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Citizenship and Immigration in Canada: Thoughts to Ponder

Aside from having a democratic government, beautiful sceneries, and economic stability, Canada is a diversified country that is also home to millions of immigrants. Many ethnic and religious groups such as French, Scottish, Irish, Germans, Italians, Chinese, aborigines, Dutch, and Asians have lived and worked in the country since 1970.

Steps to Becoming a Canadian Citizen

For more than 400 years, settlers and immigrants have played a vital role in the continued success and richness of the country. Although acquiring citizenship and immigration in Canada is a tedious process, the country takes pride in providing boundless opportunities to its people. As with other countries, Canadian men and women have equal rights and responsibilities. It does not tolerate “barbaric” cultural practices, spousal abuse, honour killings, forced marriage, and other gender-biased violence. Those who are guilty of such crimes will be punished under the country’s criminal laws. Thus, rights and privileges come with responsibilities such as:

The Law – Its founding principle is “no person or group is above the law.” Each citizen is expected to obey rules and policies that are regulated by the law and not by arbitrary actions.

Responsibility – It is equally important that each citizen understands his/her responsibilities. This includes having a job and taking care of one’s family, which contributes to personal dignity, self-respect, and the country’s prosperity.

Jury Service – Each citizen takes part in ensuring that law and justice are properly implemented. Thus, serving on a jury when called to do so, is a significant role and a privilege for the justice system work effectively.

Voting – The country’s electoral system is based on a parliamentary system of government. All citizens have the right to choose their representatives and will be informed by the chief electoral officer about individual rights and processes involved ensuring that voting will be easy. Thus, public information is announced through news releases, advertisements, toll-free telephone inquiries, websites, and community meetings.

Community Involvement – Another significant role that comes with citizenship and immigration in Canada is volunteerism. Helping each other in the community is an excellent way to develop useful skills, values, and character to promote common good and quality life.

Protecting the Heritage – Canada is one of the few countries in the world that is well known for its magnificent sceneries and wildlife. The government, as well as the citizens, plays a vital role in protecting and preserving natural resources and cultural heritage. Thus, Environment Canada, one of the three federal departments, fulfills its mandate by conserving and protecting at-risk species and wildlife habitats.

There are approximately 160,000 who become Canadian citizens every year. To be eligible for citizenship and immigration in Canada, an applicant must meet the following requirements:

At least 18 years old;

Adoptive parent or legal guardian may apply for his/her child or children;

Child/children must be a permanent resident but has/have not necessarily lived in the country for three years;

Parent/adoptive parent must be a Canadian citizen or applying to be one;

Have adequate knowledge of the two official languages (English and French);

Not convicted of a criminal offence under the Citizenship Act within three years prior to application, on parole or probation, or have been convicted of a war crime or crime against humanity; and

Have an understanding of the country’s history, values, and institutions.

Ricardo Colindres is a Canadian staffing and immigration expert. He writes about the countless reasons why Canada is an ideal place to work, study, immigrate, or have a vacation.

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