AHMED Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced on Tuesday that the processing fee for minors applying under subsection 5(1) of the Citizenship Act has been reduced from $530 to $100, bringing them into line with the processing fees for minors applying under subsection 5(2) of the Act.
He said the federal government is committed to encouraging all immigrants, including minors under 18 years of age, to acquire citizenship and this step will make that easier.
On June 19, 2017, the royal assent of Bill C-6 immediately brought into force a legislative amendment that removed the requirement to be 18 years old to apply for a grant of citizenship under subsection 5(1) of the Citizenship Act. This made it easier for minors to apply for citizenship on their own behalf. One of the strongest pillars for successful integration into Canadian life is acquiring Canadian citizenship, Hussen said.
This ensures that there is no difference in the fee paid by citizenship grant applicants who are minors, regardless of whether they have a Canadian parent, are applying with a permanent resident parent or are applying on their own behalf.
Anyone who already paid the $530 fee for a minor applying under this subsection on or after June 19, 2017, will be reimbursed the difference of $430. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will contact these applicants directly to outline the process for receiving a refund.
Minors who do not have a Canadian parent, or a permanent resident parent applying for citizenship at the same time as them, can apply for citizenship under subsection 5(1) of the Citizenship Act. Therefore, the reduction in citizenship fees will help more minors, including immigrant children in the child welfare system or in the care of the state, acquire Canadian citizenship.
The department will be engaging provinces and territories, childcare agencies, immigration service provider organizations and other stakeholders to raise awareness of this change. The department will also provide information on how these institutions can assist minors in their care to acquire citizenship.
Hussen said: “We encourage all immigrants, including those under 18 years of age, to take the path to Canadian citizenship and benefit from permanently belonging in Canadian society. We are pleased that these fee changes will further facilitate access to citizenship for minors and reduce the financial burden for potentially vulnerable children.”
For more information on minors applying for citizenship, see the infographic.