pool since the start of 2023 are below:

Month (2023)ITA Number
March 21,000

While IRCC made headlines for issuing a significant number of ITAs in January and March, numbers for the rest of the year remain unclear.

Permanent Residence numbers in 2023

The ICC’s Citizenship and Immigration Dashboard tracks citizenship and permanent resident numbers since 2018. In 2023 so far, Canada admitted 145,215 permanent residents, with January accounting for the highest number of admissions at 50,885. Subsequent months have seen a moderate decrease in the number of admissions.







In March, the majority of permanent residents admitted came through the Economic-Federal category, amounting to 17,000 admissions. Economic-PNP dropped from 13,145 in February to 9,525 in March. The Family category also saw a drop, where permanent residents number dropped from 11,055 in February to 9,890 in March. The Other and Refugees categories displayed a steady increase in admitting permanent residents through these streams.

Permanent Residence Target in 2023465,000
PR Admissions: January50,885
PR Admissions: February49,550
PR Admissions: March44,780

Permanent Resident Admissions by Province: March Data

Provincially, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan experienced growth in the number of permanent resident admissions, while Nova Scotia experienced a decline.

Snapshot: Quebec

Quebec, with its unique immigration system, plays a significant role in Canada’s immigration landscape. The newly announced category-based selection for Express Entry emphasizes attracting immigrants with French proficiency. This approach aligns with Quebec’s objective of safeguarding the declining population of French speakers in the region.

In 2023, Quebec plans to welcome a total of 52,500 permanent residents, with 16,040 individuals already admitted thus far. Notably, the Economic stream accounts for 65% of the overall target, and out of the 16,040 admissions, 9,790 permanent residents have been admitted through this stream.

As we explore the data, it is evident that substantial progress has been made towards the goal of admitting 465,000 permanent residents by the end of 2023. The recent announcement of category-based selection within the Express Entry program with a focus on attracting French-speaking immigrants reflects the government’s efforts to address labour shortages and bolster the francophone community.

However, some are questioning whether prioritizing French-speaking immigrants through the new selection process aligns with the evolving linguistic landscape of Canada. Data from Statistics Canada indicate that “English-French bilingualism has increased by more than 11 percentage points“.

Share your thoughts and perspective with us! Do you think the new category-based approach for Express Entry sufficiently addresses Canada’s diverse labour needs? What are the potential consequences of such an approach? How can we ensure that a category-based selection process remains fair and equitable?

Take a look at our immigration dashboard for updated numbers of PRs and citizens and add your voice to the conversation (our social media links are below).

You can learn more about the ICC here. Join the conversation and be part of building a more inclusive Canada.

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By Adiba Hasan

In an era of global mobility, the concept of citizenship has stood as a cornerstone of belonging and identity. In February 2023, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship released new StatCan data revealing a steep decline in the number of recent immigrants choosing to become citizens. We found that only 45.7% of eligible permanent residents naturalized within 10 years — a 40% decline for this cohort since 2001.

But how does Canada compare to other countries? As part of our ongoing efforts to explore what might be behind the decline, this article seeks to benchmark Canadian naturalization patterns with available data and information from other peer nations.

Peer country comparisons

Data on immigration is critical for understanding the dynamics of naturalization, as is an understanding of the rules governing citizenship eligibility. Immigration data availability and eligibility criteria differ across jurisdictions. The following table provides a breakdown of key details related to citizenship across five peer countries, including Canada.

Country Residency Time Required Prior to CitizenshipLegal Status Prior to CitizenshipDual Nationality AllowedStatistics Office Immigration Office
Australia4 YearsPermanent ResidentYesAustralian Bureau of StatisticsDepartment of Home Affairs;
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
Canada3 of 5 YearsPermanent ResidentYesStatistics CanadaImmigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
France5 YearsPermanent ResidenceYesMinistry of Interior – Ministerial Statistical Office of ImmigrationThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs
United Kingdom5 YearsIndefinite leave to remain/settlementYesOffice of National StatisticsHome Office
United States5 Years Lawful Permanent Resident/ Greencard HolderYesOffice of Immigration StatisticsDepartment of Homeland Security; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
This table shows a comparison of naturalization requirements and relevant government departments in Australia, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

While there are certain distinctions, the table reveals a number of similarities across jurisdictions, which makes them interesting from a comparative perspective. Here are some key highlights:

  1. Overall, residency requirements for citizenship are similar across the five countries; Canada and Australia have slightly shorter residency requirements by comparison.
  2. Permanent residency is a common prerequisite for citizenship across all countries.
  3. All of the peer countries allow dual nationality.
  4. Each country has designated statistical and immigration offices responsible for gathering and managing immigration-related data. The United States is the only country that does not have a dedicated Statistics office but rather the main government departments have branches that are responsible for immigration-related data.

Benchmarking challenges – data consistency and availability

During this analysis, we discovered that data on citizenship uptake is released at different intervals and through different statistics offices, depending on the country. In particular, it was not possible to find consistent cohort-based naturalization trends across the different countries (eg. comparative naturalization rates for permanent residents who arrived less than ten years ago). Accordingly, we had to take a longer view in order to compare naturalization rates, looking at overall naturalization rates for all immigrants.

Trends in the naturalization rate (OECD data)

Very few recent studies have looked at comparative naturalization rates. One organization in particular, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) consolidates and tracks naturalization data from all of its member countries, with the most recent data coming from 2017. These naturalization rates reflect the proportion (%) of immigrants who acquired citizenship within their respective “host country”. The following table shows comparative rates between 2006-7 and 2017.

CountryNaturalization (%) 2006-07Naturalization (%) 2017
United Kingdom68.158.1
United States of America6262.3
OECD Total66.862.8
EU Total67.858.6
The table provides a comparative analysis of naturalization rates in selected OECD countries, highlighting the changes over a decade from 2006-2007 to 2017.

In 2006-2007 Australia had a naturalization rate of 81.7%, while France and the United Kingdom had naturalization rates of 64.9% and 68.1%, respectively. The United States had a lower naturalization rate among the selected countries with only 62% of immigrants becoming citizens.

By 2017, Australia managed to maintain a relatively consistent naturalization rate (81.4%), and the rate in the United States also remained relatively stable, albeit lower compared to its peers (62.3%).

Naturalization is decreasing across OECD member countries and the EU

The 2017 data for the rest of the peer countries, including the overall rates for the OECD and the EU, show a notable decline in naturalization rates. France had a decrease of 5.3 percentage points with a rate of 59.6%, and the rate for the United Kingdom fell 10 percentage points to 58.1%. Naturalization across all OECD members decreased 4 percentage points from 66.8% in 2006-2007 to 62.8% in 2017, and across the EU it declined almost 10 percentage points from 67.8% to 58%. Generally speaking, the data show that naturalization rates have declined across the peer countries as a whole.

Naturalization in Canada was stable, but is now trending downward

OECD data show that Canada has maintained a stable and relatively high overall naturalization rate over the examined period. However, more recent data from Statistics Canada show a different story; Canada’s overall naturalization rate has declined significantly in recent years.

All Immigrants81.
Adult Immigrants81.683.784.585.786.386.281.7
Adult Immigrants arrived 5-9 years ago68.675.475.173.067.560.445.7
Source: Statistics Canada, “Trends in the Citizenship Rate Among New Immigrants to Canada” by Feng Hou and Garnett Picot; 2021 citizenship rates were specifically provided to the ICC by Statistics Canada

According to the 2021 census, only 80.7% of eligible permanent residents overall have chosen to become citizens. This high-level trend in Canada’s overall naturalization rate is all the more troubling given that the rate among recent immigrants has sunk to 45.7%.

Annual figures: Citizenship acquisition (OECD data)

When it comes to the number of people acquiring citizenship (rather than the proportion of all immigrants), the United States consistently recorded the highest number of citizenship acquisitions between 2010 and 2020, with a peak of 843,593 in 2019.

Canadian citizenship acquisition numbers fluctuated throughout the period, with a peak of 259,274 in 2014. The United Kingdom also experienced fluctuations in its numbers, reaching a peak of 208,021 in 2013. (NOTE: You can track up-to-date monthly data on new Canadian citizens and permanent residents by visiting our Citizenship and Immigration Dashboard. Click here).

Australia and France had lower overall numbers compared to Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Australia experienced fluctuations throughout the period, while France saw a relatively stable number of acquisitions of nationality.

Key takeaway: Naturalization rates are in decline in many places

Despite fluctuations in the number of people becoming citizens, this analysis reveals that overall naturalization rates are in decline in many places beyond Canada.

The Canadian government has launched some initiatives to promote the value and benefits of Canadian citizenship such as streamlining the citizenship application process and simplifying the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship applicants. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is no clear government strategy aimed at pushing against declining naturalization rates in Canada.

Other countries are acting.

The United States, for example, has established the Interagency Strategy for Promoting Naturalization, an initiative that aims to address low naturalization rates by bringing together various government agencies to enhance outreach and education efforts to provide assistance to people who are eligible to become citizens.

Moving forward, it will be crucial for countries like Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia to continue exploring innovative strategies to reverse the decline in naturalization rates and encourage eligible individuals to embrace citizenship.

You can learn more about the ICC here. Join the conversation and be part of building a more inclusive Canada.

More than 1.7 million permanent residents and 1.1 million new citizens have been admitted to Canada since 2018. Last year, Canada admitted 431,645 permanent residents, making it the largest number of people admitted in a year in Canadian history.

Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan aims to admit an even more ambitious number of 465,000 permanent residents in 2023. Based on the most recently available data, the Citizenship and Immigration Dashboard shows that IRCC has already hit 20% of the PR number target for 2023.

January+February Actual: 100,435

For those following the news on immigration in Canada, there have been a lot of record-setting headlines related to permanent resident admissions. For example, IRCC issued a record-breaking 11,000 express entry invitations in January 2023, only to break this record again in March 2023, inviting 21,000 candidates to apply for PR. Here is a short report on what Permanent Resident admissions in 2023 is starting out like.

Permanent Residence 2018-2023

Based on the Citizenship and Immigration Dashboard, the PR levels were mostly impacted during the Covid-19 pandemic and seem to be getting back on the average increase by 2022. We are yet to see what the percentage increase or decrease looks like at the end of 2023.













Permanent Residence in 2023

January 2023 set a record number where 50,885 PRs were admitted in Canada, followed by 49,550 PRs in February. Most PRs admitted were through the Economic-PNP (28,450) and Economic-Federal (32,560) while the Family stream (line in pink) also saw a significant uptick, admitting 23,755 PRs.

Permanent Residence Target in 2023465,000
PR Admissions: January50,885
PR Admissions: February49,550

Permanent Residence by Province: 12-month comparison

In 2023, Ontario (40,860) and British Columbia (17,500) were the top 2 immigration destinations, while Alberta (11,785) and Quebec (11,085) headed with each other.

Regionally, Newfoundland in Atlantic Canada admitted 1,590 PRs, Quebec and Ontario trended steady inflows of PRs (see Citizenship and Immigration Dashboard), following the Prairies, Alberta experienced an increase in admitting 11,785 PRs (50% increase from last year), and in the north, Yukon PR numbers jumped from admitting an average of 30 PRs monthly to having 105 PRs in January and 170 PRs in February (160% increase from January and February of 2022).

While IRCC is meeting the immigration targets, the success rate could experience a dip due to the PSAC strike, where more than 155,000 government employees are participating, and immigration services are expected to face extensive delays. IRCC has not indicated how the strike will affect PR processing time and we are yet to see how the PR levels will unfold in the coming months.

Do you think this halt in immigration services will create a similar backlog that Canada faced due to the pandemic? What changes need to be implemented to create an immigration system where immigrant applicants aren’t adversely affected every time there is a shock or a stop in the process? How might this be affecting prospective immigrants’ views of Canada?

Take a look at our immigration dashboard for updated numbers of PRs and citizens and add your voice to the conversation (our social media links are below).

You can learn more about the ICC here. Join the conversation and be part of building a more inclusive Canada.

Interested in following us? Please sign up here for more updates from Ideas & Insights at ICC.
Be sure to keep a lookout for our next monthly ICC Immigration Dashboard analysis

By Adiba Hasan

Globally, Canada is a known immigration destination. Domestically, significant political and public attention is given to Canada’s target immigration levels, but also the challenges newcomers face after their arrival. In general, little attention tends to be given to the number of immigrants choosing to become Canadian citizens. The ICC recently published 2021 data from Statistics Canada revealing citizenship rates among recent adult immigrants have decreased drastically over time. The data from 2021 show that only 45.7% of permanent residents became citizens within 10 years – a 40% decline in the naturalization rate for this cohort since 2001.

45.7% PR’S became citizens within 10 years
40% DECLINE IN naturalization since 2001

This decline raises questions about the value of Canadian citizenship. Why are so many PR holders deciding not become citizens after they are eligible?

A recent federal government proposal could potentially change the way that citizenship ceremonies are administered, factors that the ICC’s co-founder, The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson argues will contribute to an overall decrease in the desirability of Canadian citizenship. The decline of the naturalization rate is worrisome for Canada due to our dependence on immigration for population growth but also cultural dynamism. It further raises questions about how Canada is perceived amongst recent newcomers.

Given the significant decline in the proportion of newcomers becoming citizens, the ICC will be exploring the reasons behind the decline in naturalization rates. Until then, this analysis is based on the Citizenship and Immigration Dashboard that explores citizenship and permanent residence levels over the past few years.

Citizenship Comparison: 2018 – 2022

The trend lines in our Citizenship and Immigration Dashboard depict a steady increase in immigration levels, except for the significant drop in 2020 caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. As IRCC revamped and powered through significant backlogs, 2022 experienced the highest citizenship numbers with an uptick in March where Canada received 41,678 new citizens.

Overall in 2022, the citizenship numbers started off weak but ended on a strong note as Canada welcomed 369,153 new Canadian citizens (see top 15 source countries below), a significant rise since 2021 when only 136,732 Canadian citizens were granted. It’s important to note that while the annual figures below show a generally positive trend in the number of new citizens each year, the overall proportion of permanent residents becoming citizens is in decline.











Citizenship versus Permanent Residence in 2022

As IRCC reported, 2022 ended on a high note with a record number of permanent residents as seen in the graph below. However, the number of permanent residents becoming citizens has not received much attention. This chart shows the increased levels of permanent residents in 2022, but citizenship numbers are lower in comparison. While June, July, and September saw a high admission of permanent residents, citizenship numbers were lower than in the other months.

Citizenship by Source Country (2018-2022)

The Citizenship and Immigration Dashboard, which is built on a 2018 baseline, shows trends in the number of new Canadian citizens by source country. The chart below shows the Top 15 source countries, where the lowest source country (Bangladesh) had more than 5,000 new Canadian citizens admitted. India and the Philippines have ranked as the top countries of origin for the past 5 years, while the United States, Pakistan, Iran, and China have closely leveled with one another over the years.

As the ICC continues its exploration of the decline in naturalization rates, do you have a perspective on why fewer permanent residents are choosing to become Canadian citizens? Take a look at our immigration dashboard for updated numbers of PRs and citizens (January 2023 saw the highest number of PRs admitted), and add your voice to the conversation (our social media links are below)!

You can learn more about the ICC here. Join the conversation and be part of building a more inclusive Canada.

Be sure to keep a lookout for our next monthly ICC Immigration Dashboard analysis

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According to Statistics Canada, over 7 million women living in Canada were born outside of the country, and in 2022, IRCC welcomed 242,884 female permanent residents, 52% of the total new permanent residents.

In our very own Canoo domain, women also make up 52% of the Canoo member base and in celebration of International Women’s Day, this Canoo Insights Report looks at the usage of Canoo by Canoo women members.

Main takeaways from this report:

Recap: What is a Canoo Insights Report?

Canoo Insights Report is a quarterly series started by Ideas & Insights at the Institute for Canadian Citizenship that sheds light on our Canoo Access Pass program. Through these quarterly reports, we hope to:

  1. Give readers a sense of the Canoo program
  2. Reveal the impact of Canoo on its diverse members
  3. Provide a glimpse into the moving parts of the Canoo program that make it the biggest welcome network in Canada

Here are some highlights about Canoo:

$45+ million

in value delivered


newcomers have participated

65K +

newcomers currently active on Canoo

Canoo Members since 2018: 222,280

Women Members since 2018: 94,950

222,280 people have become Canoo members since Canoo transitioned from a paper pass into a mobile app in 2018. Since then, Canoo has served 94,950 women.

There are 65,690 currently active Canoo members participating in the program within their 12 months of access (a 25% increase from the previous Canoo Insight Report), and 33,226 of the currently active Canoo members are women.

Gender Distribution of Active Canoo Members

Visits by Canoo Women members

When a Canoo member visits a place or participates in an activity through the app, we refer to it as a “check-in“. Since May 2022, Canoo members have made 78,460 check-ins at places across the country. Women have made up slightly more than 50% of the check-ins.

Check-ins by Canoo women members since May 2022: 40,440

Canoo Women Member Check-ins by Status
  • A majority of women member check-ins have been made by citizens. Canoo was originally available only to new citizens and in May 2022, permanent residents became eligible to join Canoo.

Time of Day Check-in by Canoo Women Members
  • Majority of Canoo women members (55%) check-in in the evening, while 44% check-in in the afternoon. The morning is not popular among our Canoo members and only 59 women checked in the morning.

Dollar Value Delivered by Canoo

Canoo delivers significant value to members by offering heavily discounted or free access to events, places, and lots of activities across Canada. According to a recent survey of 5,000 Canoo members (of which 54% were women), approximately 45% of members express that affordability is the most significant barrier they face when accessing activities.

$ 2,643,452

overall value saved by all Canoo members since May 2022

$ 1,373,045

overall value saved by Canoo Women members since May 2022

Dollars Saved by Women per Province

Top 5 Places Visited by Canoo Women Members

Through Canoo, women members have access to a variety of places across Canada. In every province and territory, women members can choose to visit museums, parks, events, and more. Here are some of the most popular places visited by Canoo women members in Canada.


Since May 2022, Canoo women members checked in 4,290 times to the top 5 places in Alberta.

Value saved from visits to the top 5 places:

$ 84,071

British Columbia

Since May 2022, Canoo women members checked in 1,732 times to the top 5 places in British Columbia.

Value saved from visits to the top 5 places:

$ 41,547


Since May 2022, Canoo women members checked in 845 times to the top 5 places in Manitoba.

Value saved from visits to the top 5 places:

$ 9,940

Nova Scotia

Since May 2022, Canoo women members checked in 599 times to the top 5 places in Nova Scotia.

Value saved from visits to the top 5 places:

$ 5,944


Since May 2022, Canoo women members checked in 14,066 times to the top 5 places in Ontario.

Value saved from visits to the top 5 places in ON:

$ 362,414


Since May 2022, Canoo women members checked in 2,053 times to the top 5 places in Quebec.

Value saved from visits to the top 5 places:

$ 43,374


Since May 2022, Canoo women members checked in 107 times to the top 5 places in Saskatchewan.

Value saved from visits to the top 5 places:

$ 855

Did you find this report Interesting? If you want to read more, check out some of the earlier issues of Canoo Insights Report that highlight Canoo partners and members:

As Canoo is evolving and becoming better every day, we hope that these quarterly reports help readers to understand what Canoo is, who are the people that Canoo serves, and get to know some of the partners and services that ultimately bring Canoo to life for newcomers.

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The latest immigration data (December 2022) has been released by IRCC and the complete 2022 data updates can be found on our immigration dashboard. Data are released by IRCC on a two-month lag. The visualizations below are based on a 2018 baseline.

The number of new citizens in December 2022 was down by 37% (-13,172) compared to November 2022.

Permanent resident admissions in December 2022 were down by 10.20% (-2,585) compared to November 2022.

Key Insights – Source Countries

Source Countries (December 2022)

You can learn more about the ICC here. Join the conversation and be part of building a more inclusive Canada.

Interested in following us? Please sign up here for more updates happening at the ICC and follow us to get upcoming content from Ideas & Insights at ICC.