New law requires Canadian citizenship oath to be sworn in public

by Ray Clancy on June 30, 2015

More and more people who move to live and work in Canada are choosing to become Canadian citizens and must now take a new oath openly and in public.

The new Oath of Citizenship Act has been introduced to ensure Canadian citizenship applicants show their face while taking the oath during citizenship ceremonies.

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Those wishing to become Canadian citizens must say the oath in public

They are obliged to be seen and heard, reciting the oath in front of a group to confirm their commitment as new citizens to Canada’s laws, values and traditions.

Tim Uppal, Minister of State for Multiculturalism, pointed out that swearing or affirming the oath is a legal requirement, a public declaration that a citizenship applicant is committed to adopting and upholding Canadian values.

He added that the Oath of Citizenship Act will require that the oath be sworn or affirmed publicly and openly, and in a way that others can verify, and must be done aloud and with the face uncovered.

The most up-to-date figures show than in 2014 some 3,121 citizenship ceremonies were held across Canada, where more than 262,000 new citizens were welcomed, more new Canadians than in any year in Canada’s history and more than double the number from 2013.

Canada has one of the highest naturalisation rates in the world and more than 85% of eligible permanent residents in Canada go on to become citizens.

The Citizenship Oath is a solemn declaration in which citizenship candidates promise to obey Canadian laws, while fulfilling their duties and responsibilities as Canadian citizens.

The oath recognises that Canadian citizenship confers both rights and responsibilities, and people cannot gain citizenship or any of the privileges that go along with citizenship without taking the Oath of Citizenship.

‘Canadians expect that new citizens should show their face when swearing or affirming the Oath in community with others, at the very moment they become part of the Canadian family. This means they are committing publicly to embracing Canada’s values and traditions, including the equality of men and women,’ added Uppal.

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