POLITICS

Jason Kenney Wants Citizenship Applications Processed In 12 Months

04/25/2013 11:39 EDT | Updated 06/25/2013 05:12 EDT
OTTAWA - Canada's immigration minister says he wants to see citizenship applications processed in 12 months or less.

Jason Kenney told a Commons committee today that he is concerned about the backlog of citizenship applications in the system.

At the end of 2012, there were nearly 350,000 cases in the system, almost double the number since 2007.

Some applicants claim they've been waiting as long as four years to receive their citizenship when they were initially told it would take a year.

The source of the backlog is pinned to an increase in the number of applications coupled with officials putting them under more scrutiny.

The government is going to increase the fee people pay to become citizens in order to bring it more in line with how much it costs to process an application.

And the recent federal budget allocated $44 million for the citizenship program over the next two years.

Kenney says the citizenship program is being retooled, but he can't say how long it would take to get wait times down.