Did you know Permanent Residents can now join the Canadian Armed Forces?
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is comprised of the Navy, the Air Force, the Army, and the Reserves. Together, they serve on missions within Canada and around the world. In the past, only Canadian Citizens could serve in the CAF but, in a news release put out in December, 2022, The Honourable Minister of National Defence, Anita Anand, announced that “permanent residents are welcome to apply to enroll in the Canadian Armed Forces”.
What does this mean for Permanent Residents?
The CAF is encouraging Permanent Residents to join the military through offering benefits to their pathways to citizenship as well as the benefits they offer to the Canadian population at large.
The Canadian government is offering “facilitated pathways to citizenship” to those who participate in military service. Additionally, citizenship applications from those in the CAF will be “processed on a priority basis”. Currently, the application process is open for both Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents.
What other benefits does the Canadian Armed Forces offer?
One of the biggest benefits offered by the CAF is paid education. This includes Bachelor’s programs as well as Masters and PhDs. While in school, “the CAF will pay 100% of your school fees, including your tuition, books and academic equipment“. Furthermore, during your education, there is an annual starting salary of $27,600. Moreover, after graduation, “you will be guaranteed a job in your field with the CAF”. However, you will have 2 months of mandatory service for every month of paid education that you receive.
As of the date of the news release, the CAF has about 63,500 member. This is less than their mandated minimum of 71,500 Regular Force members. The CAF is currently hiring for over 100 positions and has committed to recruiting “at least 5,900 new member” by March 2023. Given the record breaking immigration targets set out by the minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, there will be ample people able to take advantage of the CAF.
Other things to keep in mind
As the new policy gets fully implemented, there may be some initial difficulties. The current process for obtaining security clearances can be slow for some Permanent Residents looking to join the military, although this may improve over time.
There are also some requirements for Permanent Residents to join the military. These include:
- Being committed to becoming a Canadian Citizen as soon as eligible
- Satisfying a “special need”
- Not harming Canada’s national interest by enrolling.
Some additional qualifications can be seen on the CAF website or by reading the relevant policy.
“Permanent residents make up a skilled and talented component of Canada’s population – and that is why today’s announcement is important news. Enrolment of permanent residents will help us grow our military with qualified, well-trained people who choose a career in uniform. We will continue to work hard every day to build a military that attracts and retains people from all parts of our society who want to serve Canada.”The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence
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